Amadito Valdés

Bajando Gervasio

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Though there's plenty of percussion on this Buena Vista Social Club alum's superlative solo debut, this isn't strictly a percussion album. Rather, it's a session led by Amadito Valdes that serves as a showcase for both Valdes and the talents of Juan De Marcos's Afro-Cuban All-Stars, a group that glides through a succession of mesmerizing songs and instrumentals. These remarkable tunes range from the flute-led danzon of "Gliceria" (which features, improbably and wonderfully, a cello solo), to the uproarious jam "Mamina," with its seemingly effortless groove. Presiding over BAJANDO GERVAISO, Valdes makes every beat count, his playing unforced yet totally commanding and constantly swinging--or, even better, swaying.

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