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The Latin Jazz Sides

Chucho Valdés

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Album Review

A true giant of Cuban music, Chucho Valdés has also been one of the world's top jazz pianists during the past few decades. Doble Gigante has a strong sampling of his work from several different time periods. The opening "Chorrino" is a trio outing from 1997 and there are three quartet showcases from 1965 that show that Valdés had his own original style from early in his career. The remainder of this CD is from 1978. "Este Camino Largo" is an excellent duet with altoist Paquito d'Rivera, and "Mambo Influenciado" puts trumpeter Arturo Sandoval in the spotlight. The other eight selections feature Irakere, the Cuban jazz and world music group that Valdés founded and led for many years. Some of the selections are danceable salsa rather than jazz, but there are also some stirring performances along with a generous sampling of Valdés' piano. While not for completists, Doble Gigante serves as an excellent introduction to the music and playing of Chucho Valdés.


Born: 09 October 1941 in Quivican, Cuba

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Chucho Valdes is a highly accomplished and influential figure in the world of Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz. Born in Quivican in 1941, Valdes is the son of the similarly influential Cuban bandleader Bebo Valdes from whom Chucho first received piano lessons. Having exhibited musical talent from a young age, Valdes eventually enrolled in the Municipal Music Conservatory of Havana, graduating at age 14. Inspired by such jazz pianists as Art Tatum and Thelonious...
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The Latin Jazz Sides, Chucho Valdés
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