During the first blush of mambomania, one composer-arranger emerged as the music's class act -- Chico O'Farrill, whose sophisticated knowledge of jazz harmonies and the rhythms of his native Cuba as unimpeachable. He wrote -- and, in the late '90s, continues to write -- some of the most glamorous, ambitious orchestral music jazz has ever heard. Fortunately, from 1950 to 1954 O'Farrill had a patron saint in Norman Granz, the farsighted record producer who gave carte blanche to O'Farrill's imagination. This double CD packs about two and a half hours of lush, heady orchestral works, including the landmark "Afro-Cuban Suite," featuring the Machito Orchestra with such guests as Charlie Parker, Flip Phillips, and Buddy Rich; the less familiar, but no less stunning, "Second Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite," and 43 other originals and Cuban standards, all magnificently played by the crémé de la crémé of the early '50s Latin and jazz worlds: Mario Bauza, Roy Eldridge, Candido, Jo Jones, Rene Hernandez, and Bill Harris, among them. Sublime.