My father (may he rest in peace) never stopped telling me how much he disliked an arrangement of Ernesto Lecuona’s Siboney that the late great René Touzet wrote for my wife and me way back in our singing days. I understood. Old generation Cubans don’t like to mix it up, and my father grew up listening and dancing to the music of Lecuona’s Cuban Boys.
Papi would have probably recoiled in horror upon listening to Arthur Gottschalk’s off-the-wall arrangement of Moisés Simon’s The Peanut Vendor, which opens Chévere, a CD with a mix of Cuban-inflected tunes and contemporary compositions created by Gottschalk, John A. Carollo, Meira Warshauer, Mona Lyn Reese, and J. A. Kawarsky for a terrific group of musicians who came together in January of 2017 to record this album for Ansonica Records.