Friday 1 March 2019

Playlist (March/April 2019) | Music reviewsª

The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions Various Artists 

(Craft Recordings)

Between 1956 and 1964, the major Cuban record label Panart captured the sounds and descargas — improvised musical jam sessions — of the most innovative native musicians on the island. With the freedom of jazz and the soul of Cuba, this is “a stylistic and historic panorama of Cuban music, from big band son montuno to Afro-Cuban rumba, mambo, cha-cha-chá, and country acoustic guajira music,” as described by compilation label Craft Recordings. This bit of history is here remastered for a new generation and collected in a five-LP box set (five CDs are another option), offering a unique glimpse of the zeitgeist of the nation during and after the Cuban Revolution, which nationalised Cuban culture and record companies. Legends of Cuban music recorded in that loose setting include mambo co-creators (and brothers) bassist Israel “Cachao” and pianist Orestes “Macho” López, alongside jazz drummer Guillermo Barreto and other pioneers. A keepsake for the ages.


  1. These reviews appear in the March/April 2019 issue of Caribbean Beat magazine.
© 2019, Nigel A. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.