A second after pressing the ‘Play’ button on the CD player a wonderful sound emanates from the speakers. Warmth like the memory of a great tasting wine suffuses your entire soul and, if you are me, you think “Ohhhhh, The Creole Choir of Cuba are back”.
Ok, so that may be a little OTT but anyone who heard or saw the choir a couple of years back will remember the wonderful voices, the intricate harmonies and the magnificent music created only with voices and percussion and this album is well up to the standards and the quality of that first album.
This, like ‘Tande La’, is an album of resistance and of confidence – resistance against the oppression of the years of slavery and the confidence to make their own voices stand against the oppressors. It is also an album that decries the hurt and the loss of the years of oppression but this time around the hurt is offset by the strength of their confidence. As before the voices are a rich combination of male and female with dense and intricate harmonies set against Cuban rhythms – this is full of passion and soul and incredibly rich talents. The music has developed with more of the Cubano rhythms and brilliant production by John Metcalfe (Morrissey, Peter Gabriel, John Cale) but they have introduced flute and trumpet which give the sound a different vibe and definitely move them forward.
Quite frankly, if they had stopped with the ‘Tande-la’ it would have been a great statement but ‘Sandiman’ takes their message further and shows that the Creole Choir of Cuba are not just about bemoaning their past – this is vibrant and positive and strikes deep into your soul.