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Tropicana Nights by D'Rivera Paquito

Cuban-born, New York-raised alto saxophonist/composer has done more than many musicians hope to in a lifetime. Rivera has composed for symphony orchestras, recorded with musical giants Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Mario Bauza and Astor Piazzola as well as pop singer Gloria Estefan, been a member of the Cuban jazz group Irakere and led his own ensembles. His saxophone style is descended from Charlie Parker, but his reach (and grasp) extends to Coltrane and beyond. TROPICANA NIGHTS is an affectionate, exhilaratingly fun tribute to the "big band era" of Cuba - the dance-bands of yesteryear: who they influenced and who influenced them.

This disc captures an era when "jazz" WAS "pop music," and illustrates the way-cool "overlap" between the Anglo-American big-band era (through the 50s) and Cuban jazz/folk/pop music. From the rousing "Mambo a la Kenton" that kicks off the proceedings to the soaring yet melancholy vocal (by Brenda Feliciano) "Siboney" to the suave, debonair "Old Miami Sax," this NIGHT is loaded with mercurial, passionate saxophone and tight, vibrant expert arrangements (by D'Rivera and the legendary Chico O'Farrill). Mambo, son, bolero, danzon - it's all here, and no one treats any of it like a museum piece. There are eleven tracks, so everybody maintains the dance vibe - as in: all killer, no filler. TROPICANA NIGHTS is a grand-old-time waiting to happen.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: D'Rivera Paquito
  • CD Title: Tropicana Nights
  • Genre: Latin Jazz / Latin Funk
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Record Label: Chesky Jazz
  • Tracks: Mambo a la Kenton, Chucho, Cicuta Tibia, Siboney, Old Miami Sax, Tropicana Nights, Sustancia, Como Fue, El Coronel Y Mariana, Mambo Inn, A Mi Que/El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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