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Bebo Valdés

Bebo Valdés

In a film full of touching moments, two that stand out in the landmark Latin-jazz documentary Calle 54 are the duets Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés plays with his eldest son, Chucho, and bassist extraordinaire Israel “Cachao” Lopez. With entrancing virtuosity, the 83-year-old unsung master of Afro-Cuban jazz showed the world what they’ve been missing.

Now with his Blue Note album El Arte del Sabor garnering raves and wide distribution, perhaps Bebo, who has lived in Sweden for nearly 50 years, will enjoy a full-fledged comeback that will put his musical contributions in their rightful place. (Much like El Arte producer Nat Chediak did for rediscovering and promoting pianist Frank Emilio Flynn before he died last August.)

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