08/13/08

Cuban Master Bebo Valdes Celebrates His 90th With a New Live Album

Slightly more than a week before turning 90, Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes will release a new album, Live at the Village Vanguard, on Sept. 30.

Recorded live at the renowned New York club in November 2005, the album’s 14 songs range from Valdes originals (“Con poco coco,” “Bebo’s Blues”) to readings of Ernesto Lecuona’s “Siboney,” Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays,” to the Bill Evans classic “Waltz For Debby.” Bassist Javier Colina is Vlades’ only accompaniment during the performance at the historic jazz venue.

Colina is “one of the best bass players I have played with in my entire life, and certainly the most accomplished,” Valdes said in a press release.

In a review of the original performance, The New York Times’ Ben Ratliff wrote, “Bebo … played with an easy grace, as if he were playing for a group of friends. His playing contained an older man’s sense of sleek propriety; he left no chord unresolved, and never hit hard for the sake of hitting hard.”

Nat Chediak and Fernando Trueba produced the set, which showcases the Grammy-award winner’s ability to blend elements of Cuban and jazz music, the press release said.

The Calle 54 Records release’s track list is as follows:

1. Con Poco Coco

2. Sabor a Mí

3. Ritmando el Cha-Cha-Cha

4. Rosa Mustia

5. Andalucía

6. Siboney

7. Tres Palabras

8. Aquellos Ojos Verdes

9. Bilongo

10. Si Te Contara

11. Bebo’s Blues

12. Yesterdays

13. Manisero

14. Waltz for Debby

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