Francisco Aguabella

The legendary Cuban-born percussionist Francisco Aguabella certainly doesn't have anything left to prove. After pioneering the mixture of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz with a handful of others from the 1950s on, his legacy would be assured even if he decided to hang up his batá drum and congas for the rest of his life. But if there were any rumors that the master percussionist was resting on his laurels, his smoking new Cubacan should put them to rest. A loosely themed tribute to Tito Puente, Cubacan starts with a wildly percussive "My Favorite Things" and never lets up. Backed by an all-star band of Los Angeles-based Latin jazz musicians like drummer Ramon Banda, trombonist Francisco Torrez, and pianist Donald Vega, Aguabella tears through searing salsa-fied workouts like "Agua Limpia Todo" ("Water Cleanses Everything") along with appropriate tips of the hat to his longtime friend Puente on cuts like "Tin Tin Deo" and "Mambo for Puente."


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