Although Rhubumba might seem odd, it is the name of a great Afro-Cuban jazz band that Jeff Benedict leads. The musical partnership between Benedict and Paul DeCastro led to the formation of this group. The group gradually grew to a septet and Bobby Shew is their guest trumpeter for several of the selections. Rhubumba performs five originals by DeCastro, along with a song each by McCoy Tyner (Frank Foster), George Gershwin and Michael Brecker. A playful duet by soprano and pianist on “Chick’s Delight”, as well as DeCastro’s piano unaccompanied on “Besame Mucho”, are just a few of the highlights. Dave Askren plays several guitar solos that are notable. The percussionists complement the group well and each player stands out. Rhubumba is worth looking for. Allmusic

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