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Israel "Cachao" Lopez, the octogenarian bassist now back in the spotlight thanks to actor Andy Garcia, was present at the creation of the mambo in the Thirties and helped organize the legendary Panart jam sessions in Havana in 1957. He set down in New York in 1976 long enough to record "La Trompeta y La Flauta," with Chocolate Arementeros on trumpet and Gonzalo Fernandez on flute. Another veteran, Machito, leads his orchestra through "Macho," and you would never imagine its funky sounds by listening to the bandleader's earlier work with Dizzy Gillespie.

Nu Yorica! also demonstrates the influence Latin music exerted over non-Latin musicians, with fine work from Joe Bataan (Afro-Filipino), Bobby Vince Paunetto (Italian-Spanish), and the African-American band Ocho. There's also "Amigos" by the jazz musicians of Stone Alliance, an all-percussion piece that moves from Cuba to Brazil and back to Cuba. It was recorded in Argentina.

With any luck, we'll soon have another decade of music as interesting as the Seventies.

-- Lee Ballinger

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