Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cuban Love Song
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
Xavier Cugat: The Best of RCA Recordings
Sammy Somekh | Ramat-Gan Israel | 07/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Xavier Cugat's formative years at RCA culminated with the great sides of 1939 and, especially, 1940. During those two years, Cugat's orchestra attained an individual, unmistakable sound--the aspiration and hallmark of all great big bands as opposed to the run-of-the-mill "studio band" sound. The combination of violins, brass and reeds and, above all, the ubiquitous marimba, at times soloing at others hovering discreetly in the background, endow this band with its distinctive, tropical "voice". The rhythm section during those years was closer to its raw Latin roots than it would be following Cugat's switch to Columbia after 1940. And this CD contains some real gems. "Siboney" is, to these ears, the best interpretation ever of this tune thanks to its perfect blend of excellent music and rhythm: after the flute's intro, the violins state the theme, followed by the reeds, valve trumpet, piano and marimba supported by fine bongo drumming. Then, after the feverish beat of the congas amd maracas, the brass bursts in, leading us full circle back to the flute's haunting fadeout into the jungle. "Green Eyes", a rumba, is likewise full of sound and then, towards the end, the band unexpectedly switches to a hot guaracha beat with the orchestra members' vocal refrain abetted by a tasteful, tropical flute solo. "Batucada", perhaps, best illusrates the fruition of the orchestra's ensemble sound--to the surging samba beat. And the list goes on... Cugat's best singers are also featured here: from Lena Romay to Machito, Miguelitto Valdes and Bobby Capo. In short, this CD is warmly recommended. It should be noted that this music does not belong to the genre that seeks to assert itself through the sheer aggressive volume of blaring trumpets, tooting saxes and an ear-blasting rhythm section. Cugat's is subtle music with inflections and nuances that appeal not only to dancers but to listeners as well."