Juanito Márquez (g), Nilo Argudín (tp), Rafael Somavilla (p), Guillermo Barreto (d), Pedro Gómez, Pacho Alonso (vcl)
Reference: CCD 518
Bar code: 8427328205184
Juanito Marquez was one of the finest guitarists, arrangers and composers that Cuba has produced and his numerous boleros and songs were performed by some of the top-name filinistas of the day. He was a modest and peculiar artist who first became known for a dance number. This tune turned him into a star in 1964. "Arrimate pa¹ca" was a joropo number the Hermanos Aviles had first played at the Círculo Social en Holguin in early 1964 and was played during the carnival parties held in Holguín by the Orquesta Aragon, who made it popular around Havana.
Throughout his extraordinary career, the guitarist Juanito Marquez recorded with a number of different people: the Orchestra Riverside and Bebo Valdes in Cuba and later, after 1969, whilst in exile in Spain, his career took on a more international aspect. After having recorded some very personal discs that unfortunately went almost unnoticed, he worked with Julio Iglesias, Massiel, Raphael and Mari Trini, among others, and also accompanied the Mocedades vocal group on guitar. In Miami, from 1976 onwards, he collaborated with big names in Latin music, like Jose Feliciano, Jon Secada, Albita and Gloria Estefan. His name also appeared on various jazz recordings.
"This stuff is wild, period. Marquez, a guitarist who recorded this collection in 1964 in Havana, mixes jazz, rock and country with Cuban music. If Ry Cooder's productions with Manuel Galban have a precedent, it's this stuff. And the music is often great, if one likes the sort of guitar eccentricity of the Speedy West/Jimmy Bryant country guitar duos of the United States; placed in a montuno setting you get a bizarre, electric combination supercharged with cultural banging. Also, the music is often wonderful. "Arrimate Pa Ca," a joropo, was a big hit, and the band included Pacho Alonso singing. The liner notes talk about other albums Marquez, who ended up in Miami working with Jon Secada etc, recorded, and I can't wait until they're reissued, too. Highly Recommended."
Peter Watrous (May, 2003)
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