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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bebo Valdes & Javier Colina: Live At The Village Vanguard

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The comparison between pianists Bebo Valdés and his son Chucho Valdés could be likened to the choice of the Beatles (Bebo) to the Rolling Stones (Chucho). A more likely frame of reference would be Bebo as the Cuban version of Hank Jones and Chucho that of Don Pullen.Like Jones, Bebo started as an accompanist, only to shine as a soloist in his later years. Now nearly 90, his music just seems to get better and better. This session is his recording at the Village Vanguard, the jazz mecca in New York. Accompanying Valdés is his favorite bassist, Javier ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bebo Valdes and Frederico Britos: We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together

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A more apt title would be hard to find for this intriguing piano/violin excursion into the music of the Americas. And the music could hardly be placed in more talented hands. Bebo Valdés is not only a giant of Cuban music, he is a giant of the jazz piano, period. Though perhaps not as widely known, Uruguayan violinist Frederico Britos has won Grammys for work with Charlie Haden and Israel “Cachao Lopez. His virtuoso performance on this album confirms he richly deserves his place in such company.

This is music of the Americas broadly conceived. Selections range from the title ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bebo Valdes & Frederico Britos: We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together

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Bebo Valdes and Federico Britos are an inspired pairing. Valdes, who has been living in Stockholm since 1963, is one of the prime figures of Cuban jazz. The pianist made his biggest impact in the '40s and '50s, before he left the country in 1960. He kept to himself until 1994, when he emerged from his cocoon to record again. Among his recordings was the solo piano effort Bebo (Calle 54, 2006), which won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album last year.

Britos has familiarized himself with jazz and Cuban music. The violinist went to Cuba ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bebo Valdes: Bebo

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Bebo Valdés Bebo Calle 54 2006

Bebo Valdés is more than the ranking patriarch of Cuban pianists: he is a living archive of the piano literature of Cuba, as this eponymously titled release amply demonstrates. More than simply a solo album--amazingly, his first ever--this release is a comprehensive survey of the grand sweep of Cuba's piano canon, a rich and storied tradition to which Valdés is heir and guardian.

Valdés (b. 1918) has only recently garnered renown outside Cuba, largely as a result of his appearance in the Fernando Trueba film Calle ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bebo Valds: Bebo de Cuba

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This landmark set superbly documents the wide ranging talents of one of Cuba's greatest artists--expatriate pianist/composer/arranger Bebo Valdés--in the company of an impressive cast of New York's finest Latin jazz instrumentalists. The first disc, Suite Cubana, features the pianist, father of the more famous Chucho Valdés, leading an all-star big band through a collection of original compositions that revisit the classic sound of the golden age of Cuban music in a variety of infectious rhythms (mambo, bembé, son, guaracha, guajira, montuno, batanga, and comparsa) laid down by Valdés, Edgardo Miranda, John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, Milton Cardona, Joe Gonzalez, and Rickard ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Bebo Valdes & Diego el Cigala: Blanco Y Negro

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Bebo Valdes & Diego el CigalaBlanco Y Negro Bluebird 2005

I may fall out of favor with my fellow Americans expressing admiration for cultures much older and well, certainly more developed then ours. You disagree? Did you catch more then five minutes of the latest addition of the Grammy Awards? What passes for 'art' or more importantly what sells millions of copies is slightly more challenging than potty training.

OK, all you MTV fans set aside your bitches, gold necklaces, Lamborginis, and lip synching for a moment. We are going to take ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bebo Valdes: El Arte Del Sabor

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Traditional Cuban music brings a festive mood to any performance. It's music for dancing and it also allows plenty of room for the artists to improvise. Three legendary Cuban artists share equally on this session to reminisce about the development of Latin jazz and its relationship to traditional music. Each is in fine form. Since it's a trio session, Bebo Valdes, Cachao and Patato Valdes are heard individually, clearly and distinctly throughout. Traditional pieces by Ernesto Lecuona, Manuel Corona, Julio Cueva, Eliseo Grenet, Rafael Hernández and others ring familiar. Dance forms such as bolero, mambo, son, guaracha and conga invite ...



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