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• 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. Bauza used the band’s three trumpets to achieve piercing climaxes, while the saxophone section offered lush harmonies and counterpoint. They also made history by boasting a percussion section that for the first time combined timbales, conga and bongó (instruments hitherto associated with disparate strains of Cuban music) to explosive effect.
• Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Stan Kenton, George Shearing and Cal Tjader were among the prominent North American jazz musicians who drew heavily on Latin rhythms and were attracted to the Machito band.
• 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.
2. VAYA NINA
4. CLEOPATRA RUMBA (DESERT DANCE)
5. LIORRA TIMBERO
7. OBOE MAMBO
9. MAMBO INN
10. MAMBO MUCHO MAMBO
11. MAMBO AMERICA
12. ASIA MINOR
13. NO ME MOLESTO
14. TIBIRI TABARA
17. MINOR RAMA
18. BRAZILIAN SOFT SHOE
20. COISA NOVA
21. THE AFRO CUBAN JAZZ SUITE
(INTRODUCTION / CANCION / MAMBO / TRANSITION / INTRODUCTION TO 6/8 /
6/8 TRANSITION AND JAZZ / RUMBA ABIERTA – PART 1 / CODA)
22. MACHITO – Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
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