Since Xavier Cugat passed away at the age of 90 in 1990, Harlequin Records has compiled and released at least 19 volumes of this prolific bandleader's recordings. Released in 1997, Cuban Love Song focuses upon a period extending from January 1939 to October 1940. Cugat, who once worked as Enrico Caruso's accompanist, had worked hard during the 1930s to popularize Latin American music, using New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel as his base of operations. By 1939 his band, judging by the 24 examples on this collection, was well on its way to succeeding in the North American dance band and pop music market while still retaining its essential stylistic profile by involving musicians who operated within the Caribbean music scene. The most dramatic example herein is Machito, who formed his own Afro-Cubans in 1940. Machito is listed with the vocalists among Miguelito Valdés, Catalino Rolón, Nico López, Bobby Capo, Carmen Castillo, Lina Romay, and Alice Cornet.
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