Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Havana D’Primera – Tres Días

And another cosign from us…


Juan F. Carruyo: Cuban trumpeter Alexander Abreu was teaching at a Copenhagen conservatory when he experienced a vision: he was to return to his homeland, assemble the best band he could, write original songs, and perform them every night in dingy clubs. That was in 2006. By 2010 they were the leading band in the Havana club circuit, and since then, Havana D’Primera has been releasing reliably consistent dance music. This one takes the form of an epistolary tale: the narrator receives a letter from his lover that she’s leaving him, and he confesses to misdeeds and pleads for her return. Easy enough. The amazing merit of Alexander and company is that he manages to be poetic and romantic in his verses but manages to maintain good taste and danceability, a trait not achieved very often in salsa. The brilliant arrangement starts with a captivating sax intro, but the secret magic is the underlying rhythm in the coros starting from minute 2 onwards. After a glorious bachata interlude and a short bass introduction, the call-and-response format goes by building tension for the rest of the track, occasionally aided by horn phrases. By the time the bass stops playing in 4:18 and the percussion gets stronger, it’s pure bliss. 

Will Adams: After a somewhat misleading overture — a smooth sax and winding synth line that never return — “Tres Dias” cultivates a pleasing energy that gives ample time to make your way to the dancefloor.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: A party of a song– instruments wander in and out, playing for short bursts of brilliance before making their exit. You almost want to ask for more, to hold on to a guitar solo or horn riff for a bit longer, but to do so would be to betray the vibe, the spirit of transience and joy that runs through “Tres Dias.”

Stephen Eisermann: I love the salsa-jazzy blend space that this song lives in, but the production, at times, gets a bit too busy for my taste. Still, few have as deeply satisfying a voice as Alexander Abreau, and when the horns kick in at the end, it’s hard to deny the inevitable movement your body is begging for. 

Alfred Soto: I know what single I’m going to push on my family on Nochebuena. What a synthesis: a blaring synth versus piano, guitar wandering in from a bachata session, Alexander Abreu’s talk-singing relaxed enough to surpass the natural length of verses. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I’m glad this is more than five minutes long because it’s such a delightful song to get lost in — all the interwoven parts of the instrumentation sound like they’re brimming with life. It’s emotive in a way that isn’t overwhelming, and it’s so self-assured in what it’s doing that it doesn’t seem to care if anyone else will join in and dance. Inevitably, you will.

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