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Cuban singer Doris Lavin was hailed by Cuban trumpeter Lázaro Herrera as one of the timeless Soneras to sing salsa, putting her in such vaulted company as Celia Cruz y La Lupe. After establishing herself as an in-demand singer in Cuba, Lavin relocated to Italy in 1996, which did nothing to lessen her busy touring schedule. She has performed with Guillermo Rubalcaba, Félix Valoy, Patato Valdés, and the Conjunto Folklorico Naciónal De Cuba. A self-titled debut album featuring Dagoberto González y otros. Album 2003.

“All my songs are born out of the strong sound influences that exist in Cuba. People often refer to it as Latin Jazz (Afro Cuban Jazz is a sub-genre of Latin Jazz). I don’t mind my music being categorised into a particular genre, but given a choice, I wouldn’t want it. My music contains so much of African influence; it’s not just Jazz or Latino. It’s much more than that. The influences are so much beyond any one of them,” says Lavin, adding, “My songs are about life, one part of which is Cuban and one part African.”escrito de Indian Time 2015.


BChristopher Loudon

Thus far, I've known Doris Lavin by reputation only. The Cuban spitfire, who long ago relocated to Italy, has spent much of the past two decades earning kudos for her animated blend of salsa, son and timba. Now, at long last, the Lavin magic has been captured on disc. Her eponymous debut, released on the German-based Cuba Chevere label, is teasingly brief-barely 30 minutes from soaring start to blazing finish. It is, however, a half-hour of unbridled vitality. Sounding an awful lot like a young Celia Cruz, Lavin is a whirlpool of restless energy, slowing down only for the sumptuous, string-heavy "Mi Fiel Trovador." She embraces six decades of Cuban fury in such explosive compositions as "Ya No Hay Razon" and "Canto a Shango y Oy ," simultaneously suggesting the sweaty theatricality of Desi Arnaz and fervid majesty of Paquito D'Rivera. Perhaps, though, her cover of Felix Chappottin's "Sazonando" is most prescient. I'm told that, roughly translated, the title means 'spicily Cuban.' Listening to Lavin, it's hard to imagine a more fitting adjective.


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