From Havana To New York – Cachao y Su Ritmo Caliente


From Havana To New York seems to be a combination

of two LPs. The first, a landmark in Cuban music and Cachao’s most enduring work, was originally released in 1957 as Cuban Jam Sessions In Miniature “Descargas”. Only the track order has been changed here. The cover of this CD is also derived from that Panart LP.
This is without doubt the Habana part of the CD. Cachao led an all star band here, including Tata Guines and “El Negro” Vivar, to record a number of short studies in timeless perfection. If these jam sessions were not actually rehearsed, they demonstrate a level of communication between musicians, restraint, seamless transitions and good taste seldom found even in more formal arrangements. 
The New York part of the CD is a remarkable and, in my view, unhappy transformation. Cachao’s Cuban band have been replaced by a number of New Yorkers and the style leans towards what would later be called Boogaloo.
Soul music was emerging from R&B in the same period. Particularly in New York, arrangers and writers were subtly integrating elements of Cuban and Brazilian music with African American styles in this period, also Jazz. You’ll find examples in the recordings of Baby Washington, Maxine Brown, Ray Pollard, Big Maybelle, as well as better knows recordings of The Drifters and in Bacharach-David compositions. In all honesty, though, I don’t feel the reverse was true during this time. Boogaloo and its precursors sound clumsy, obvious,  immature, and lacking in all the qualities with which Descargas overflows.
Descargas is an essential element of Cuban music history, though, and belongs in any collection. Highly recommended.
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Cuban Jam Sessions In Miniature “Descargas”

01 *Guajeo De Saxos*

02 *Estudio En Trompeta*

03 **Cojele El Golpe**

04 *Goza Mi Trompeta*

05 **Descarga Cubana**

06 **A Gozar Timbero**

07 *Trombon Criollo*

08 **Malanga Amarilla**

09 *Controversia De Metales*

10 **Pamparana**

11 *Sorpresa De Flauta*

12 *Oye Mi Tres Montuno*

New York

01 Pa-Pa Bajo

02 Escucha, Dos Trompetas

03 Mungo, Mungo, Baby

04 Que Paso

05 Chunga, Uhuruh, Chunga

06 A Bailar Guajira

07 Tanga, Pa Katanga

08 Caballos Locos