Cuban Masters

Juan Pablo Torres is the brainchild of trombone player and Cuban music legend Juan Pablo Torres. Los Originales is a group that features some of Latin Jazz’s most talented players doing what they love best. Francisco de los Reyes and Carlos “Patato”, renowned percussionists, swing enclave like no one else on Earth. The rhythm section is characterized by an unmatched confidence and elegance when they are joined by Alfredo “Alfredito,” Valdes Jr., the under-appreciated pianist, and Orlando “Cachaito”, Lopez, the father of mambo. Los Originales are known for their machismo-laced, mambos or elegant, sophisticated danzons. The Cuban music scene is flooded with groups that follow the same model. For example, form an orquesta with some serious veterans and a bunch of competent unknowns. Play traditional mambo craze-era songs with new arrangements and you can call yourself the original gangsters in Cuban music. This includes groups such as Caravana Cubana and Afro-Cuban All Stars and Cuban All-Stars. Cuban Masters: Los Originales, it is clear, is an excellent project. However, it would be great to see what these musicians could create if they weren’t trying to satisfy the foreign market’s fervent craving for nostalgia cubana. Allmusic

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