Machito (lead, maracas), Doc Cheatham, Joe Newman, Francis Williams, Frank 'Paquito' Davila (tp), Eddie Bert, Sonny Russo, Curtis Fuller, Rex Peer (tb), Cannonball Adderley, Joe Livramento, José Madera, Ray Santos, Herbie Mann, Johnny Griffin (reeds), René Hernández (p), Roberto Rodríguez (b), Candido, Carlos Patato Valdés, José Mangual, Ubaldo Nieto, Jose Silva (perc), Mario Bauzá (cond)
Reference: BMCD 859
· Collectors Edition
· Issued in Digipack
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art and Liner Notes
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
In these two albums, Machito combined all the elements needed to bring the true meaning of Afro-Cuban jazz music to the listener. Kenya is a collection of original tunes composed by A.K. Salim, and by pianist René Hernández along with Mario Bauzáthe bands musical director. The incredible bite of the brass in this album, paired with the rhythmic freedom carried by the congas, bongos, timbales, guiros, claves and maracas, are what really make the band and featured soloists shine.
Among them are arresting solos by Cannonball Adderley on alto sax and Joe Newman on trumpet, both at their best, and a remarkably crisp performance by the under-rated trumpeter, Doc Cheatham, on Chano Pozos classic Tin Tin Deo, the only tune not written for this album.
The second album, With Flute to Boot (aka Afro-Jazziac), also emphasises the colorful percussion employed in a varied ranges of rhythms, enhanced by Machitos powerful brass section. All the material here was written and arranged by the featured flutist, Herbie Mann. Not only is his talent as a flutist always evident, but throughout, his keen awareness of authenticity also marks this album as a unique jazz accomplishment. Along the way, Johnny Griffin on tenor and Curtis Fuller on trombone are given enough room to grace almost every piece with emotionally strong improvisations.
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