Heritage - Angel D'Cuba


Humans are amazingly adaptable creatures. Our footprints are all over this planet in all kinds of climates and environments. Artists however, can be creatures of habit, equally inspired and influenced by their surroundings. So, for Angel Luis Badell a.k.a Angel D’Cuba, a fourth generation Cuban musician, it was nothing short of culture shock to find himself transplanted in Chicago, a town known more for deep dish pizza than deep roots timba. But, unlike the body, the heart isn’t so adaptable. The heart wants what the heart wants; and a tour through the Windy City introduced Angel to the love of his life and consequently his new home. “I like Chicago, but it’s been a bit rough,” he muses. “Now it’s more comfortable because I have good friends.” Indeed, what started as a trio with a couple of new-found friends has turned into a big, bold Latin machine with full Cuban embellishments; from the humble tres to a phalanx of horns. All of Angel’s new brothers have received the benefit of his heritage in Timba, Samba, Cumbia and more, hence the title of his powerful new release, Heritage. But, not all the influences on Heritage emanate from sunny climes. While he was basking in Cuban culture under Caribbean skies, Angel was also soaking in the big band funk of James Brown, Jackson 5 and later groove-diggers like Earth, Wind & Fire. Heritage puts it all together, percolating with his own congas and percussion, resonating with his dynamic voice, reminiscent of the great Calypsonians and tapping into the here and now with killer guitar solos and even touches of Reggaeton/Rap en Espanol on the surprising Juana La Cubana. Immediate favorites from the disc include the remarkably fresh sounding old skool Soca of Aché Pa’ Ti Caribe, Una Samba En Chicago, a dedication to his Brazilian friends and the Mozambique funk number, Can’t Hide Love. Being uprooted is never easy but it can bear tasty fruit. As Angel reflects, “Because I’ve faced so many challenges since moving here, I made this album.”