Sunday, June 04, 2023

Cuba Mensch: Paquito D'Rivera 75

Paquito D'Rivera Quintet - Song to My Son

Let's inaugurate June with a milestone birthday that speaks to the sad, unavoidable fact that I just don't post enough Latin music whatsoever.

Today's special guest grew up in Castro's Cuba and defected in Spain as the 1980s began.

Before that he had been a driving force in one of the island's hottest groups, which is still beloved and influential to this day and was called Irakere.

People call him a gusano and whatever -- that's the Cuban worm term for those disloyal to Fidel -- but I personally don't give a fuck if he peed on Castro's cigars as long as the music is fire.

Disliking Paquito D'Rivera for not being sufficiently Communist enough would, for me, be like criticizing Steve Earle for not making concept albums about Leon Czolgosz and Eugene Debs.

Anyway in the 40 years since leaving, he's become a kind of ambassador for Afro-Cuban music all over the world, so there is that.

Born in 1948, he is 75 today so we'll fire up these two, half-hour Canadian radio segments that have him leading a pair of quintets in the mid-'80s.

Look out for the transcendent trumpet of Claudio Roditi, who just blows his brains out in both of these sets.

Paquito D'Rivera Quintets
Ottawa 1985 + Montréal 1987

01 Samba for Carmen McRae
02 Brussels In the Rain 
03 Seresta
04 Song to My Son
05 Paquito
06 interview

Total time: 59:36

Tracks 01-03: Opera House, National Arts Centre  Ottawa, Ontario Canada  likely Summer 1985
Paquito D’Rivera - alto saxophone & clarinet
Claudio Roditi - trumpet
Michel Camillo- piano
Sergio Brandão - bass
Portinho - drums

Tracks 04-06: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  Le Spectrum de Montréal  Montréal, Québec Canada 7.4.1987
Paquito D’Rivera - alto saxophone & clarinet
Claudio Roditi - trumpet
Daniel Freiberg - piano
Lincoln Goines - bass
Akira Tana - drums

master off-air FM cassette captures
edited, retracked  -- with the two segments volume balanced & start of Track 01 slightly restored -- by EN, June 2023
372 MB FLAC/direct link

We made some AI-generated shirts and such too, in honor of the Maestro's big day.

I shall return next Friday with another indispensable Jazz hero's milestone b'day celebration.

Now hurry up and get your clave on for this treat from Paquito!--J.

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