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1. Congo Mulence - Machito & His Orchestra
2. El Sabroson - Poncho Sanchez
3. Rumdrum - Tómas R. Einarsson
4. Cha Cha Cha - Tito Puente
5. La Clave, Maraca Y Guiro - Chico Alvarez
6. Summertime - Ray Baretto
7. Steppin' with T.P. - Hilton Ruiz
8. Cuando Se Acababra - Manny Oquendo & Libre
9. Trompeta en Montuno - Chocolate Armenteros
10. Guajira Dubois - The Brian Lynch / Eddie Palmieri Project
Putumayo continues its exploration into the sounds of the Latin diaspora by its first jazz-focused collection. One of the most familiar jazz genres, Latin jazz has achieved global popularity since big bands in the 1940s and 50s started incorporating Afro-Cuban sounds into their arrangements. This mixture of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz stylings comes together on Latin Jazz, a lively collection of songs by masters of the genre. Latin Jazz features legends Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri and others.
You can't really go wrong with a compilation of Latin Jazz, especially when it features some of the most important musicians in the genre's history. Putumayo has produced many such compilations - ''Nuevo Latino'', ''Baila'', and they bill this as a continuation of their exploration into the sounds of the Latin diaspora.
In the 1940s and 50s many big bands in the USA incorporated Afro-Cuban sounds into their music, and many Latin musicians enjoyed popularity and influence.
Machito was a central figure, founding the Afro Cubans in 1940, and going some way to forming that diaspora. His track ''Congo Mulence'' opens the album with a cinematic feel and the unmistakeable sound of Cannonball Adderley on alto.
And speaking of congos, Poncho Sanchez gives a masterclass in track 2, ''El Sabroson'' which brings you into a more familiar Cuban arrangement, with the simple repeated vocal parts that make it so recognisable. Sanchez is regarded as one of the best congueros of all time, and this track gives you some idea.
Also featured is Eddie Palmieri who was famous for incorporating jazz influences into the Latin music crazes of the sixties. We get some idea of this with Guajira Dubois, actually from a project Palmieri founded with trumpeter Brian Lynch, which picked up a grammy in 2007 for the album Simpatico.
Naturally Tito Puente gets a track in there - ''Cha Cha Cha''. Puente plays the timbales, and was instrumental in bringing Mambo and Cha Cha Cha to mainstream audiences in the 50s.
My favourite track is ''La Clave, Maraca y Güiro'' with its creeping big band welly, and slightly mournful tones in the vocal chorus.
But there's not a bad track on this album - if you want an introduction to the unchallenging, feelgood vibe of Latin big band rhythms, you have an easy way in right here. --David Labi
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
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on 30 January 2011
Format: Audio CD
Heard this cd years ago in a cuban restaurant in Cornwall!!! - have been carrying round the name in my wallet ever since. Really good - everything you expect from this label, cool and groovy. Delivery was quick, highly recommend this cd.
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