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Somebody wrote a lyric to Dizzy Gillespies "Manteca" that repeats the chant "we always go back to Dizzywe always go back." Indeed we do. Gillespies bebop/Cuban music hybrid, cubop, came at the perfect time in New York. Gillespie, who never took credit for the fusion, only for promoting it through his popularity, championed his Chinese music bebop, and Chano Pozo and Mario Bauzas Cuban Rhythms. Fast forward to the 21st centurys mining of Buena Vista Social Club and the popularity of Cuban artists such as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paquito DRivera, and Ruben Gonzalez. The time is ripe once again for this very multicolored and emotional music.
Drummer Bobby Sanabrias Afro-Cuban Dream, a 19-piece big band, is reliving the fusion of Bebop and Cuban music: the music of Sanabrias former employers Dizzy Gillespie, Mario Bauza, and Tito Puente. His degree from the Berklee School of Music may give him credibility in the academic world, but his swinging arrangements give him a hot street reputation. Recorded live at Birdland, his big band plies funk rhythms to Cuban and American music. This isnt a cubop repertory band, because no one has yet caught up with what Dizzy/Mario/Chano and others were doing in the 1940s and 50s. Sanabria just catches hold of the rhythms and rides party music to its enjoyable conclusions. Highlights include a mambo remake of Charlie Parkers "Donna Lee" with a tight super sax arrangement behind Philip Michael Mossmans searing trumpet. Mossman, a hard bop devotee, has found his rightful place with Latin grooves, standing out here and in the bands of Ray Barretto and Mario Bauza. Also remarkable is the fourteen-minute rendition of "Manteca" with the legendary Candido manning the congas and John Stubblefield sitting in on tenor. Then there is the percussion coming from every direction. Sanabria knows how to move your ass. Like Charlie Mingus, Sanabria commands the Clave by his rhythm will. Sure to be in my top ten albums for 2000, there are too many highlights to mention. A must for fans of Cubop, bebop, Latin, jazz and world music.
Track List:The Opening; Mosscode; Angel Eyes; Nuyorican Son; Olokun/Yemaya; Adios Mario; The Troubadours; Donna Lee; Manteca.
Personnel: Bobby Sanabria Drums, Akpwon, Morua Vocals; Wilson Chembo Corniel Congas; Roberto Quintero Bongo, Cencerro, Shekere; Hiram El Pavo Remon Maracas, Guiro Macho, Shekere, Vocals; John di Martino Piano; Boris Kozlov Bass; Karolina Strassmayer Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Vocals; Gene Jefferson Alto Saxophone, Guataca, Vocal; Peter Brainin Tenor Saxophone; Jay Collins Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute; Ricardo Pons Baritone Saxophone, Shekere, Vocals; Michael Philip Mossman Trumpet; John Walsh Trumpet, Vocals; Tim Ouimette Trumpet; Tanya Darby Trumpet; Dr. Chris Washburne Trombone, Guataca, Clave, Vocals; Barry Olsen Trombone, Guataca, Vocals; Joe Fiedler - Trombone; Dan Levine Trombone; John Stubblefield Tenor Saxophone; Candido Camero Congas.