« American jazz and Cuban music » par Rock’n Reel

Featuring material recorded at the time when Paris was seen as more cosmopolitan than just about anywhere else and Latin music was still considered hopelessly exotic, this lavishly packaged double CD finds many « genuine French men » and some Latin and Caribbean musicians creating sounds that mixed American jazz and Cuban music – and the results are hot. The opener in fact recalls The Champs « Tequila », a rock and roll hit of seven or so years later, though the music, like most of this material, is big-band-based. The jazzers are the Europeans, the vocalists and percussionists tend to be latin-Americans. This is harder music than it has sometimes been given credit for (Xavier Cugat, Perez Prado, potted palms and frilly shirts have a lot to answer for). World music fusion does not come too much earlier than this, but quite often the musical standard nowadays is nowhere near as good as it is here. Norwan DARWEN – ROCK N’REEL