Bebo Valdes Trio: El Arte Del Sabor
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
When three musicians come together with total command of their instruments and the music they are playing, the results are usually quite satisfying, and when each member of an ensemble sublimates his ego to perform the function the music demands of his instrument the collective is stronger, performing like a well-oiled machine. That is certainly the case with the Bebo Valdes Trio, masters of their instruments and Latin Jazz.
The melodies are simple, the grooves are authentic, the tempos are medium to slow dance, and the solos are melodic and song-like, with a folk music quality to them. Whether it's Cuban (Lamento Cubano) Son (Son De La Loma) Bolero (Bolero Popurri) or Calypso (Priquitin Pin Pon) the music and groove is just right. It's intellectual enough to satisfy musicians and accessible enough for casual listeners and dancers to enjoy. Paquito D'Rivera guests quite nicely on three tracks here, his solos adding a welcome dimension to the trio sound.
This collection is a lesson in Latin music and is highly recommended listening. If you're looking for mind-blowing pyrotechnics and "killer chops" look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a good time, you've come to the right place. Sit back with your favorite senorita, fire up a Cuban cigar, pour some tequila and enjoy this fine Latin music.
Track Listing: Lamento Cubano, Son de la Loma, El Maranon, Bolero Popurri, Priquitin Pin Pon, Negro de Sociedad, Buche & Pluma - Na Ma, El Reloj de Pastora, Conga Popurri, Ogguere, Pare Cochero, Cumbanchero, Si llego a baserte, Guracha Popurri, Romance en La Habana, Route 66, Adios Panama - Para Vigo Me Voy
Personnel: Bebo Valdes, piano, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, bass, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, percussion, Paquito D'Rivera, alto sax, clarinet (tracks 5, 10, 15)
Record Label: Blue Note Records