24 June 2006
RAY BARRETTO - LA CUNA
More from CTI in the final stages of the labels output.
Producer Creed Taylor has inspired everything from praise to anger among jazz fans. His work has been brilliant at times, detrimental at others (his worst flaw being a tendency to overproduce). Taylor plays a mostly positive role on La Cuna, a jazz-oriented effort uniting Ray Barretto with such first-class talent as Tito Puente (timbales) and the late Joe Farrell (tenor & soprano sax, flute). As slick as things get at times on La Cuna (this is ripped from the original vinyl but was reissued on CD in 1995 now deleted), Taylor wisely gives the players room to blow on everything from the haunting "Doloroso" and the driving "Mambotango" to a somewhat Gato Barbieri-ish take on Mussorgsky's "The Old Castle." Barretto successfully moves into soul jazz territory on a dance floor mash up version of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise" featuring Willy Torres onn vocals ( rapper Coolio totally butchered this for his utterly abysmal embarrasment of "Gangsta's Paradise"). Barretto may have hated the term "Latin jazz," but make no mistake: La Cuna is one of his most memorable contributions to that genre.
Fantastic cover as well by Creed Taylor Jr.
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