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In the wake of the moribund condition of the fine Naxos Jazz label, Naxos World pick up the slack with an excellent Cubano jazz release by the famous Cuban expatriate Alfredo Rodriguez. Born in Havana in 1936, Rodriguez percolated in that musical melting pot, assimilating classical and jazz influences until 1960 when he moved to Manhattan where he stayed until he migrated to another Cuban–dense community, Miami, where he lived and worked until 1985. Rodriguez has resided in Paris since that time, where he has been a successful bandleader, arranger and composer.
In the present recording, Rodriguez exposes the listener to different flavors of "Latin Jazz." Guarachon ("Con el sabor de la tierra"), Danzon ("El Niche"), and Guaguanco ("Consuelate") all exist on the palette of Latin music. Ellington’s "Caravan" is Afro-Jazz and "All The things You Are" Latin Jazz. A Descarga, "Pa Gozar" is the longest piece on the record and contains a lengthy quotation (albeit a Latin one" of Miles Davis’ "So What." Rodriguez is a superb pianist and singer and leads a very able band through this recital.
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!