Tropicana Nights (JD186)

  1. Mambo a la Kenton
  2. Chucho
  3. Cicuta Tibia
  4. Siboney
  5. Old Miami Sax
  6. Tropicana Nights
  7. Sustancia
  8. Como Fue
  9. El Coronel y Marina
  10. Mambo Inn
  11. A Mi Que / The El Manisero: Peanut Vendor


Awarded "Best Latin Jazz Album" Grammy at 1st Annual Latin Grammy Awards (2000)

Cuban dance music is back!

Leading an all-star Latin big band, Paquito D'Rivera unleashes the beloved music of his homeland on this Latin Grammy winning album. Following in the tradition of Havana's immortal jazz orchestras, D'Rivera infuses his own stylings with mambo, son, danz¢n and bolero to create an essential musical document. In keeping with the club's festive spirit, the album opens with the exuberant "Mambo a la Kenton." If that doesn't get you dancing, the irresistable rhythms of tracks like "Chucho" and "Old Miami Sax" will. And when your feet need a brief rest, timeless ballads like "Como Fue" caress your heart.


There are times when the spirit of Prado burns brightly, as on the opening Mambo a la Kenton, written by Armando Romeu Jr., who served for 25 years as leader of the Tropicana Jazz band; veteran Chico O'Farrill's El Coronel y Marina, or the legendary Mario Bauza's Mambo Inn. Another Cuban legend, Ernesto Lecuona, is represented by his lovely ballad Siboney (sung by Brenda Feliciano). Ernesto Duarte wrote Cicuta Tibia, Sustancia and Como Fue, Juanito Marquez contributed Old Miami Sax, D'Rivera Tropicana Nights and Chucho (for the renowned pianist Chucho Valdes), and Jesus Guerra, Wolfe Gilbert, Moises Simon and Marion Sunshine collaborated on A Mi Que / El Manisero (sung by Lucrecia, as is Como Fue). While Jazz is an ever“present component of the album (with a number of respectable but uncredited solos by D'Rivera and others), the emphasis is on danceable music by the full ensemble that evokes the convivial and forward“looking atmosphere of pre“revolutionary Havana. A pity that has been lost, perhaps forever, but helpful that D'Rivera's orchestra can at least furnish a glimpse of what it must have been like in the good old days.

- Jack Bowers, All About Jazz