Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Latin Music
In the 25 years since its foundation, the Cuban fusion group Irakere has become a musical franchise. The names have changed--some members, including reedman and cofounder Paquito D'Rivera, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and re... more »
In the 25 years since its foundation, the Cuban fusion group Irakere has become a musical franchise. The names have changed--some members, including reedman and cofounder Paquito D'Rivera, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and reedman Carlos Averhoff, have since defected; others, like reedman Jose Luis Cortes and flutist Orlando "Maraca" Valle have gone on to lead their own groups--but Irakere remains. Throughout, the group, anchored by cofounder pianist-arranger-composer Jesus "Chucho" Valdés, has not only balanced roots with technology, tradition with innovation, but also, more pragmatically, the demands of dance floor with jazz experimentation. Babalu Aye's program includes dance music, a rock fusion update of Ernesto Lecuona's "La Comparsa," and the suitelike, religious Afro-Cuban title track. The dance songs--featuring serviceable Jose Miguel on vocals, with jazz-flavored arrangements and virtuoso soloing over tight grooves--have flair and substance. The centerpiece of this release however, is the 14-minute "Babalu Aye." It features religious akpon (lead singer) Lazaro Ros and the music here is as sober and stark (mostly voice and drums) as the other tracks are exuberant. It makes this CD a rare, compact package of music for the feet and soul. --Fernando Gonzalez
Irakere plays salsa on this Grammy nominated CD
Bruce A. Ishikawa | Marlborough, MA USA | 02/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Is it me? Or is Latin music going through an unprecedented fermentation? Cuban son leads to New York Salsa. Cuban son leads to Latin jazz. Cuban son, Latin jazz and New York Salsa combine in Havana to produce Songo or Cuban Salsa. Round and round it goes, with walls coming down all over the place. Irakere came on the scene in the late '70s with a style of Latin jazz that incorporated soaring jazz brass with quite traditional Cuban rhythms, and punctuated by electric guitars and a funky bass. In the years since, Irakere music has been characterized by a hot jazz sound with a very danceable beat. Now comes "Babalu Ayé", Irakere's latest CD in which they close a circle of sorts. Most of the songs on this album are Salsa Cubana, some sounding very much like the original NY salsa of years past. But of course, salsa with the Irakere flair: electric guitars with the distortion cranked up coming in and out; the horn section playing tightly, then loosening considerably in the solos, putting little relaxed ornaments around each phrase, then suddenly tightening up again; the whole band chanting phrases in unison. Then after plenty of straight-ahead Salsa Cubana, the CD is finished off with a mighty rumba. Lazaro Ros, accompanied by bata drums, a coro singing responses and the occasional Irakere instrumental, sings the story of healer Babalu Ayé, taking us back to the African traditions that still live on in Cuba, perhaps more strongly than in any other African-based community in the Americas. Irakere has always stayed close to their Afro-Cuban roots. Now on "Babalu Ayé" they also pay homage to another, much more urban source of the Irakere sound. This CD provides a very satisfying picture of the contrasts that make Afro-Latin music so rich."
Irakere's smoking CD,,
morales140 | mount vernon, new york. | 10/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Irakere has always been one of my favorate cuban groups this CD is definitely one of almong others, that let's you hear how beautiful latin music really is...."