“The greatest piano soloist I have ever heard in my life. He’s like a Cuban cross between Thelonious Monk and Felix the Cat” – Ry Cooder

Recorded in two days immediately following the completion of Buena Vista Social Club with many of the same musicians, Introducing….Rubén González now gets a welcome reissue on double 180gm vinyl. Mastered at Abbey Road, two tracks are now heard in unedited, full length form for the first time with the addition of a further track that has never previously been released. The re-issue will coincide with the summer 2017 world-wide theatre release of Buena Vista Social Club: Adios, a feature length documentary about the band which features Rubén in depth.

When the Cuban pianist Rubén González recorded his first solo album in Havana in 1996 he was 77 years old. Released on World Circuit the following year, along with the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club and Grammy-nominated Afro Cuban All Stars on both of which he also played, it led to a remarkable late flowering of his career that lasted until his death in 2003, as he toured the world and was revealed as one of the timeless legends of Cuban music.

Introducing…Rubén González was recorded live  in the studio by Jerry Boys using the same ambient techniques that gave Buena Vista such a full and dynamic natural sound, as if the listener was sat amongst the musicians inside Egrem’s peerless 1950s studio in old Havana. The brilliant hand-picked band accompanying González includes bassist Cachaito Lopez, Amadito Valdés on timbales, Roberto Garcia on bongos and guiro, Carlito González on congas and trumpeter Manuel “El Guajiro” Mirabal.

Track Listing: 

  1. La Engañadora
  2. Cumbanchero
  3. Tres Lindas Cubanas (extended)
  4. Melodía Del Rio
  5. Mandinga
  6. Siboney
  7. Almendra
  8. Tumbao (extended)
  9. Como Siento Yo
  10. Descarga Ruben Y Cachaito (previously unreleased)

Photography: Joe Bonamassa @ Royal Albert Hall