Babalu Ayé

Babalu Ayé

by Chucho Valdés


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Babalu Ayé

Irakere came on the scene in the late '70s with a style of Latin jazz that incorporated soaring jazz brass with quite traditional Cuban rhythms, punctuated by electric guitars and a funky bass. In the years since, Irakere music has been characterized by a hot jazz sound with a very danceable beat. Babalu Ayé closes a circle of sorts for Irakere. Most of the songs on this album are salsa Cubana, some sounding very much like the original New York salsa of years past. But of course, it's salsa with the Irakere flair: electric guitars with the distortion cranked up come in and out; the horn section plays tightly, then loosens considerably in the solos, putting a few relaxed ornaments around each phrase, then suddenly tightens up again; the whole band chants phrases in unison. Then after plenty of straight-ahead salsa Cubana, the CD ends with a mighty rhumba. Lazaro Ros, accompanied by bata drums, a coro singing responses, and the occasional Irakere instrumental, sings the story of healer Babalu Ayé, taking us back to the African traditions that still live on in Cuba, perhaps more strongly than in any other African-based community in the Americas. Irakere has always stayed close to their Afro-Cuban roots. Now on Babalu Ayé they also pay homage to another, much more urban source of the Irakere sound. This CD provides a very satisfying picture of the contrasts that make Afro-Latin music so rich.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/16/1999
Label: Bembe Records
UPC: 0602303202022
catalogNumber: 2020
Rank: 134513

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chucho Valdés   Primary Artist,Piano,Track Performer
Irakere   Track Performer
Lazaro Ros   Vocals
Enrique Pla   Drums
Irving Acao   Tenor Saxophone
Román Filiú   Alto Saxophone
Adel González   Conga
Carlos Emilio Morales   Guitar
Julio Padron   Trumpet
Basilio Márquez   Trumpet
Jorge Luis Valdés Chicoy   Guitar
Jorge Reyes   Bass

Technical Credits

Chucho Valdés   Producer,Music Direction
Lazaro Ros   Director
Jerry Belc   Engineer
Jimmy Durchslag   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Fernando Peñalosa   translation
Francisco Valdes   Art Direction
Leonardo Acosta   Liner Notes
David Peñalosa   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Nero Alejandro Capote   translation
Basilio Márquez   Orchestration
Dave Morrow   Art Direction

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