Paquito D'Rivera, "Portraits of Cuba," CD, TL-15013.10
Review: Portraits of Cuba
by George Rivera
This latest release from Cuban master musician Paquito D’Rivera, in conjunction with master arranger, composer, conductor Carlos Franzetti, is one of his best to date. This CD covers 100 years of Cuban music. Jose White (“La Bella Cubana”), Cesar Portillo de la Luz (“Tu Mi Dilirio”), Ernesto Grenet (“Drume Negrita”), Ernesto Lecuona (“Como Arrullo De Palmas”), and Ignacio Pineiro (“Echale Salsita”) are all accounted for in this musical portrait. As Paquito states in the liner notes, PORTRAITS OF CUBA is a jazz tribute to the Cuban tradition. Franzetti’s arrangements utilize the wind section of this big band setup as part of the percussion section in the form of counterpoint. The project, which, by the way, was recorded in St. Peter’s Church in NYC in February of this year, really works. The people at Chesky did a great job capturing the acoustics of the church on tape. D’Rivera and Franzetti, two musical giants, some of the best Cuban melodies performed by a cadre of well versed musicians, what more could you possibly ask for? Nothing. Get it, sit back, listen, and enjoy!