Number of Discs: 1
Original Release Date: March 22, 1994
The great Cuban band Irakere has been underrecognized only because the United States' trade embargo on Cuba kept the mainstream jazz audience unaware of their existence until 1977. Members of Cuba's reigning big band, the Orquesta Cubana de M?sica Moderna, formed Irakere in 1971. The new group's leaders were virtuosic pianist Chucho Vald?s, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and saxophonist Paquito d'Rivera. After the '77 diplomatic thaw, the band played a U.S. tour and signed with Columbia records. The material here is from the Columbia period, the bulk of which was recorded live in New York in 1979. The band's ability to play complex jazz arrangements with salsa rhythms is a revelation.