100 Years of Latin Love Songs Import
On paper, setting the irrepressible Cuban saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera with a small group and string orchestra to revisit 10 Latin music hits spanning a century sounds like a promising idea. In practice, there is less in 100 Years of Latin Love Songs than meets the eye. For starters, the criterion for song selection seems to be popularity, which produces a mixed bag. Some of these songs might have made it for their lyrics but are simply not interesting as instrumental vehicles. Not surprisingly, D'Rivera aces Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado" and Gonzalo Curiel's "Vereda Tropical," playing clarinet on both. But he can't salvage the tango "La Morocha" (in a corny, bolero-like, rose-between-the-teeth arrangement), the Chilean waltz "Ay Ay Ay," or the Colombian vallenato "Tu Mariposa." --Fernando Gonzalez
The polyrhythms and subtle nuances tossed back and forth between the percussionists were "killer." I especially liked the bongo work -- it is rare to find bongo playing so melodic.
As a former music critic for the Austin (TX) Chronicle, I instinctively look for flaws. There are no flaws in this collection. Buy it. If you have a developed ear for sensuous music and astounding musicianship, you will play this CD over and over and over . . .