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Todo Ritmo

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Album Review

This album is another jewel from Bebo Valdés' Havana heyday. It is filled with classic mambo, cha cha, and bolero. The music is filled with the spirit of old Havana and one is taken right back in elegant style to the 1950s. "Mayajigua," a maniacal mambo, is an example of how this band could convincingly cook. "Persian Shah" is a cha cha filled with fiery horn riffs. His version of the classic "Siboney" is tough to top, seamlessly transitioning into a cha cha that is much too short. You want it to continue endlessly. "Siempre Cantando," another fine cha cha on fire, relentlessly burns into a dancer's feet and hips. Most of the tracks contained here were written by maestro Valdés, whose composing skills were complemented by his tight arrangements. Highly recommended for nostalgia and dancing feet.


Born: 1918 in Quivican, Cuba

Genre: Latino

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '90s, '00s

A top-notch pianist/composer/arranger, Bebo Valdés (father of pianist Chucho Valdés) was the musical director of nightclub shows at the Tropicana in Havana by 1948. Very active in the 1950s, Valdés was considered one of the giants of Cuban music, arranging many recordings, composing mambos, and organizing Afro-Cuban jazz jam sessions. He defected from Cuba in 1960 and by 1963 had settled in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1994, after 34 years away from recording, he cut Bebo Rides Again for the Messidor label,...
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Todo Ritmo, Bebo Valdés
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