Various Artists

Descargas Cubanas

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Descargas Cubanas doesn't necessarily have the loose, jammy feel featured in many albums of this type; however, it does include some basic yet thoroughly entertaining performances. Orquesta Bebo Valdés' "Tumbao" features some strong horn work and moves along at a nice, easygoing pace, while Chico O'Farrill y All Stars Cubano's "Descaraga Numero Dos" and "Descarga Numero Uno" are tasteful Cuban jazz numbers, even if they're a bit too tightly arranged. Valdés returns with two songs to end Descargas Cubanas strongly -- best is "Mayajigua," with its strong trumpet lead and loping second melody down and behind the percussion.

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