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Various Artists — Bridge to Havana
Release date : Jun. 29, 2004
  1. Feelin' Good (Vacilon) - Gladys Knight
  2. Everybody's Watching Us - Montell Jordan
  3. Hey Hey - Peter Frampton
  4. Walking On Sunshine - Montell Jordan
  5. Not So Close Not So Far - Carlos Varela
  6. Unlonely - Montell Jordan
  7. Que Importa - Dave Koz
  8. La Brisa Azul - Bonnie Raitt
  9. Keeps Me Hangin' On - Evan & Jaron
  10. Just To Be Alone With You - Joan Osborne
  11. Volvere - Harold Payne
  12. One World - Paddy Moloney

Bridge to Havana

Bridge to Havana – Various Artists

“The dictum “art transcends politics” is aurally illustrated on this recording, which chronicles a seven-day get-together in Havana with American, English, and Cuban musicians in 1999. It boasts a broad range of artists–from blues rockers Bonnie Raitt and smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, to their lesser-known Cuban counterparts like Yadira Lopez, Carlos Alfonso, and Rey Guerra. On “Vacilon,” Gladys Knight and Edesio Alejandro merge African-American soul and the Afro-Cuban bolero. 1970s icon Peter Frampton and Alberto Tosca turn in a midtempo percussion and guitar-driven ditty, “Hey, Hey,” while drummer Mick Fleetwood, Todd Smallwood, and Augusto Enriquez get down on the anthemic “One World.” The sexy syncopations of “Just Want to Be Alone With You,” featuring Joan Osborne and keyboardist Jose Maria Vitier, melds the honk tonk with the danzon, making the 90 miles and political realities that separate our nations seem much closer.” –Eugene Holley, Jr.

“Some surprising cross-cultural collaborations are the main attraction of Bridge to Havana, which documents the 1999 journey by dozens of American and British musicians to Cuba, where they wrote, recorded, and performed songs with their island counterparts. While political rapprochement between the American and Cuban governments may still be a fantasy, there were no certainly no problems among the musicians; indeed, the process of creating new partnerships by literally drawing names out of a hat created some unexpectedly fruitful results. If, for example, putting Jimmy Buffett, Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood, the Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, Cuba’s Augusto Enriquez, and various others in the studio and onstage together (for the song “One World”) seems farfetched, for the most part it works. The performances on this hour-long disc come both from the studio (Gladys Knight with various Cubans, Peter Frampton with Alberto Tosca) and from the concert that concluded the trip (Joan Osborne, who did such great work in Standing in the Shadows of Motown, is excellent again here). Given the brief amount of time the musicians had to get acquainted and write material together, the songs they came up with can be a bit on the obvious side, but there’s no denying the spirit at work throughout this interesting, entertaining program.” –Sam Graham,