Personnel: Dina Kostic, Scott Flavin, Huifang Chen, Brian Fox, Jaime Mansilla, John DiPuccio, Evija Ozolins, Charles Hardt, Antony Seepersad, Adam Diderrich, Monica Cheversan, Marcia Littley, Alfredo Oliva (violin); Scott O'Donnell, Chauncey Patterson, Deena Shapiro, Rebecca Diderrich, Karen Hebermehl (viola); Rafi Torres, Miguel Rivera, Jorge Diaz (trombone); Milton Sesenton, Julio Reyes Copello, Jim Cox, Jorge Calandrelli, Greg Mathieson (piano).
Recording information: Alpha, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Castle Oaks, Calabasas, CA; Circle House, Miami; Hit Factory, Miami; Nadir, Madrid; Today's Music Studios, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It's not often that tribute albums come with the full endorsement of the tributee, but that's the case with Cristian Castro's Viva el Pr¡ncipe, as it comes with the approval of Jos‚ Jos‚. "The Prince of Song" makes two appearances on Castro's tribute, singing on the opening "Lo Pasado Pasado" and reciting the closing "Poema al Cantante." His spirit fills the rest of the album, thanks in part to production from longtime Jos‚ Jos‚ associate Rafael P‚rez Botija, but Castro is fully responsible for the sense of tradition as he delivers this material with respect. That doesn't keep him from pouring his heart into the songs, and since mimicry isn't an issue in the least, Viva el Pr¡ncipe winds up a tribute that will please fans of either artist. ~ David Jeffries