Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cachao ... Siempre!

Sorry I am late with this, as I intended to post it on Sunday past.

We lost another tremendous artist and musician, as Israel "Cachao" Lopez passed away last Saturday, at the age of 89.

I was most fortunate to see Cachao perform live, once, in San Francisco, and it was special.

From Wikipedia;

He was born in Havana, Cuba. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has been described as "the inventor of the mambo". He is considered a master of descarga (Latin jam sessions).

Cachao was, in his last years, the most important living figure in Cuban music, on or off the island. And according to Cuban-music historian Ned Sublette he was arguably the most important bassist in twentieth-century popular music, innovating not only Cuban music but also influencing the now familiar bass lines of American R&B, ``which have become such a part of the environment that we don't even think where they came from.

From The Guardian;
Initially, the mambo was too radical for most Cubans and the style did not win wide popularity until bandleader Pérez Parado popularised it in the late 1940s. Not that this bothered Cachao and Orestes: they went on to compose more than 3000 danzóns - a 1938 composition was called Buena Vista Social Club and would, more than 50 years later, provide the name for the multi-million selling veteran Cuban band.
His brother, Orestes, was a great musician in his own right, and Cachao's nephew (Orestes' son), Cachaito (Orlando), was the bassist with the Buena Vista Social Club.

Andy Garcia helped bring back the spotlight on Cachao and, if you are not familiar with his music, suggest you start with Master Sessions CD Garcia produced and work backwards.

However you do it, get into Cachao's music, you won't be disappointed

Cachao Obit Links

McClatchy-Tribune: 'Cachao' Lopez, legendary Cuban bassist, bandleader dies

Miami Herald: Cuban bass player, mambo pioneer Cachao dies in Miami area

Los Angeles Times: Israel 'Cachao' Lopez, 89; pioneered mambo music

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