Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

28 October 2013



Israel ‘Cachao’ López was born in Havana on September 14, 1918, just over a decade after his brother Orestes. Cachao was the product of a sprawling, multi-generational musical family. At age eight he joined a local children's septet that featured singer Roberto Faz, himself a significant figure in Cuban musical history as well. By age nine he had teamed up with another future legend, pianist Ignacio Villa (aka Bola de Nieve) to play at his neighborhood movie theater providing the score for silent film presentations. As a teen, Cachao played contrabass with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Habana, supporting guest conductors including Igor Stravinsky, Herbert von Karajan, & Heitor Villa-Lobos. In 1937 he joined Orestes in the Orquesta Arcaño y Sus Maravillas.

By the time of Cachao's arrival, Orestes' orchestra was beginning to move away from its roots in French danzón into a more African-inspired, rhythmic approach fusing the popular dance style with syncopated percussion. Together the López brothers composed more than 3,000 danzónes for the group. They introduced the nuevo ritmo (new rhythm) style in the late 1930s. Nuevo ritmo transformed the Cuban danzón by introducing African rhythms into the music, most notably their song 1938s "Mambo" which introduced the new atypically slow, heavy rhythm that permeated Cuban music for generations to follow.

By the time Cachao finally left the Orquesta Arcaño y Sus Maravillas in 1949, mambo was virtually synonymous with Cuban music as a whole. During the decade to follow, he played in a series of musical revues & orchestras, most notably enjoying an extended stint with bandleader José Fajardo. Over time Cachao began organizing descargas (discharges), informal after-hours jam sessions that enabled the assembled musicians to experiment in a variety of styles & instrumental configurations.

A possibly more important move took place in 1957, when Cachao gathered a group of musicians in the early hours of the morning, energized from playing gigs at Havana's popular nightclubs, to jam in front of the mikes of a recording studio. The resulting descargas, known to music aficionados worldwide as Cuban jam sessions, once again revolutionized Afro-Cuban popular music. Under Cachao's direction, these masters improvised freely in the manner of jazz, but their vocabulary was Cuba's popular music. This was the model that would make live performances of Afro-Cuban based genres, from salsa to Latin jazz, so incredibly hot.

This album is a landmark recording from the Cuban scene of the late 50s. These are free-jamming descarga sessions. The tunes on the set forever helped define the sound of Latin music. This sound broke down the more restrictive styles of earlier years, & gave the players free reign to jam, to improvise over tightly crafted rhythmic patterns.

Cachao died from kidney failure in a Coral Gables, Florida hospital on March 22, 2008.

This was originally released by PanArt in 1959 as Cuban Jam Sessions In Miniature: Descargas. It was released in Cuba by Egrem in 1996 using the new title Descargas – Cuban Jam Sessions. That release is out of print. It was then reissued by Vampi Soul of Spain in 2005 under the title Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature “Descargas”. They added extra tracks (tracks 1 to 12 recorded in La Havana in 1957 are the original recording…tracks 13 to 23 are bonus tracks from different descargas recorded between 1957 & 1961).  This version is also out of print. For this posting, I am using the 1996 CD rip. This version uses a different track order from the original. I have indicated the original side/song order following the titles.

Apart from Cachao's great work on bass, the set also features conguero legend Tata Güines, tenor saxophone by Emilio Penalver, trumpet by Alejandro "El Negro" Vivar, guitar work by Gustavo Tamayo, & drums by Guillermo Barreto.

all decryption codes in comments

Tracklist –

Descarga Cubana (B3)
Goza Me Trompeta (B4)  
Cogele el Golpe (B1)
Trombon Criollo (A1)
Malanga Amarilla (A6)
Pamparana (B2)
Oye Mi Tres Montuno (A5)
Controversia de Metales (A2)
A Gozar Timbero (B5)
Sorpresa en Flauta (B6)
Estudio en Trompeta (A3)
Guajeo de Saxos (A4)


Luis Frank Arias Mosquera, nicknamed El Macry, is a Cuban singer & bandleader born July 30 1960 in Contramaestre, Cuba.

Luis Frank was introduced to music at a very early age. His father was a tango singer in the city of Las Tunas in the east of Cuba. Before beginning his music career Luis was an amateur karate & judo competitor. In 1980 he represented Cuba in a karate/judo competition in Moscow, but had to quit as a result of cervical vertebra fracture which ended his athletic career.

He had his start as a professional musician with the samba band Los Surix. He was the lead vocalist from 1985 until 1995. He then went to Havana were he joined the band La Mundial de Hudson. He soon moved on to Conjunto de Roberto Faz with the renowned Roberto Faz & to also singing with the Orquesta Revé. Band leader Elio Revé is the one who gave Luis the nickname El Macry.

Luis Frank came to world attention with his participation in the Buena Vista Social Club, which re-ignited a boom in traditional Son Cubano music. Son is the root of just about every other major Afro-Cuban sub-genre of music. El Macry spent six years as vocalist alongside Compay Segundo. He also worked with the band Afro-Cuban Allstars with Juan de Marcos González.

Luis got together a band Tradicional Habana in 1999 to record Viva Cuba! The ensemble followed the style of several other Buena Vista alumni like Barbarito Torres & Eliades Ochoa: simple, guitar-based songs with great vocal performances & harmonies. Buena Vista fans should really enjoy this. This is great Son Cubano with mixes of ethnojazz, bossa nova, & even downtempo.

Tracklist –

El Carretero
Piqui Pala
La Enganadora
Largimas Negras
La Bamba
Guarapo, Pimienta Y Sal
Hasta Siempre
Besame Mucho
La Calabaza
Son de la Loma
El Borracho
Soy Cubano, Soy de la Oriente
Viente Anos



  1. Cachao
    El Macry

  2. This blog is incredible!!! I host a latin music show on the radio and this is such a great place to find new music to play. Thank you so much!!

    1. Appreciate your warm response. What is your radio show, & what station? Who can hear it & where? Sure some would like to give it a listen (I would).