Inspired by American doo-wop—though in my opinion the Cuban influences far improve upon the genre—Los Zafiros were a close harmony group hailing from Cuba. Bossa Cubana is a re-release of 17 tracks from their 9 year lifespan which includes some great Cuban instrumentation and tight unison vocals. Highlights include the fidgety title track “Bossa Cubana”, vocal sound effects and all, and the eerie delight “My Oración” which breaks into triple time with some wonderful harmony. I can’t bring Los Zafiros up without mentioning “He Venido” though, the track featured in Breaking Bad which, I must confess, brought me to discover the group in the first place. It’s featured below, filled with yearning and tension (based on english translations of the lyrics) and it sounds fantastic.
Bossa Cubana is a great listen (as are any of the group’s original releases) and deserves a spin/stream if you’re in the mood for vocal-heavy Cuban music. There’s even a full YouTube playlist. It would be silly not to, really. Los Zafiros are very much worth your time.