Chucho Valdés: 'El Maestro' del Jazz Cubano

From my bootleg vault, here's a live selection recorded at an inspiring concert in Marquette, MI in the Winter of 2003. The legendary Cuban pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdés leads a group of young jazz players whose ages perhaps just add up to that of Sr. Valdes at the time.

Chucho Valdes --2-- Live by afctank

El Maestro's work can be found in so many manifestations from his recent recordings with his father Bebo Valdés all the way back to the groundbreaking Afro-Cuban jazz project with the supergroup he helped form in 1972, Irakere.

From the abridged Irakere discography by Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews:

In 1979, members included Jesús "Chucho" Valdés, piano; Enrique Plá, drums; Carlos Emilio Morales, guitar; Paquito D'Rivera, clarinet and sax; Arturo Sandoval, trumpet; Carlos Del Puerto, bass; Oscar Valdés, vocals and percussion; Carlos Averhoff, flute and sax; Jorge Varona, trumpet; Jorge Alfonso and Armando Cuervo, percussion. D'Rivera and Sandoval left 1980; José Luis Cortés joined.

Various laudatory comments for Irakere on FlyGlobalMusic:

“One of the finest jazz ensembles in the world” LA Times

“One of the best big bands in the world” Itunes

“Among Cuba’s most influential bands” Discogs

“Chucho Valdes is the greatest jazz pianist in Cuba, perhaps one of the greatest pianists in the world” Time Magazine

“Arturo Sandoval is arguably the most prodigious trumpeter of his generation” The Guardian

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