Friday, April 10, 2020

Chico O’Farrill: The Afro-Cuban Jazz Suites 1 and 2

Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill, who was born in Cuba in 1921, decided to follow family tradition and enter into law practice. But before he could...

Rubén González: Introducing Rubén González

It is one of those travesties of justice that some of Cuba’s greatest musicians were discovered or re-discovered by adoring audiences worldwide when they...

Dizzy Gillespie y Machito: Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods

Dizzy Gillespie honored his African roots in many ways. His chameleonic writing was a testament to this fact. He also, along with Chano Pozo,...

Horace Silver: Song for my Father

Of all the iconic recordings of the 50’s and 60’s, Horace Silver’s Song for my Father will always be remembered as one of...

Stan Getz-Charlie Byrd: Jazz Samba

The year 2014 marks fifty-two years after the classic album Jazz Samba, was recorded. There is a very good reason for the extraordinary longevity...

Giovanni Hidalgo: Villa Hidalgo

Giovanni Hidalgo is just fifty-two years old, but he has been a professional percussionist for a little over forty years. This is remarkable. Very few percussionists, even those in the rest of...

Herbie Hancock: Inventions & Dimensions

Herbie Hancock was just twenty-three when he recorded this Inventions & Dimensions. The music on the recording, and the fact that Mr. Hancock was...

Machito: Kenya

Far from being the obligatory “essential Latin Jazz” album, Machito’s Kenya escapes this glib epithet by the skin of its teeth. Drumming out the...

Michel Camilo: One More Once

When Michel Camilo recorded One More Once and released the record on Columbia in the Fall of 1994, it created quite a sensation. Not...

Herbie Mann: Flautista

This recording by Herbie Mann is an extremely rare and beautiful disc. Originally recorded in 1959, it has been available as an analogue recording...

The Caribbean Jazz Project: Dave Samuels, Paquito D’Rivera, Andy Narell

This 1995 recording, made on the Telarc label, Heads Up was the debut album for the iconic group, The Caribbean Jazz Project. On the...

Patato y Totico: Patato and Totico

This seminal recording by one of the finest congueros Carlos “Patato” Valdés and Eugenio "Totico" Arango, another great Cuban musical figure, also features two...

Cachao: Master Sessions Volumes I & II

Israel “Cachao” López is one of those larger-than-life figures, a monumental Cuban musician. Although not as famous as Bebo Valdés, he was still one...

Frank Emilio, Guillermo Barreto y su Cuban-Jazz Combo: Drume Negrita

The clave that is pronounced in Afro-Cuban music is almost stealthily present in Jazz and has been lurking secretly in that idiom ever since...

Mongo Santamaría: Mongo at The Village Gate

Mongo Santamaria, more than any other Cuban percussionist, has had a wider appeal across musical idioms and metaphors. His music comes from deep within...

Estrellas de Areito: Los Héroes

Although much of the world was welcoming of Cuba after the Revolution and although many artists did flee the country for a new world of freedom and...

Wayne Shorter: Native Dancer

The ultimate expression of Wayne Shorter’s desire to make a “Brasilian” record is Native Dancer. However it is further from being a “Brasilian” record...

Mongo Santamaria: Our Man in Havana

This superb music from 1956 has an odd footnote at the bottom of my copy, which says “Recorded under the personal supervision of the...

Cal Tjader: Mambo with Tjader

Sixty-five years on this seminal album has been credited as the one Cal Tjader album that set the vibraphonist on a course that put...
Pérez Prado & Shorty Rogers - Voodoo Suite

Pérez Prado & Shorty Rogers: Voodoo Suite

Essential Albums Revisited Who knew that Dámaso Pérez Prado, the “Mambo King”, director of Sonora Matancera between 1936 and 1939, long before he formed his...