Putumayo’s New Orleans Mambo: Cuba to Nola in stores today, 10/23

The Putumayo record label has a long history of fascinating compilations spanning virtually every genre of music. The latest includes ten tunes highlighting the connections between Cuba and New Orleans.

Though the album is billed as a collection of “the spicy rhythms of Cuba meet the soulful swing of the Crescent City,” the entire album features New Orleans musicians with the exception of the opener—a vibrant version of Dr. John’s classic, “Going Back to New Orleans” by the Latin jazz conga player Poncho Sanchez.

In fitting Putumayo style, the Good Doctor himself follows that cut with “Mos’ Scocious,” which is one of the grooviest tracks from his genre-defining 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo.

The rest of the album features other well-known New Orleans artists including Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias, the Iguanas, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Neville Brothers. But to the credit of the producers, the album also includes killer cuts from lesser-known local players. Songs from the Cuban jazz band Otra, the Latin boogaloo group Los Po-Boy-Citos and the eclectic allstar unit Zazou City fit right into the mix with the bigger names.

The cut from Otra, which is led by bassist Sam Price of the Honey Island Swamp Band, is a delectable Cuban-inspired, instrumental arrangement of the Nat King Cole hit “Nature Boy.” Zazou City, which is led by keyboardist Bart Ramsey, offers an original, ”Mañanita,” that features local stalwarts including percussionist Michael Skinkus, saxophonist Aurora Nealand and trumpeter Charlie Miller.

The whole album just oozes with that unique musical interplay that has defined the African diaspora in north America for centuries. With well-known cuts like the Neville Brothers’ “Yellow Moon” and some harder to find gems, it’s a great listen for those just delving into the connections between the two musical places as well as those already in the know.

This entry was posted in TVD New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text