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El Septeto Santiaguero en La Chismosa, su tercer álbum, se decanta abiertamente por la guaracha. Y lo hace aportando una serie de temas originales, compuestos por los miembros del septeto, en los que nos relatan sus experiencias personales, permitiendonos así conocerlos un poco mejor .

Entre todas las guarachas de La Chismosa destacamos la que da nombre al CD, La jelenguera (cubanismo de chismosa). Rudens Matos se estrena como compositor echando leña al fuego de la batalla galante entre ellos y ellas. En La jelenguera Rudens cuenta sus atribulados quehaceres con las féminas curiosas que no le dejan vivir en paz -nada más alejado de sus deseos- y como se las debe ingeniar para mantener el tipo. Además de buen compositor, Rudens se revela como un magnífico actor en el video-clip correspondiente a La jelenguera, rodado en Santiago de Cuba, donde al final, como no podía ser de otro modo, el burlador termina burlado.

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The Septeto, usually known as keepers of the original two-part boleros of Santiago, dedicate this third album of theirs, La Chismosa (which translates to "gossip-monger" or "chatterbox"), to a different song form this time: The Guaracha is a variant of the Son, sort of a "little sister" to the latter if you like; whereas the Son takes a (relatively) solemn or dignified approach to topics of living and loving, the Guaracha sports a distinctly humourous tweak in the lyrics of such tunes. Meaningful examples for this can be found in tracks like the naming piece of the album, La Jelenguera (a cuban Synonym for the "Chismosa"), which is about indiscreet women and the trouble they cause, or the song about El Catador (a rum expert or tester) who tries to cover up his unrestrained drinking habit as searching for the ultimate taste, or the cheeky Échale Tierra y Tápalo, an anecdote about an unfaithful wife and her dentist -a scoundrel drilling where he is no supposed to. But not only in terms of lyrics is the Septeto´s latest release a fun-packed item; the music itself is of course a sure booster, too.

And to give testimony to a live performance which was pure dynamite, The Septeto Santiaguero has had one of their explosive concerts recorded and have come up with another abundant package of finest cuban music, inescapably catching and fit to invade you without much ado.

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El Septeto Santiaguero avanza en cada disco pasos de gigantes en busca de un sonido más personal y depurado, independiente de las (fantásticas) adherencias de sus orígenes musicales. Lo demuestra con creces en La chismosa, su divertidísimo tercer trabajo para la disquera Nubenegra, una absoluta delicia para los bailadores que integra perfectamente los cortes tradicionales (Arsenio Rodríguez, Ñico Saquito, Lorenzo Hierrezuelo) con los originales de Fernando Dewar, Inocencio Heredia y el pequeño gran hombre Rudens Matos. Maestros de la guaracha, los santiagueros enhebran risa, sentimiento y picaresca en piezas tan irresistibles como La jelenguera, todo un clásico ya de la moderna música popular cubana. Prohibido perdérselos en su ya familiar visita veraniega.

Luis Lapuente
Efe Eme, Mayo 2001.

Los siete componentes de este grupo cubano son un verdadero huracán en directo, tan irrefrenables como irreprimibles. El que quiera bailar con historias cotidianas de la isla caimanesca que escuche este disco y verá que no puede dejar de moverse.

Javier Herrero
PC Actual, junio 2001.

Named for the Cuban -and worldwide- delight in personal gossip, this young group hailing from Santiago, (the home of Cuban son) have produced a vibrant disc full of attractive songs: some classics but most composed by band members.
The Cuban septeto is the most satisfying of dance band formats: its sonorous flourishes of trumpet answering, either solo or chorus, over a crisp pattering of percussion with loping double bass and the absolutely essential metalic sound of the Cuban tres guitar are fundamental to traditional son.
Played by a group of top class musicians who have undergone classical training but grown up playing roots music, their son gains a glistering edge and an altogether different vitality from that played by veterans. Here, full passion for the music is matched by a cheeky, almost sassy, approach, not only to the playing but also the lyrics (although the themes are not so different from old son). Men in Cuba, it seems, will be men: flirting at any opportunity, trying the rum in every bar to see if its pure or watered down, and wondering how they can love two women at once, why mullatto women are so atractive and how men are so easily bewitched by beautiful girls.
Santiago en la cuna ("Santiago is where it´s at") pays tribute to Santiago soneros both old and new, with the Septeto rightfully counting themselves in the roll-call.

Jan Fairley
Songlines, Winter 2001.