The latest self-released album from Cuban musician Heriberto “Tito” Gonzalez showcases the headliner’s masterful playing and full, throaty vocals in interplay with a big band of top-notch Cuban musicians. Gonzalez is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant—he moved to Mix magazine’s neighborhood 10 years ago—but he traveled back to Havana to record this traditional Son music at the source. Gonzales is a master of the Cuban Tres—the three-course, six-string instrument that closely resembles a guitar and is the lead rhythm instrument in Son—and he sings with singular style and passion. He’s also an extremely talented composer; all but one of these danceable, tropical tracks are originals, realized with complex rhythms, bright horns and stellar piano work that rival the famed Buena Vista Social Club.
Producer: Heriberto Gonzalez. Engineers: Jesus Pineda, Orolvis Fraga, Manuel A. Lopez Mantecon. Studios: Estudios del ICAI and Estudios SonoCaribe (both in Havana, Cuba). Mastering: John Greenham and Greg Landau, San Francisco.