From Library Journal
Yanow, author of the successful Swing and Bebop entries of the "Third Ear" series, here tackles Afro-Cuban jazz, a genre born, he claims, from Dizzy Gillespie's collaboration with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. After a lively brief overview, he offers a section of concise biographies that includes the usual suspects like Arturo Sandoval and Tito Puente. Here, Yanow notes that many of the included musicians are Latin American and American, but as they were heavily influenced by Cuba's music and culture, they merited inclusion. Within the biographical entries are listings of recommended recordings on CD. In cases where an artist's music is not yet available on CD, Yanow furnishes out-of-print LPs worth searching for. There is also a "Various Artists" list, a useful way to get a feel for a variety of performers. Readers will especially enjoy the author's illuminating and enjoyable conversations with four Afro-Cuban musicians. Though Yanow's enthusiasm is one of this work's strengths, his penchant for using exclamation points is ultimately distracting. Also, his indexing is questionable. For example, he refers to Louie Bellson's wonderful Ecu /Ritmos Cubanos, which features several outstanding Latin musicians, in percussionist Luis Conte's section. Yet Bellson's record isn't listed under his own name in Yanow's section of prominent jazz musicians who have recorded Afro-Cuban jazz, and neither Bellson nor the album is indexed. His very small annotated list of recommended books demonstrates the lack of written material available to English readers, so even with its flaws, this is valuable. Especially for those unfamiliar with this music, Afro-Cuban Jazz should prove to be an indispensable resource. Recommended for public, academic, and music libraries. William G. Kenz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"An extensive overview of the history and incredible musicians that have developed this exciting music...a rare treat!" -- Susie Hansen, violinist
"This is the largest and most comprehensive book on Afro-Cuban Jazz that Ive ever seen!" -- Poncho Sanchez, congeuero and bandleader