Portraits of Cuba

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Because Paquito D'Rivera is such a compelling improviser, one greets a heavily arranged and orchestrated session like Portraits of Cuba with some apprehension. But as it turns out, such apprehension is unwarranted, for the Cuban saxman/clarinetist still has enough room to solo and say what needs to be said. With this 1996 session, which was arranged and conducted by Carlos Franzetti and finds D'Rivera backed by combinations of up to 14 musicians, D'Rivera envisioned an Afro-Cuban equivalent of Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain -- and, to be sure, there are some parallels. Franzetti's classical-influenced arrangements recall Gil Evans' work with Davis, and D'Rivera paints an...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Because Paquito D'Rivera is such a compelling improviser, one greets a heavily arranged and orchestrated session like Portraits of Cuba with some apprehension. But as it turns out, such apprehension is unwarranted, for the Cuban saxman/clarinetist still has enough room to solo and say what needs to be said. With this 1996 session, which was arranged and conducted by Carlos Franzetti and finds D'Rivera backed by combinations of up to 14 musicians, D'Rivera envisioned an Afro-Cuban equivalent of Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain -- and, to be sure, there are some parallels. Franzetti's classical-influenced arrangements recall Gil Evans' work with Davis, and D'Rivera paints an orchestral jazz picture of Cuba much as Davis painted an orchestral jazz picture of Spain. The key phrase here is "jazz picture" -- D'Rivera approaches famous Cuban songs like Ignacio Pineiro's "Echale Salsita" and Ernesto Lecuona's "Como Arrullo de Palmas" from an instrumental jazz perspective; this is jazz with both Afro-Cuban and classical elements, but it's jazz first and foremost. Recorded in New York around the time of the infamous Blizzard of 1996 -- which dumped up to three feet of snow on parts of the Northeastern U.S. -- Portraits of Cuba is among D'Rivera's most essential recordings.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/14/1996
  • Label: Chesky Records
  • UPC: 090368014528
  • Catalog Number: 145
  • Sales rank: 332,794

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paquito d'Rivera Primary Artist, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Interviewee
Lew Soloff Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Carlos Franzetti Piano, Conductor
David Taylor Bass Trombone
John Clark French Horn
Gustavo Bergalli Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Andres Boiarsky Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Dario Eskenazi Piano
Lawrence Feldman Flute, Alto Saxophone
David Finck Bass
Bob Millikan Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dick Oatts Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Roger Rosenberg Bassoon, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Diego Urcola Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mark Walker Drums
James Pugh Trombone
Thomas Christensen Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Pernell Saturnino Percussion
Allison Brewster Franzetti Piano
Tom Christensen Flute, Tenor Saxophone
David Earl Taylor Bass Trombone
Technical Credits
David Chesky Producer, Liner Notes
Carlos Franzetti Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes
Norman Chesky Executive Producer
Bob Katz Engineer, Mastering
Roger Rosenberg Contributor
Eliseo Grenet Composer
Lisa J. Marks Production Director
Alan Nahigian Session Photographer
Allison Brewster Franzetti Liner Notes, Interviewer
Nicholas Prout Mastering
Ernesto Grenet Composer
Cesar Portillo de la Luz Composer
Jose White Composer
E. Daniel Composer
Eduardo Sanchez De Fuentes Composer
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