Here's another chapter in the continuing saga of the Buena Vista Social Club-this time starring its ever-present bass player, Orlando Cachaito Lopez. Cachaito's family includes more than 30 bassists, most notably Orestes Lopez, his father, and his uncle, the legendary Cachao, shaper of the descarga tradition that links jazz and traditional Cuban rhythmic/melodic/harmonic formulas.
Cachaito has been at it since the '40s and has played with the best, including Arsenio Rodriguez, various nightclub orchestras like Bambu and Riverside, plus a stint with Cuba's National Symphony. His credentials and his playing are impeccable, particularly on this disc where he is allowed to explore some new ground. But most exciting is the re-creation, intentionally or otherwise, of the feel of Arsenio Rodriguez's old recordings, which were always ahead of their time, particularly when Rodriguez drove his six-string tres into distortion to get to the heart of a song's rhythm and soul. Happily, that is present on many of these cuts and even the electric guitar is allowed to push into the red to emulate, we suppose, that Rodriguez sound-some resemble a meeting of Arsenio with In a Silent Way-and this is beyond wonderful.
Guests Hugh Masekela, Pee Wee Ellis and Ibrahim Ferrer add additional icing to this multilayered cake.