Various Artists

Cafe Cantante: 2 AM

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The last in the four-CD series, Cafe Cantante: 2 AM is aimed at the night winding down -- or, rather, the wee hours of the morning. In that regard, jazz might seem like an odd choice, but the tunes here are all top-notch, the perfect end to a glorious evening. The emphasis here is decidedly Cuban, with two astonishing tracks from the great pianist Chucho Valdés, with "Pasadas las 12" a particular standout. But Johnny Alf and Son 14 are also delectable -- earthy but light -- while Yusa's collaboration feels like it could take wings and soar. Essentially, unlikely as it might seem, jazz does make the perfect closer to an evening, swinging gently into the night (especially on Alf's extended closer, "O Grande Amor."). There's not a bad cut on the disc, and even if you don't usually like this, play it very early in the morning and you'll be a convert.

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