Live At The Village Vanguard
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|Audio CD, September 30, 2008||
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Bebo Valdés is the last remaining giant from the Golden Age of Cuban music. In 1952 he recorded for American producer Norman Granz the first Cuban Jazz jam session in Havana. His big band, Sabor de Cuba, was one of the island's finest. Additionally, he was pianist for the Tropicana orchestra, and music consultant for the fabled cabaret. He performed on Nat King Cole's best-selling album Cole Español, and taught the American vocalist how to sing in Spanish. Mr. Valdés was the Quincy Jones of his day, writing charts for the island's top vocalists, including Olga Guillot, Rolando Laserie, Celeste Mendoza, Fernando Alvarez, Xiomara Alfaro, Celia Cruz, Pío Leyva and Beny Moré. Along with René Hernández, Chico O'Farrill and Pérez Prado, Mr. Valdés is widely considered to be one of mambo's signature arrangers. His own rhythm, batanga, featured the sacred Afro-Cuban batá drums for the first time in a big band setting, and was considered to be years ahead of its time.
Mr. Valdés left Cuba in 1960 and worked briefly in Mexico and Spain as music director for a variety of singers (Lucho Gatica) and labels (Hispavox), before touring Europe with The Havana Cuban Boys. It was on that tour, in 1963, that he met his current wife in Stockholm. He raised a family in Sweden and slowly faded from the limelight, touring the Arctic Circle and playing piano bars. It was Paquito D'Rivera who coaxed him back to the recording studio in 1994 for the comeback album, Bebo Rides Again, setting in motion one of the most remarkable third acts in music history.
Mr. Valdés was one of the featured artists in Fernando Trueba's 2000 Latin Jazz documentary, Calle 54, where he performed memorable duos with Cachao and son Chucho, of Irakere fame. While in New York, he recorded El Arte Del Sabor, which earned him his first two Grammys. Two years later came Lágrimas Negras, his million-selling record with Flamenco vocalist Diego "El Cigala". To date, Mr. Valdés has won a total of 7 Grammys (2 American and 5 Latin). His current U.S. release, Live At The Village Vanguard, recorded with Spanish bassist Javier Colina, is presently nominated for a Latin Grammy.
Mr. Valdés turned 90 on October 9th, 2008.
Top customer reviews
I was absolutely amazed by his technique, his swing and his joy in making music.
Once at home after the concert I found this CD in Amazon and I said to myself: These two men together must be dynamite.
And they really are, not in the sense of a sound explotion but of intelligence, delicacy, good taste and mutual understanding.
Bebo Valdes needs no introduction. His amazing touch is always tender, never hammering the piano even in the most turbulent passages.
Colina is the new monster of tne bass. He is evidently at ease with the latin touch but also capable of making a breathtaking solo in "Yesterdays" wich has nothing to do with latin music.
This recording is absolutely amazing, two great artists combining his talents to produce a emotional performance. Bebo is great but Javier Colina not only support the piano player but also enhances the "total" result introducing outstanding bass solos. Together Bebo and Colina great sound show how well they complement each other creating music that is more beautiful than the sum of its parts.
It is a live recording but very clear and well engineered. A recording to keep forever as Bebo recently passed away. A great loss to latin and jazz music.
All reviews are well written except for one U.S. reviewr, who wrote "that this is just an old man hitting a Piano" this reviewr needs his share of "RICE & BEANS" or just maybe go to an ENT doctor.
Couldnt disagree more with him , this is an excellent album , Bebo is eloquent and elegant (AS ALWAYS) without having to proff anything to nobody.
the surprise is their colaboration as DUO and JAVIER COLINA (a Monster of Rythym, Cachao most be in heaven dancing to javiers Bass) Colina is, another giant , wich Ive had the pleasure of listening to for the first time.
EXQUISITE , ELEGANT , JAZZ AT THEIR BEST FROM TWO MASTERS