The influence of Latin and Afro-Cuban music on jazz goes way back, but the mambo craze exploded in the 1950s. The Jazz Orquestas collection is a tasty assortment of performances that sprung forth from this period and paved the way for modern salsa and dance music today.
This compilation contains some widely recognized hits as well as a few more obscure tunes by some of the masters of Cuban dance band, Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz music. Those familiar with this genre might find some of the tracks typical, but the widespread appeal of these classics makes them sure to get anyone’s toes tapping.
From Woody Herman’s collaborations with Charlie Byrd and Tito Puente to Willy Chirino, this well-seasoned assortment of recordings blends together well. It succeeds smashingly in presenting the multiple layers of flavors and textures that are the foundation for Latin dance music and serves as a wonderful primer for those looking to get a taste of mambo music. The styles here run the gamut from the searing percussion of Orquesta Suprema’s Bobby Sanabria to the thrilling flute improvisations of Orquesta Sublime’s Melquiades Fundora. This CD is recommended for those interested in the fusion of Afro-Cuban music with jazz and would make a good addition to any collection.