“Paseotranslates as “walk,” “stroll,” or “passage.” The music on this album is a “paseo” or stroll through time, remembering the gaze of time, the pace and the passing of time. It is a paseo in honor of family, friends, life, tradition. saints, and the Spirit. And also you, our audiences. It is a passage or search for things that obligate, that help us grow, recall, forget, love, adore, and endure. It is about my passage, my quest, and my growth, both musically and as a human being. And it is about a joyous, carefree stroll with my dog, “Paseo con Fula,” the newest member or my family: my admirer, protector, and silent partner in observing life and the everyday follies by which we are surrounded: In this recording ,”Paseo con Fula,” we have gone for a stroll through the past, without nostalgia but with curiosity, wearing the attrtudes and prejudices that a=mpany us today, hopefully seeing, hearing, and understanding with clear eyes, ears, and mind. The “New Cuban Quartet” brings back one of the most prolific and successful groups of my past, but with young, creative musicians who give fresh, rich interpretations to new and old tunes, all of which resonate with meaning to me. I invite you to search for and enjoy their detail and fullness. “EI Guerrillero” (The Soldier) and “Los Buyes,” (The Oxen) both derive fromCuban folklore and are songs with themes of great spiritual meaning in Afro-Cuban culture. They draw ironic attention today to the warrior-spirit and ever-growing materialism of our culture. I have long admired the work of Hilario Gonzalez, a late twentieth-century Cuban composer whose music I played while still in high school as an antidote to too much Mozart and Beethoven. Here I use his “Preludio en Conga, #1” as a catapult into a wonderfully free-flowing quartet excursion in which Armando and Felipe, especially, really soar. “Bottoms Up,” “Sea Change,” and “Meanwhile” are totally new conceptualizations of material composed and recorded earlier in my career, which still sound contemporary and very connected to what we are doing right now. Likewise “Santo Canto” can be found in an earlier recording, and its hauntingand provocative melodies fit well with the spiritual elements found in many other tunes on this CD. “Quasar,” as reflected by the length of the cut, has a special place in my heart. It is a composition which was huge when first conceived as “Supernova II,” but it has grown and evolved into aim entity with a structure which invites continued reinvention. Hopefully we are beyond nostalgia on this “Paseo.” We have visited the best of the past with curiosity and a willingness to change and recreate. Love beyond grief, strength and wisdom beyond fatigue and emptiness, sustain me today. May you find something in this music that will chang life for the better.

GONZALO RUBALCABA