In 1957, three musicians got together to make, La Bodeguita del Medio, a record that has been described as an “intriguing musical snapshot of pre-revolutionary Havana”.
Recorded at the world-famous La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant in downtown Havana in March 1957, just months before the Cuban Revolution, this pioneering album was for years one of the few readily available (in the U.S., anyway) albums of traditional Cuban son before the Buena Vista Social Club albums made the style newly popular.
The three members responsible for this slice of Latin magic were, Carlos Puebla (Cuban singer/guitarist/composer), Santiago Martínez (Cuban singer and guitarist & also member of “Carlos Puebla y los Tradicionales” since 1952) and Pedro Sosa (Cuban musician percussionist/maracas and singer). All 16 tracks on this record are, in the grand folk tradition, tunes that deal either directly or indirectly with Cuba’s political turmoil. For the record, Puebla and the others were committed socialists and supporters of Fidel Castro but, to enjoy it’s content, it is not a requirement to be of any political tendency, this record does not enforce any angles or views. Songs such as Sinfonia Submarina and today’s song, Sun Sun Damba E are, in fact, anything but heavy – these are spirited, clever and playful!
Sun Sun Damba E is an absolute dream and delight of sunbeams and joy! I’ve loved it ever since I heard it sampled in Peter Power’s 2016 rendition and was happy to see Mr Bongo had featured it in one of it’s 2020 compilations! It’s one of those songs, for me, that I’ll love no matter how many times I play it! Check it out above.
There seem to be many versions of this wonderful tune – here’s my fave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2o4Qu8Bl_E
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Thank you for sharing this rather fantastic version with me, I’m really enjoying it!!
Have you listened to the “Panama!” compilations? They are a great listen too!