Rubén González – Introducing…Rubén González

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Introducing… Rubén González is the second studio album by Cuban pianist Rubén González. It was recorded at EGREM studios in Havana, Cuba, during April 1996, as the last of the sessions that also yielded the albums A Toda Cuba le Gusta and Buena Vista Social Club. It was released on September 16, 1997, through World Circuit, thus becoming González’s international debut. The album reached number seventeen on Billboard Top Latin Albums. In 2014 it was awarded a diamond certification from the Independent Music Companies Association, which indicated sales of at least 200,000 copies throughout Europe.

“The most jazz-oriented of the elderly musicians in the Buena Vista Social Club, pianist Rubén González was 77 at the time of this CD, his debut as a leader. Although he did not even own his own piano at the time, he plays brilliantly, performing a variety of traditional melodies plus two originals, often quoting other songs and really stretching himself. His chord voicings are distinctive and very inviting, his control of the piano is quite impressive, and the music sings its heart out. The CD was recorded spontaneously over a two-day period with González mostly being the lead voice, assisted by trumpeter Manuel Mirabal (who has some fine solos), bassist Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez, several percussionists, and occasionally three background singers. This set is impossible not to love.” – Scott Yanow/AllMusic.

Track listing:
“La engañadora” (Enrique Jorrín) – 2:32
“Cumbanchero” (Rafael Hernández) – 4:35
“Tres lindas cubanas” (Guillermo Castillo) – 5:22
“Melodía del río” (Rubén González) – 4:42
“Mandinga” (Guillermo Rodríguez Fiffe) – 8:28
“Siboney” (Ernesto Lecuona) – 2:32
“Almendra” (Abelardo Valdés) – 9:52
“Tumbao” (Rubén González) – 5:11
“Como siento yo” (Rubén González) – 2:40

Rubén González – piano
Orlando “Cachaíto” López – bass
Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal – trumpet
Manuel “Puntillita” Licea – vocals, background vocals
Richard Egües – flute
Roberto García – congas, güiro, cowbell
Carlos González – congas
Carlos Puisseaux – güiro
José Antonio “Maceo” Rodríguez – background vocals
Alberto Valdés – maracas
Amadito Valdés – timbales


Released: September 16, 1997
Recorded: April 1996
Studio: EGREM, Havana, Cuba
Length: 45:54
Label: World Circuit, Nonesuch
Producer: Nick Gold