Monday, May 18, 2009

Rumba Caraqueña

Cool oranges: In my inbox this morning, an email from Venezuelan vibraphonist Alfredo Naranjo with this link to two free song downloads on his ReverbNation player.

Really hip. One of the most exciting artists on the Caracas-based Cacao label (which includes Cuban artists such as Changuito and Horacio "El Negro Hernandez). In 2007 they released Alfredo Naranjo y su Guajeo, featuring trombonist Jimmy Bosch in a guest spot.

In Venezuela, they seem to know how to make modern, intelligent Latin jazz that also swings for the dancer. One way they do it: don't stint on a vocalist. Naranjo's new tracks feature bold choices from the popular music fields of Venezuelan parranda and ska: Francisco Pacheco (of the venerable Un Solo Pueblo) lends his natural baritone to "El Cumaco de San Juan," while rocker Horacio Blanco from Desorden Publico sings "Un Lote de Amor."

I recently came across another excellent, timba-jazz-flavored dance band from Caracas: Cabijazz led by guitarist Alvaro Paiva Bimbo.

Caracas tiene su swing!

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