Johnny Pacheco

Que Suene la Flauta

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Pacheco's first avatar was as a flutist, first with Charlie Palmieri's groundbreaking 1959 charanga, then -- until he switched to conjunto in 1964 -- with his own flute-and-fiddles group. Though the band followed Cuban models (far too closely, some Cuban musicians grumbled), his own style was very distinctive, tougher and less flowing than his Cuban rivals, and his wildly successful band benefited also from a very fine singer in Elliot Romero. "Alto Songo," from this album, was one of his personal classics.