June 14, 2024

Andy Statman

100 Years of Latin Love Songs
Paquito D’Rivera

Take a collection of the best Latin love songs of the last 10 decades, add the talents of one of the jazz world’s most respected reed players, a Grammy Award winning producer and a lot of strings and you come up with one very outstanding result. Paquito D’Rivera’s new release “100 Years of Latin Love Songs” uses this blend to lend a fresh perspective to 100 years of sensual ballads and romantic dance tunes from nine different Hispanic countries by such notable artists as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Alejandro Sanz and actor/singer Ruben Blades.  

Recorded under the guidance of producer/arranger Bob Belden, this work revisits such globally popular tunes as “Ay Ay Ay” and “Acercate Mas” (first introduced to U.S. music fans via Nat King Cole’s rendition titled “Come Closer To Me”). Historical background on each of the disc’s ten songs, plus a brief “tour” of Latin America via maps and fascinating facts about each nation represented (including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) are also included on the enhanced portion of the new CD.

As its full title suggests, Paquito D’Rivera with Strings — 100 Years of Latin Love Songs was recorded with a full string orchestra and features D’Rivera taking turns on clarinet, alto and soprano saxophone. Other musicians lending their talents to the sessions include pianist Dario Eskenazi, bassist Oscar Stagnaro, guitarist Fareed Haque, drummer Mark Walker and percussionist Luis Conte. The diverse instrumentation also includes Aquiles Baez on the cuatro (a Venezuelan guitar) and Roberto Perera on Paraguayan harp.

An icon in the world of Latin jazz, Paquito D’Rivera has recorded more than two dozen albums, including the 1997 Grammy Award-winning “Portraits of Cuba.” Born in Havana, he was one of the most prominent musicians to defect from his homeland following Castro’s rise to power. In recent years, in addition to his work with the Caribbean Jazz Project (with Dave Samuels and Andy Narell), D’Rivera has helmed his own Havana-New York Quintet and Dizzy Gillespie’s famed United Nation Orchestra.

. For more information visit the Heads Up Records Website

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