Saturday, August 22, 2009

NPR Review: Mazeltov Mis Amigos

A rare delight to hear this story on NPR as I was washing dishes this morning:

NPR Weekend Edition Saturday (8/22): Jewish Classics Live Again, Set to Latin Beats

Jon Kalish interviews Arturo O'Farrill, Mark Weinstein, Irving Fields and Larry Harlow on the Jewish New York Latin scene. Beautiful. When they talked about Barry Rogers, and played a bit of his glorious trombone playing with La Perfecta, my eyes teared up and my cintura moved on its own. What a high.

The facts: Mazeltov Mis Amigos is a recently reissued '60s album which a lot of Latin and jazz greats recorded under the fake name "Juan Calle & His Latin Lantzmen" (but who was the real bandleader??)*. The music will be recreated in a Lincoln Center Concert. (But when?? Sunday, 8/23, 8:00 p.m.) I assume the concert is Arturo O'Farrill's baby. How great that he got Irving Fields, a Jewish Latin pioneer, to play piano! And who knew that Fields still plays 6 nights a week in New York City! (But where?? Nino's Tuscany, 117 W. 58th St, between 6th & 7th Avenues.)

A hair short on information for the actual enthusiast, NPR. But still, kudos on painting a well-rounded picture of the Jewish Latin scene.

*From Riverside Records via "Neither Juan nor his Latin Lantzmen were actually Lantzmen, and only some were actually Latin. Juan was John Cali, an Italian-American banjo picker and radio veteran best known for his work with the Vincent Lopez Orchestra and a string of solo banjo outings. His Latin Lantzmen included some of the biggest names in 50s and 60s Latin music conguero Ray Barretto, timbales guru Willie Rodriguez, pianist Charlie Palmieri playing alongside African-American jazz greats Clark Terry, Doc Cheatham, Lou Oles, and Wendell Marshall. The sole Lantzmen was Yiddish vocalist Ed Powell."

Also recommended:

Larry Harlow's interview with David Carp on

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