The most famous (and common) Machito
performances feature his infectious Cuban band welcoming guests from the bebop world. This CD is different, for it has 24 selections from the 1948-1949 period by Machito & His Afro-Cuban Salseros without the assistance of famous names. Utilizing three trumpets (including Mario Bauza
), four saxophones, piano, bass, four percussionists, and the vocals of the leader and Gracilea, the high-powered and always danceable band is heard throughout the CD in prime form. Whether playing originals, updated folk songs, or jazz standards, Machito
's mighty crew was the pacesetter in Latin jazz of the era. This important release gives listeners a strong example of how the Afro-Cuban jazz band probably sounded live in concert.