Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anacaona - Septeto, Octeto & Orquesta '37, '53, '54 - Cuba

Anacaona 1937-'38
Alberto Socarras on the left.

Anacaona in Paris.

The Castro sisters.

Nice photo, but ridiculously titled:
"The Buena Vista Sisters Club"
and "Cuba's forgotten girl band"
No one I know has ever "forgotten" Anacaona.

Anacaona, 27 songs released on a German CD import in 2008, nicely remastered.
Mostly as an Orchestra, in 1950's live radio performances at Radio CMQ in Havana, as well as other radio performances on tour in Colombia, Venezuela and Rio De Janeiro.
There are a few 78rpm recordings included by the original band when they were a Septeto (1937-'38) and had Graciela singing and playing Clave, before she left Cuba for New York City.
Anacaona was led by the Castro sisters who were of Chinese and Afro-Cuban decent, all superb musicians. The band was directed by El Maestro Alberto Socarras.

Ondina Castro took trumpet lessons with Lázaro Herrera (trumpet player with Septeto Nacional).

Argimira Millo Castro
takes several very tasty bongó solos.
Yolanda Castro sings "You'll Never Be Free" in English as a blues and she also sings "My Foolish Heart" in English.
They do a great rendition of "Después que sufras" a composition by Marcelino Guerra, sung by Graciela.
I prefer the early 1937 sessions, but the later 1953-'54 big band sessions are nice.

4. You´ll never Be Free - 1953
Yolanda Castro: vocal

5. Oh! Marambé Maramba - 1937
Graciela: vocal, clave
Argimira 'Millo' Castro: bongó solo

Algo Bueno - 1937
Graciela: vocal, clave
Argimira "Millo" Castro: bongó solo
(not on this CD)



riks said...

where did you get the Algo Bueno mp3?
Rik S

Wicho May said...

So amazing your Blog, very very very good cuban musica, is delicious this compilation of bongo solos played by Millo Castro. Thanks for allow me listen this wonderful and eternal music!!

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

Gracias y de nada Wicho, this music blog is especially for people like you who know what they are listening to... yes, this music is eternal.


I prefer to listen to bongó solos by
Argimira "Millo" Castro then by Roberto Roena ANYDAY!

"The water always tastes freshest at its source"

Ricky said...

My mom and my aunt were part of Anacaona. Occasionally they would hire non-sisters to cover while the girls were unable to perform (pregnancy, etc.).

My mom and aunt played with them when they used to play live in front of "Los Aires Libres" across from the capitol building. My aunt toured with them all over South and Central America playing bass. She even appeared in a few Mexican movies with them.

Sadly a documentary made by Millo's daughter a few years ago does not mention them. It also doesn't mention too much one sister who is alive and well and living in Chicago. Only the four left in Cuba.

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

Hey Ricky... thanks for that great info and taking time to leave a note!
I recently just finished reading the book written by Alicia Castro, "Queens Of Havana", great book along with awesome photos.

Thanks for stopping by.