Muy caliente -- essential listening for Cuban music fans!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's tough to do justice to composer-arranger-bandleader Chico O'Farrill's myriad contributions to Latin jazz (& Afro-Cuban music), but one spin of these discs will tell you far more than anything I could write. Cuban Blues is a superb compilation that includes all of Chico's '50s sessions with his own band, (and a bonus cut in his first "Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite" performed by Machito's Afro-Cubans). And here -- in one place -- are impossible-to-find LPs like "Chico O'Farrill's Mambo Dance Sessions." If you love Latin jazz (& Cuban music, too), this is essential listening!"
What a band! This title is the place to start
Porterfiend | Moorestown, NJ | 02/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the review by "a music fan" because Chico O'Farrill has assembled quite a band and the talent is evident. What prospective purchasers should know is that this compilation seeks to be broad rather than deep. If you don't like what you are hearing, the next tune might please you more. If you do like what you have heard, you might not get enough of it on this 2cd set.
Having said that, O'Farrill shows how masterful he was with both Afro-Cuban songs and with the American standards as they liked to hear them in the 1950s. You will hear tight arrangements and some extraordinary solos. The rhythm line is tops and he rates with Puente, Machito, and Cugat - all of whom had greater followings but not necessarily among the players themselves. Find out what you like about him and then search out some of the other recordings that will provide further proof of his substantial talent."
The astonishing blend of Jazz, Cuban and classical influence
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chico O' Farrill dug a huge trench in which concerns to accomplish the legendary sounds of the great bands of the forties that rendered pleasant unforgettable moments, accomplishing a marvellous drift in the establishment of a solid musculature and expansive transcendence of the raising Latin Jazz genre. This band had such swing and accurate conveyance because among other merits, was totally equipped around any fashion current but above all the idiomatic expressiveness that eventually would become them its main landmark.
These early fifties sessions out Chico on the map of the most remarkable pioneers of the Latin Jazz by then, in which the Afro- Cuban roots were basically the veins of these fabulous pieces. The impressive gamut of kaleidoscopic genres were mesmerizing performed with that unerring elegance, spirit pureness and vibrating radiance.
Despite the first CD is fabulous, it explores with major detail, the different insights of the different musical genres (notice for instance, the impressive second Afro-Cuban Jazz suite) the second album is by far, rhythmical than the first one. Since the first track, simply you can't stop to move even your fingers, it's loaded of that characteristic "guataca".
If you really want to have a CD that had captured with major vehemence this fundamental transition moment and besides had featured with such mesmerizing rhythmic elegance, you have come to the right point.
An ageless album.