Machito & His Afro-Cubans

Souvenir Album

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The Souvenir Album followed Bim Bam Boom, Machito's collaboration with Miguelito Valdes. Machito himself sings this time, in Spanish. Half the songs are rumbas, and the other four are a rumba-Afro, Afro, guaracha, and guajira. The Afro-Cubans feature Mario Bauza and other soloists, but there are no real surprises, no lost gems of Latin jazz. Instead, the high points are Machito's singing, particularly "Sopa de Pichon," and the compositions of Chano Pozo, Obdulio Morales, and others. It is always valuable to hear the original, fully orchestrated versions of tunes that were later made famous by percussionists.