Album Title: Dos Lágrimas
Performer: Diego el Cigala
Label: Cigala Music
Play Time:
Recorded: 2008

Olé Cigala. Long live the crayfish. His Lágrimas Negras with Bebo Valdez charmed millions who had never heard a Flamenco cantaor interpret Cuban boleros with such panache though Manzanitas had tried earlier. Numerous prestigious awards followed suit. Bebo & Cigala's extended 19-track Blanco Y Negro follow-up twofer included a concert DVD. Now we have Dos Lágrimas and Jaime 'Jumitus' Calabuch and Guilleramo Gonzales 'Rubalcaba' Camejo sit in on piano. Conga ace Federico 'Tata Güines' Aristides makes appearances. Richard Galliano lends bandoneon to the tango-fied "Caruso" while Violeta Parra's "Gracias a la Vida" and Carlos Eleta's "Historia de un amor" get quoted in the Cuban chorus section of the uptempo "Dos Gardenias" scorcher.

In short, more of a stupendous thing all over again. This time it's not released on Calle54 Records under the Sony|BMG umbrella but the singer's own Cigala Music label. Even non Latinos will recognize some of the famous bolero, chachachá, copla and tango classics assembled here eleven strong. When Reinaldo Creagh leans into his falsetto refrain of "Compromismo", it's righteous deja vu of Compay Segundo duetizing with Khaled. With expert Cuban piano, upright bass, congas or cajon and guest-starring trumpet and Flamenco guitar making up the accompaniment, the format is the Jazz club, the location half Havanna, half Jerez de la Frontera. Bound to be eagerly anticipated in the wake of the sweeping success of Lágrimas Negras, Dos delivers on the promise with a big bang. When at the end of "Dos Gardenias" a virile voice commands "comer! - let's eat", it's not just an injection of colloquialism. It's exuberance. It's an invite to celebrate further in good company. We get to enjoy it just spinning up this disc. Caramba. Hot stuff!