This release shows the authentic music of Cuba's Santeria - which lies at the heart of all Afro-Cuban music and influenced the music and ideas of artists such as Eddie Palmieri, Machito, Grupo Folklorico, Milton Cardona, Mongo Santamaria and many more Latin artists.
Recorded by Soul Jazz records in Havana, Cuba and featuring the heavyweight Bata drumming and songs of Santeria. The music is performed by Grupo Oba-Ilu, led by the late master percussionist, Santeria and Abakua initiate Gregoire 'Goyo' Hernandez. The group is made up of members of the Grupo Folklorico of Cuba, the Cuban state's most important music, folklore and dance group - plus members of various Santerian temples.
This album is the first in a series of albums of Afro-Cuban releases recorded in Cuba over a number of years. These include Drums of Cuba (also by Grupo Oba-Ilu), Tumba Francesca and Carnival Music of Eastern Cuba.
An important stage in Cuba's opening up to the West, as Soul Jazz was one of the first non-Cuban companies allowed to record at the state owned ICAIC studios in Havana.
Eleggua, Chango, Oshun, Yemaya are some of the Gods of Santeria. All have different music and songs related to them and they are represented here on this album. Each God ( Orisha) also has famous attributes and folk tales of their own and this album also contains specially commisioned short stories to accompany the music by the Cuban writer Pedro Perez Sarduy.