Orquesta Casino de la Playa

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This is a total gem. In the late '30s and early '40s, Casino de la Playa was the most important band in Cuba. Perez Prado was their pianist before he split for Mexico, fame and fortune. Miguelito Valdez recorded with them (including the first "Babalu") before adding lustre to the last decent version of the Xaver Cugat band. And here it all is -- the seminal "Bruca Manigua," a great "Peanut Vendor," on and on. Depite its length, it's a must.