345

Paquito D'Rivera: Tropicana Nights

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
With the nouveau swing revival grabbing so much headline space recently, some may not have noticed that the rhythmically dynamic music of Latin America is more widespread and assertive than ever within the confines of norteamericana. Those who remember fondly its earlier incarnations in this country, spearheaded by bands led by Xavier Cugat, Desi Arnaz, Perez Prado and others, should welcome with open arms and ears this warmhearted tribute by saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera’s ensemble to Havana’s legendary Tropicana nightclub, which was the place for contemporary Latin / American music before Castro’s communist revolution clamped down on anything beyond the pale of accepted Marxist philosophy and thought. There are times when the spirit of Prado burns brightly, as on the opening “Mambo a la Kenton,” written by Armando Romeu Jr., who served for 25 years as leader of the Tropicana Jazz band; veteran Chico O’Farrill’s “El Coronel y Marina,” or the legendary Mario Bauza’s “Mambo Inn.” Another Cuban legend, Ernesto Lecuona, is represented by his lovely ballad “Siboney” (sung by Brenda Feliciano). Ernesto Duarte wrote “Cicuta Tibia,” “Sustancia” and “Como Fue,” Juanito Marquez contributed “Old Miami Sax,” D’Rivera “Tropicana Nights” and “Chucho” (for the renowned pianist Chucho Valdes), and Jesus Guerra, Wolfe Gilbert, Moises Simon and Marion Sunshine collaborated on “A Mi Que / El Manisero” (sung by Lucrecia, as is “Como Fue”). While Jazz is an ever–present component of the album (with a number of respectable but uncredited solos by D’Rivera and others), the emphasis is on danceable music by the full ensemble that evokes the convivial and forward–looking atmosphere of pre–revolutionary Havana. A pity that has been lost, perhaps forever, but helpful that D’Rivera’s orchestra can at least furnish a glimpse of what it must have been like in the good old days.

Track listing: Mambo a la Kenton; Chucho; Cicuta Tibia; Siboney; Old Miami Sax; Tropicana Nights; Sustancia; Como Fue; El Coronel y Marina; Mambo Inn; A Mi Que / El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor) (49:32).

Personnel:

Ray Santos, musical coordinator; Paquito D

| Record Label: Chesky Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package" CD/LP/Track Review Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "WAHOO!" CD/LP/Track Review WAHOO!
by Greg Simmons
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Never Group" CD/LP/Track Review Never Group
by Mark F. Turner
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!