The Best of Irakere

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
For Latin jazz fans, this is a succinct and nearly complete roundup of Irakere's two North American albums, a brief peek through Cuba's door before politics slammed it shut again for another generation. Irakere is represented by four tracks, including the lengthy, uncut "Black Mass," and Irakere II by six tracks. The live Irakere was an exciting breakthrough, a real advance in the alliance between Afro-Cuban and American jazz that took into account the electronic developments in music since politics isolated Cuba from the U.S. Irakere II, a studio product, is not nearly as startling; the sound and arrangements are slicker, there are strings and voices on some cuts, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
For Latin jazz fans, this is a succinct and nearly complete roundup of Irakere's two North American albums, a brief peek through Cuba's door before politics slammed it shut again for another generation. Irakere is represented by four tracks, including the lengthy, uncut "Black Mass," and Irakere II by six tracks. The live Irakere was an exciting breakthrough, a real advance in the alliance between Afro-Cuban and American jazz that took into account the electronic developments in music since politics isolated Cuba from the U.S. Irakere II, a studio product, is not nearly as startling; the sound and arrangements are slicker, there are strings and voices on some cuts, super-trumpeter Arturo Sandoval was encouraged to show off his pretty tone as well as his fire, and the Cubans even tried to churn out a disco beat on some tracks, negating all of those wild, wonderful Afro-Cuban cross rhythms. Still, there are passages where the more commercially motivated grooves take off, as in the central section of "Ciento Anos De Juventud," and "Xiomara" is a killer in the old Cuban tradition. Interestingly, when Irakere made their belated American comeback at the Playboy Jazz Festival at Hollywood Bowl in 1996, some of their innovative edge was gone, replaced by overt attempts to get the crowd up on their collective feet. All the more reason to cherish this CD -- which has become the only option one has to sample this Cuban band at or nearly at their peak.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972503622
  • Catalog Number: 725036
  • Sales rank: 24,336

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Gira Gira (5:43)
  2. 2 Claudia (6:02)
  3. 3 Ilya (9:17)
  4. 4 Anunga Nunga (6:02)
  5. 5 Ciento Anos de Juventud (7:47)
  6. 6 Aguanile (4:57)
  7. 7 Misa Negra (17:37)
  8. 8 Adagio on a Mozart Theme (5:44)
  9. 9 Xiomara (6:13)
  10. 10 Por Romper el Coco (5:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Irakere Primary Artist
Paquito d'Rivera Saxophone
Arturo Sandoval Trumpet
Chucho Valdés Piano
Carlos Averhoff Flute, Saxophone
Carlos Morales Guitar
Enrique Pla Drums
Oscar Valdés Percussion, Vocals
Jorge Varona Trumpet
Jorge Alfonso Percussion
Armando Cuervo Percussion
Carlos del Puerto Bass, Guitar
Oscar Valdez Percussion, Vocals
Carlos Emilio Morales Guitar
Technical Credits
Paquito d'Rivera Arranger
Chucho Valdés Arranger
Michael Berniker Producer
Bert de Coteaux Producer
Allen Weinberg Art Direction
Nedra Olds-Neal Producer, Reissue Producer
Debra Parkinson Mastering
Paul M. Martin Artwork
Robin A. Vazquez Liner Notes
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