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Irakere: Misa Negra

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Album Review

Irakere has been heralded as one of the best big bands in the world. Propelled by a driving rhythm section and potent horn section, this Cuban band won the Latin Grammy Awards in 1979 and 1980. On this 1986 recording, the band sinks its collective teeth into a few originals, including the 17-minute, four-part title track, as well as a cover of Dave Brubeck's "El Duke." In his liner notes, Luis Tamargo states: "The vigor of Irakere lies within each individual performer, and there are no weak loops in the band's musical chain."

Biography

Formed: 1973

Genre: Latino

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

Many of the top Cuban jazz musicians have played in Irakere during the past several decades, including altoist Paquito D'Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval (before both individually defected). Pianist Chucho Valdes has been the orchestra's longtime leader, and its music ranges from Latin jazz and bop to Cuban folk melodies, with an emphasis on infectious rhythms and advanced improvisations. Several of Irakere's records have been made available domestically (including sets for Columbia...
Full Bio

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