2016 CD collection.
Baritone vocalist, percussionist, bandleader Machito and his brother-in-law, the arranger Mario Bauzá were first to create a musical dialogue between Cuban music and jazz. Bauzá, it was, who in 1938 persuaded Machito to follow him to New York in search of opportunities which were not available at home in Havana. It was a bold move. "If we have to starve, we'll starve together," Bauza wrote. Machito's orchestra - an extraordinary aggregation of gifted, mostly Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians - confounded the stereotypical view of Cuban music as being facile and unsophisticated. They were as good as the very best black American big bands, and more influential than all but a handful of them.
The band's arrangements broke new ground with their use of contrasting rhythmic figures and dynamic contrast. Bauzá's "Tanga," (an African word for marijuana) is the first piece that may be termed Afro-Cuban jazz. Built around a swirl of clashing trumpet and percussion themes, the composition evoked the kind of hypnotic energy that embodied the spirit of mambo. It is the opening number of this edition, an anthology of Machito recordings which span a 15 year period from 1947 and includes the momentous Chico O'Farrill-arranged Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite which has been described as a blueprint for Latin jazz, in the way it combines several rhythmic styles.
|Brand||Cherry Red Records|
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