Generoso Jimenez

Generoso Que Bueno Toca Usted

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It was a sad day for Afro-Cuban music when Generoso "El Tojo" Jimenez retired from music; he was, after all, one of Cuba's most legendary trombonists. Before 2001, there was no reason to believe that the Cuban trombonist would ever come out of retirement. But surprisingly, an 84-year-old Jimenez did exactly that in 2001 and recorded Generoso Que Bueno Toca Usted, which came out in the U.S. in early 2002 and was his first album as a leader since 1965's El Trombón Majadero. Leading a big band that is billed as the Grand Afro-Cuban Orchestra of Generoso Jimenez, he gets in a few trombone solos. But he doesn't solo extensively, which is probably just as well because his chops aren't what they were in the '50s and '60s. When a musician has been in retirement for over 30 years, his chops will inevitably suffer -- especially if his instrument is as demanding as the trombone. Nonetheless, Generoso Que Bueno Toca Usted is generally quite enjoyable. On this CD, Jimenez's primary role is that of a bandleader/composer/arranger -- not a soloist. He employs a lot of talented Cuban musicians (including trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and saxman Paquito D'Rivera, both ex-members of Irakere), and they have solid material to work with (all of it new material that Jimenez wrote especially for this album). Generoso Que Bueno Toca Usted shows no awareness of the New York-style salsa that young Cubans and Puerto Ricans were eating up in 2001; lively, hard-swinging numbers like "Aprendiendo a Tocar Saxofon" and "Vengo Con Sed" favor a '50s-like approach and recall Jimenez's years with the influential Beny Moré. Generoso Que Bueno Toca Usted demonstrates that while Jimenez, at 84, wasn't the trombonist he once was, his considerable talents as a composer and arranger never went away.

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