INOLVIDABLE is a collaboration between two old friends, who just happen to be legendary figures in Afro-Cuban jazz. The project was spearheaded by conguero Candido Camero, who lured vocalist Graciela out of retirement for the session. One of the essential artists of the genre, Graciela was the lead vocalist for Machito and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra for the duration of the group’s greatest popularity (from the 1940s to the ’70s). Candido’s alternately subtle and raucous rhythms on his triple congas have defined numerous bands, and here he leads a crack ensemble of piano, violin, bass, flute, tres, and additional percussionists and backing vocalists.

Though both artists were in their 80s at the time of recording, this set of classic Cubop is imbued with a sense of youthful vitality and ease, with percolating polyrhythms intersecting jazzy instrumental passages. Though Graciela’s pipes have weathered considerably, she still sings with the assurance of a master, and sounds especially fine on slower tunes, particularly the ballroom takes on Rafael Hernandez’s “Amor Ciego” and Arsenio Rodriguez’s “La Vida Es Un Sueno.” In fact, save a few numbers (the sprightly “Chachita”), the set is relaxed and lushly romantic throughout, making for a sweet and charming listen.

  • Producer: David Chesky; Nelson Gonzalez
  • Associate Producer: Charles Carlini
  • Engineer: Barry Wolifson; Rick Eckerle
  • Editor: Nicholas Prout.
  • Arrangers: Candido Camero; Andrew Gonzalez

Personnel: Andrew Gonzales (double bass); Jorge Maldonado, Joseph Julian Gonzalez (background vocals); Graciela Peréz Grillo, Xiomara Laugart (vocals); Nelson Gonzalez (tres); Frederico Britos Ruiz (violin); Eddie Perales (flute); Sonny Bravo (piano); Candido Camero (congas); Manny Oquendo (percussion).

Liner Note Author: Robert Dominguez

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