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Face it, when it comes to authentic Cuban music, we are all just lurkers. Sure, you’re a fan of Dizzy Gillespie’s Cuban-jazz, but Dizzy and his import musicians, Chano Pozo and Mario Bauza, infused jazz with the feel of Cuba. It was, and is, glorious music, but it is a type of fusion. In recent times Cuban-Jazz is reemerging on major jazz labels with the likes of Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, percussionist Ray Barretto and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera. Ry Cooder’s trip to the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana discovered (rediscovered) a vast talent pool of Cuban musicians including Ruben Gonzales and Ibrahim Ferrer. I’m still not sure what Steve Coleman’s Cuban collaboration record, Transmissions of Metaphysics Culture was all about.
This authentic document was not smuggled off of Castro’s Island, nor was it traded for that nine year old boy making headlines. It was recorded in California utilizing the finest Cuban musicians living here and in Cuba. The musicians include; Al McKibbon bassist for both Dizzy Gillespie and George Shering, Pianist Chucho Valdes whose 1999 release for Blue Note received critical acclaim, Cubanismo members Carlos Del Puerto, Jr. and Maraca Valle, Grammy winner and killer trombonist Jimmy Bosch, 83 year-old vocalist Pio Leiva, and several young Cuban lions. From Romantic ballads to fiery dance numbers, the musicians give us not “world music,” but distinctly Cuban music. No wonder Dizzy and so many others incorporated these sounds into our modern American vocabulary.
Track List:Romanza Guajira; Una Rumba Con Dos Tres; Chucho Carabali; Rica Y Caliente; Afrekete Suite; Anga Y Jimmy; Solo Y Triste; La Comparsa.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.