Buoyed by the talents of one of the jazz world's most respected reed players, Paquito D'Rivera with Strings -- 100 Years of Latin Love Songs (Heads Up HUCD 3045) lends a fresh perspective to ten decades' worth of sensual ballads and romantic dance tunes from nine different Hispanic countries.
The new, enhanced CD, due in stores November 24, is the celebrated D'Rivera's first solo release for Seattle-based Heads Up, which has also released the saxophonist/clarinetist's two recordings with the Caribbean Jazz Project.
Recorded in September at Avatar Studios in New York City under the guidance of Grammy Award winning producer, arranger and conductor Bob Belden, Paquito D'Rivera with Strings -- 100 Years of Latin Love Songs revisits such globally popular tunes as "Ay Ay Ay" and "Acércate Más" (first introduced to U.S. music fans via Nat King Cole's rendition titled "Come Closer To Me"). Even listeners unacquainted with much of the Latin songbook will recognize tunes from contemporary composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Alejandro Sanz and actor/singer Rubén Blades.
Historical background on each of the disc's ten songs, "behind the scenes" video of D’Rivera’s recording sessions, and a brief "tour" of Latin America via maps and fascinating facts about each nation represented (including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) are also included on the enhanced portion of the new CD.
As its full title suggests, Paquito D’Rivera with Strings -- 100 Years of Latin Love Songs was recorded with a full string orchestra and features D'Rivera taking turns on clarinet, alto and soprano saxophone. Other musicians lending their talents to the sessions include pianist Dario Eskenazi, bassist Oscar Stagnaro, guitarist Fareed Haque, drummer Mark Walker and percussionist Luis Conte. The diverse instrumentation also includes Aquiles Baez on the cuatro (a Venezuelan guitar) and Roberto Perera on Paraguayan harp.
Paquito D'Rivera, an icon in the world of Latin jazz, has recorded more than two dozen albums, including the 1997 Grammy award-winning "Portraits of Cuba." Born in Havana, he was one of the most prominent musicians to defect from his homeland following Castro's rise to power. In recent years, in addition to his work with the Caribbean Jazz Project (with Dave Samuels and Andy Narell), D'Rivera has helmed his own Havana-New York Quintet and Dizzy Gillespie's famed United Nation Orchestra.
D’Rivera plans to showcase songs from the new recording, 100 Years of Latin Love Songs, when he performs with major symphonies in several U.S. cities during his spring/summer 1999 concert tour.