Machito & His Salsa Big Band

1983 Grammy Award Winner

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As late as the 1980s, Machito continued to field a powerhouse Latin big band, winning belated acclaim in Europe for his well-preserved brand of salsa. Recorded in Holland for the Timeless label two years before Machito's death, the ensemble may not be quite as airtight as it was in the mambo era, but the old energy and drive still bursts through the speakers. Though Machito's voice had grown huskier with age, his enthusiasm is as infectious as ever, and his dusky-voiced daughter Paula Grillo contributes harmonies and a solo vocal on "Caso Perdido." Outstanding among the soloists is the blazing trumpeter Alfredo Chocolate Armenteros, who sounds particularly larger than life on the old chestnut "Manicero" (a.k.a. "The Peanut Vendor"), and all eight horns get to play some flashy solos on the extended mambo "Sambia."

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