Gilles Peterson - Havana Cultura Taster

OK, hands up. Who else is thinking "excuse for an extended holiday" album? Let us swallow our jealousy for a minute and watch, because it sounds pretty good...

The album comes out on 26th October on Brownswood Recordings...

The resulting Havana Cultura CD is actually two CDs. The first disc contains the 12 original tracks Gilles recorded with his hand-picked “Havana Cultura Band," led by pianist Roberto Fonseca. The CD features some outstanding guest appearances from Mayra Caridad Valdés, Ogguere, Danay, Francis Del Rio and Obsesión.

The second disc is a compilation of 16 previously released and unreleased tracks, drawing from more top Cuban talent: Los Aldéanos, Telmary, Yusa, Kelvis Ochoa, Doble Filo, Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, Harold Lopez Nussa, Kumar, Free Hole Negro, Cubanito 20.02, Wichy de Vedado and Tony Rodriguez. The CD packaging was designed by Alexandre Arrechea, one of Cuba's brightest art stars.

“In a way this is just the beginning for me," Gilles says. “This is a new starting point for new Cuban music. I think this is something we need to take around the world."

I also really like the Havana Cultura website, if a bit too fiddly, it's full of great cultural info (not just music). Check it out!