« Extremely well » par Rock n’Reel

We have to be careful that the massive popularity of Buena Vista Social Club does not rewrite the past – there is a long history of appreciation of Cuban music in Britain and Europe, as this set proves. Monsieur Valvert was born in Guadaloupe in the French Carribbean in 1905 and, after moving to France in 1921, he began his ordering career in 1929 and was on disc with Cuban pianist Oscar Calle as early as 1933. As saxophonist, percussionist or musical director, over the ensuing years Félix played biguines, jazz, and Latin music, as his audiences required, and he did it extremely well – and on the evidence of his Latin material, with a great deal of authenticity. That may surprise some, but the various bands that he leads here contain many Cuban musicians and other from Caribbean – all generally older than Félix – and the repertoires consist mainly of rumba, though there are also examples of guaracha, bolero, and Brazilian samba. Sound quality is fine throught-out, and these twenty numbers do deserve to be far better known than they are.