Son de Cuba [With CD] = Cuba's Sound of the Son
In the wake of the Buena Vista Social Club, it sometimes seems that all America has caught salsa fever. In this visual album, Catalan photographer Casademunt pays homage to salsa's kissing cousin: son, another a type of Caribbean music that blends African and European traditions. Casademunt traveled all around Cuba to meet and photograph son's most accomplished musicians, many of whom are little known in the United States. Faustino Oramas was already playing the tres (a three-stringed guitar) in clubs when he was 15 and has since been awarded Cuba's National Medal of Culture. Despite his years, Estanislao ""La to"" Sureda, 84, still retains his singing voice. Celia Cruz Alfonso has recorded with Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, and Ray Barreto. Though the mini-biographies are often perfunctory, Casademunt's black-and-white photographs capture the personality of each musician. For those whose curiosity is piqued by this tribute, the book comes with a catchy sample CD. For a more in-depth look at Cuba's musical development, Alejo Carpentier's La Musica en Cuba (Cuba's Music, Editorial Pueblo y Educaci n, 1988) supplies a fascinating history about son. A good choice for a gift book, this is recommended for large libraries and bookstores. Marcela Valdes, ""Cr ticas""