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Initiated five years ago and dedicated solely to issuing Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz, CuBop now has over 30 releases in its catalog. Their sampler, a full hour and twenty minutes, represents items from the past as well as the near future. The spicy contribution from Columbus, Ohio’s Afro-Rican Ensemble made its way to the compilation directly from a demo. At the other end of the spectrum, the Har You Percussion Group was formed by the Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited program that was spawned in the mid-1960s. Other leaders and bands represented: Mark Weinstein’s Cuban Roots (revisited) ensemble, Francisco Aguabella, Papo Vázquez, Bobby Matos, Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers, Johnny Blas, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, and Britain’s Snowboy.
Highlights include: a hot arrangement of "The Last Dynasty" with Papo Vázquez, Willie Williams and Arturo O’Farrill; an exciting vocal feature for percussionist Davide Giovannini, "Tierra Va Tamblar," that includes Paul Jayashinha’s bold and brassy trumpet; a mellow vocal anthem, "The Creator Has A Master Plan," sung in English by Darrell Harris and in Spanish by Bobby Matos; and an even mellower "Philadelphia" by Matos’ 10-piece ensemble from his Footprints album that spotlights Michael Turre’s rip-roaring flute lead and Louis Taylor’s luscious tenor saxophone interlude. Recommended, CuBop’s sampler is a great way to get acquainted with the aforementioned artists and to select your own favorites.
Track Listing: Malanga; Asi Son Bronco; The Last Dynasty; The Creator Has A Master Plan; Descarga On Las Palmas; Little Sunflower; Tierra Va Tamblar; Descarga Iyaw
Personnel: Michael Turre, Allen Ray, Melecio Magdaluyo- flute; Mark Weinstein- alto flute, C flute; Charles Owens- flute, tenor saxophone; Ron Stallings- soprano saxophone; Eddie Pazant, Nelson Sanamiago- alto saxophone; Willie Williams, Keith Newton, Gary Plumley, Louis Taylor- tenor saxophone; Kim Pensyl, Stafford Osborne Jr., Joffre Marchand, Paul Jayashinha, Ramon Flores- trumpet; Arturo Velasco, Isaac Smith, Dan Weinstein, Steve Baxter, Paul Taylor, Wayne Wallace, Kerry Loeschen, Humberto Ruiz, Edwin Blas, Papo V
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.