Monday, October 15, 2007

Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion - Classic Meets Cuba

Here's an album I am digging lately: classical/jazz musicians are collaborating with a latin percussion section in butchering a few famous classical pieces.
This might sound kitchy, and it is - but there is a lot of substance to this record behind the style. The musicianship is virtuosic, the arrangements are inventive, and everybody sounds like they are having fun. The bass player is on fire!

Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion - Classic Meets Cuba
REUP: mediafire.
1. Mambozart
2. Cuban Dance
3. Danzon De La Trucha
4. Preludio
5. Afrolise
6. Air
7. Pathetique I
8. Pathetique II
9. Pathetique III
10. Salsa No V
11. Czardas
12. Etude
13. Carmen Cubana
14. Flight Of The Bumble Bee
15. Guten Abend
16. Anthem

They made more records - one I will be checking out in the near future is Classic Meets Cuba: Symphonic Salsa (available here): same concept, some tracks overlap with the one above. They also recorded Jazz Meets Cuba - I am kinda sceptical about that one. After all, jazz met Cuba some 50 years ago. If I'd want to hear latin jazz, I'll go get my Gillespie and Machito records. Still, if it's half as good as Classic..., it might be worth hearing.

PS Once we're on the subject of the kitchy classics covers, I'd like to remind everybody of the excellent album Let's Go Classics by the japanese guitarist and surf music titan Takeshi Terauchi AKA Terry and the Bunnies - I shared his music here before. Let's Go Classics is available over at WFMU blog, and the LP cover art is here. The songs are downloadable individually. If you can't decide whether you want it or not, I recommend you try Fur Elise.

PPS I finally listened to the Symphonic Salsa album - don't bother with it.


  1. hey, DJ Kalil here from You linked my calypso series a few months back. Thanks. Have you poked into African Highlife, Haitian Kompa or Congolese music much?

  2. Hello Kalil,
    I should have thanked you for your excellent podcasts a few months back, but I'll do it now - your site is fantastic!
    I do listen to highlife and Congolese rhumba - in fact, I posted some of each here before; they should be under the "afro" tag. I am the biggest fan of afro-jazz, and Orchestra Baobab in particular.
    Never heard Kompa, though - I saw you have some Kompa mixes, I'll give them a spin!

  3. This is really great and so is your blog. Thank you!

  4. all 3 other blogs are gone :(
    i think nobody maintains their blogs except you !

  5. Updated.
    Some share blogs get deleted for policy violations. But also, blogging gets old eventually... It feels very rewarding at first but then becomes too much of an obligation and people burn out.

  6. if only there was a way to automate the file hosting so they don't all suffer from blog rot..

    Anyway, back on topic, this album was fun and on the strength of it I checked out the other two. The good news is the tracks which 'overlap' are actually very different arrangements/performances/recordings.

    The bad news is they suck.

    While this album had a good mix, the symphonic salsa is like 1% cuba 99% classic, and it's cheesy as hell.

    Jazz meets cuba is just lame for the reasons you've already mentioned, so you had good reason to be suspicious.