I was lucky enough to hear a little of this courtesy of Neal Sugarman when he played Band On The Wall back in July, so had a big smile when I saw Daptone had announced this today. Mambo Rapidito (premiered at NPR) is the first piece of music released from Cuban big band crew Orquesta Akokán, and it’s mambo fantastico. Their self-titled debut album is out March 30 (link to order below).
Assembled and led by Cuban vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, Orquesta Akokán is a big band collective of the finest musicians on the island, both young and old. It features all-original music and was cut live to tape over a three-day session at Havana’s hallowed state-run Estudios Areito. Areito is one of the longest operating studios in the world and where important Cuban records have been made. The album was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth.