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Artist: Cubop City Big Band
Label: Radio Netherlands
This is the second installment by the Cubop City Big Band for Radio Netherlands to showcase a very influential artist in Latin Jazz. In this case, the focus is on Cuban legend Arsenio Rodriguez. Rodriguez was a huge influence dating back to the thirties where he dug back in Latin son history to emphasize the African-derived elements that the popularized Latin had simplified or omitted. The base of his music was the rhythm section, usually including bongos, congas, bass, campana, tres and piano. The sound was further expanded by the skillfully arranged and song-driving horn section as well as a focus on chorus. Every song on this album is fun, not to mention it doubles as an essential Cuban history lesson. Michael Ardaiolo