Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Rubén González: Introducing . . . Rubén González [World Circuit, 1997]
Never much for horn sections, I've always preferred my clave straight from the timbales, perhaps with some charanga violins for accent. But in part that's because not even Eddie Palmieri gives up as much montuno as this 77-year-old Cuban virtuoso, making his first album as a leader five years after he thought he'd retired, his joints aching and his home piano consumed by woodworm. Rhythm and romance flow from his old-fashioned digital memory as he and his friends jam the classics, guaracha to bolero to cha cha cha. A-