LOOSE CHANGE: JOE CUBA

Published: March 26, 2017

Enclosure:(audio/mpeg) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/o-dub/dqRL/~5/KEfXE5kPJvY/una-nenita.mp3

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The Joe Cuba Sextet: Una Nenita
From El Alma Del Barrio (Tico, 1964)

Joe Cuba is an interesting figure to me insofar as his career precedes the boogaloo era by over a decade but songs like “El Pito” and “Bang Bang” are what put him and his Sextet on the map in a way that his earlier mambo-era LPs had not. I don’t own any of his pre-Sextet LPs but I did go completionist with everything he released with that configuration.1 I hadn’t listened to El Alma Del Barrio for quite a while and by no means would I consider it the best of their pre-“El Pito” output (I think Comin’ At You would fit that bill). I was on the verge of tossing this into the Latin purge pile but then I came back to “Una Benita” which is a lovely little cha-cha-cha with vibraphone and that, alone, makes it worth holding onto.

  1. In the 1950s, it was Cuba and His Orchestra and in the ’60s and ’70s, he released a handful of albums just as “Joe Cuba.”
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