The noises are from the farm, possibly in the morning. Chickens, farmyard, wild birds. A moo and a blink. Levis Aliaga, about the harmonized voices of Raúl Cabrera and Roly Berrío, says: “When I was a child I hung from the caimito / with my head down / And now to milk the cow / I go through tremendous work”. so open in series (Unicornio, 1999), today's album, signed by the trio of the same name. It is an excellent presentation, because it shows three of the biometric references with which the Cuban song database recognizes the group: field, jodedera and vocal work.
The whole night, the opening piece, is perhaps the only moment on the album where the manigüero accent appears expressly, in the lyrics and music. But it is, without a doubt, in an atmospheric way, in all the extension of the phonogram. Even when it is not pointed out directly, the words work like a GPS, they reveal the place from which it is sung; and in that place there are no traffic lights or skyscrapers. It is said "path", "hive" (Pilgrim to the wind), “town”, “rice field”, “river” (It looks like a downpour), “guásima”, “babujal”, “ox yoke” (The black Daniel), "Bush", "right now” (The conga of the born dragon), “guava” (The backyard). These are words that do not come to mind for the composer who has spent his entire life in Manhattan. The trio gets the guajira, and it looks nice.
There are twelve themes. I like them all. Five classic serious trovera statements (Pilgrim to the wind, It looks like a downpour, Yearning, Song of discouragement and The backyard), the rest is pure romp: three friends without much to do, burning in Vidal Park, and incidentally leaving tremendous songs in the porosities of the buildings that surround them. Humor as a resource, in the Trío Enserie, is the kind of residual humor left behind by style experiments, when the laboratory environment is relaxed. The joke is not premeditated. The joke happens. It results from playfulness, from the aesthetic maroma. The humor of the Trio Enserie is humor media, No of results. When Roly later says, alone: "I don't know whether to cut my wrists / or leave them long", the previous mental process is evident, the elaboration of the gag. Here in this album no. In carnival, says Rolando: “The bad bad of this feast / is the toast…” and immediately the voices, from behind, name the character: “Billy No-Good”. It seems that Levis and Raúl come up with the name on the fly, as they imagine the scene western What does your friend say?
Relief and nonsense have no influence on the lyrical quality. Those are things of amateurs, who need to be serious in order to reach some kind of poetic undercut. The joke of these three is beautiful, and moves and hits as much as sadness or nostalgia. Look how beautiful this play on words Big Ben, an allegory to the clock: “Your number one was lost. / Now the two will be the two”. and how beautiful The conga of the born dragon, perhaps my favorite theme and one of the finest that Roly Berrío has done and never sings.
Vocal work is the most visible mark. Where the Serial Trio becomes the Serial Trio and not Raúl, Levis and Roly, together. There, more than in the lyrics, is that formal somersault, that constant game I'm talking about. In the timbres, in the vocal affectations and in the harmonic options by which they decide. There are fewer voices where there is less cavorting, where the members of the trident are more individual troubadours; that is, in It looks like a downpour (Levis), Yearning (Raúl Cabrera on text by Excilia Saldaña) and The backyard (Rolly). These songs are so beautiful, they remove so much the fault of San Andrés del alma due to their own musical and poetic morphology, that the artists preferred not to play them much, and thus remind us that they are a trio because they want to be, because they like it, because the They have a good time being one, not because they need it to express themselves. The vocal arrangements come at the end of It looks like a downpour, they are very little in Yearning, and in The backyard they are no longer; Levis and Raúl had gone to the studio bathroom to cry, after Roly said: "The soursop goes up without telling us anything."
These three arrange their voices so well that they take a normal piece as Song of discouragement, by Fernando Cabreja, and they make it a great song. On that eighth track, and also on Pilgrim to the wind, every time one of the soloists comes in to sing the part that touches him, it seems to us, if we are entertained, that they have changed the song for us. When they are loose, each one filters the subject in their own way, and they are different ways. When they appear together, they temporarily renounce the self, and create that unmistakable timbre: the Enserie timbre.
In the group's rhythmic cauldron, the main engine is Roly Berrío's right thumb. Among all the fingers that play trovera guitars in Cuba, that is the most swing. They should secure it. Look at the improvisation segment of XV century, and in The conga of the born dragon, to say two. How it is the thumb that says when the waist moves, how he puts together an orchestra by himself, how he is bass, guiro and key, without breaking a sweat. It's a machine, Roly, I don't have to say it here.
I have never seen this album, only the folder on my computer that makes it. I don't know if it came out on CD, cassette, or what. I only know, because Google told me, that it was published in 1999 under the Unicorn imprint. Nor do I know how aware they are in Silicon Valley of the goings-on of the Cuban recording industry, so be good and forgive any mistakes you may have made. In the titles, the order of the tracks, those things. When I'm in charge of the production of Unicorn, that won't happen, because before I do anything, I reissue this album every two or three years.