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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Kenya

Machito

1957

Buy At Rough Trade
Kenya
Album Summary

Machito (born Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, December 3, 1909 – April 15, 1984) was a Latin jazz musician who helped refine Afro-Cuban jazz and create both Cubop and salsa music. He was raised in Havana with the singer Graciela, his foster sister. In New York City, Machito formed the Afro-Cubans in 1940, and with Mario Bauzá as musical director, brought together Cuban rhythms and big band arrangements in one group. He made numerous recordings from the 1940s to the 1980s, many with Graciela as singer. Machito changed to a smaller ensemble format in 1975, touring Europe extensively. He brought his son and daughter into the band, and received a Grammy Award in 1983, one year before he died. Machito's music had an effect on the careers of many musicians who played in the Afro-Cubans over the years, and on those who were attracted to Latin jazz after hearing him. George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton credited Machito as an influence. An intersection in East Harlem is named "Machito Square" in his honor.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

10725
Genres
Jazz

Reviews

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Tue Nov 10 2020
4

Oof. This was a challenging album for a Monday morning. The chaotic, frenetic energy of cuban jazz is something I have to be in the mood for, not something that gets me in the mood. That said, this IS a damn good expression of the genre. It felt like the soundtrack to a 1970s spy movie and I am not sad about that. It was an enjoyable listen and I'll be saving it for another time when I AM in the mood.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

YESSSS Finally some jazz! "Me te amo Latin jazz!" I do love me some jazz, and this is a really great album. I'm not sure I hear "Kenya" in the sound, except maybe the percussion. Definitely sounds Caribbean, like that segment in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors set in "the West Indies." In general, the fusion of Latin jazz and big band sounds always reminds me of Tito Puente, which is a great thing. The style is impeccably consistent, I felt like I was transported to another place and time for half an hour. The place? Somewhere in Cuba. The time? This website lists 2000 as the release date but that was a reissue. This came out in 1957 (before our parents were born!). The oldest album we've heard so far, but easily one of my favorites. That's how timeless this kind of music is. Favorite tracks: Wild Jungle, Cannonology, Frenzy Album art: Nothing special. Seems like a picture you'd find in a museum brochure. Granted, it's a very old album, so you have to think about how this would have been marketed at the time. I'm not sure how many Americans were interested in Latin jazz in the '50s except as some museum-like cultural curiosity. 4.5/5

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Wed May 05 2021
4

Fun listen. Afro-Cuban jazz like this will always put a smile on my face.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

I loved this album. You can inject big band music right into my veins

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

Man this was a hot fire album, i listened to this at least 10 times yesterday and added it to my library, It’s brilliant, bright, and full of life. It made me happy just having it on in my background. Top tracks: all of them honestly there was not a track i did not like, Frenzy is probably my favorite out of all them though if I had to choose one. 5/5 all the way on this album

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Fri Mar 01 2024
5

Oh. Oh yes. OH YES! The furious bongos, the brass! Hook it directly into my veins! Have heard the opener around and about plenty of times as a bed under radio hosts but never knew what it was. If I could give this 7 stars I would. Thank You 1001 albums. I hereby forgive you One of the Ryan Adams entries.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

I think this an amazing album. It was much more big band and swing than I expected, but maintained that classic afro-cuban percussion. I hope we have some more jazz albums in the future because it was a great change in pace from the rock albums. This album was fun and bombasitc. I can't think of any song I didn't like, they were all unique in their own way but thematically consistent with the rest of the album. i will definitely be listening to this one again in the future.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

I don't have anything intelligent to say about this album. It was honestly a very enjoyable listen and one I will listen to several times when I work

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Such a fun album! It paints a very vivid picture in my mind and brings a great mood. I love the complexity of the arrangements, the expert performances, and the great mixing. Fantastic!

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Sun Apr 25 2021
5

How can you not like afro cuban jazz grooves?

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Holy cow! This is so much fun! At first I thought "Oh good - instrumental music to work by." That went out the window right away as "Wild Jungle" had my feet pulling me out of my chair to dance to the frenetic music. Those TPS Reports were not being well-served by KENYA. "Congo Mulence" took things down a notch, but didn't really get me back to work. Instead I just sat there swaying to the music imagining myself in a 1950s lounge drinking Pink Squirrels and Blue Hawaiians. For the rest of the album there wasn't a moment I wasn't enjoying this. I was transported elsewhere for the duration just listening, dancing and grooving. What's bad for productivity is great for my mental state. I love this album. It is so lively and the big band really swings! My only regret is I didn't get to see this performed live. Really happy this made the list!

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

Great stuff! I love a good samba! Revenge? Of course! But why wound his body with bullets, when I can set his soul on fire with a slanderous mambo? ~Tito Puente

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

This reminds me of wii music and I love wii music! ❤️❤️

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Sat Mar 20 2021
4

Unexpected. Brightens up even the gloomiest day!

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Thu Nov 16 2023
4

i put this album on in the background while playing a game and i thought it was quite excellent jazz isnt my go to genre by any means but i think this has inspired me enough to look into afro-cuban jazz and other genres similar

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Mon Apr 19 2021
3

This is pretty cool, thankfully not a "modern jazz" sound that's all based on maths and technical ability but more I guess a feel? kinda like blues but without pentatonics? Either way it's a catchy album from a bygone era, so it's cool but hard to judge. A song or two from it would go well on a summertime drinking playlist, but it's too samey to add the whole thing. just choose a couple of choice cuts and that'll do. 3/5,

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Thu May 20 2021
3

I dunno, felt kinda indifferent on this one. I didn't think it was bad by any means but I don't really have the frame of reference to get a sense of this album fully. On paper it's interesting; jazz mixed with african polyrhythmic percussion. But it doesn't really emotionally affect me much, which is the main thing I'm looking for in music. I'm just going to chalk it up to being a little ignorant on this sound and style of music because I could see myself trying to give it another shot at some point in the future. Maybe that's a cop out, but also this era of jazz being referenced has never really appealed to me in any way. 3 stars because *shrug*

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

I think what makes this album great is very apparent on the surface. This is a fun, dancey, big band latin jazz album. Great performances, loved all the percussion, and clave rhythms. Nothing to really dive too deep into, just put it on and dance. Sounds incredible, great recording and mixing, not dated at all

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

So fun and upbeat! Felt like I was in a Latin club while working on the couch!

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

It's interesting that this is the first album that I had listened to in full before considering this is likely one of the least popular albums on this list. That being said, I think it definitely deserves to be on here. It's a classic afro-cuban album and has some great tracks. I'm impressed by all of the trumpet players because it sounds like 90% of the notes they play are above the staff. Sometimes it's a little abrasive mostly because the recording equipment is obviously not up to 21st century standards but generally I think the arrangements are interesting and high energy. The percussion is also incredible throughout and is certainly integral to the style. Plus there are some amazing solos like all of Cannonball Adderly's solos. There are also some beautiful melodies on songs like Kenya that are reminiscent of jazz standards. Favorite songs: Congo Mulence, Kenya, Holiday, Cannonology, Frenzy, Blues a La Machito, Conversation, Tin Tin Deo

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Mon May 10 2021
5

lot of rythm, fun to listen to

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Sat May 22 2021
5

Ya like Jazz? Thoroughly enjoyed this album. Gave me The Mask vibes. Definite boost in productivity while this was playing.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

This album made me wish I knew how to dance. Really great swinging jazz!

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

This album is perfect. It’s a real masterpiece. A must listen. Horns, perfection. Drums, perfection. Drama - mood - life. It makes me want to think but it also makes me want to get up and get out. Wild Jungle is the perfect opening song - what an amazing track to start your album with. Run it up the guts Machito. Top tracks: Kenya Frenzy Blues in la Machito Conversation Tin tin deo

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Mon Aug 23 2021
5

Wow, this got me moving! Really enjoyed the amazing jazz. So much energy. Great trombone solos. A fantastic overall album. Really well recorded and mixed for the time, too.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

Love it - short big band late 50s jazz. Afro rhythms. Cuban Latin jazz. Cannonball Adderley. Superb.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

so cool so funky so jazzy so good

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Yes! I've listened three times all the way through and just started my fourth. This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping from this project. It would never occur to me to seek out some Afro-Cuban jazz and, even if it did occur to me, I'd have no idea where to start. I love this! It's like a dance party in my kitchen. The crisp horns and percussion set my soul aflame and get my hips a-shakin'. I can't even pick any favorite tracks. I enjoyed every minute.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Just a couple of bars in and I am in love... Big band sound with latin rhythms. After three listens, I still love this album!

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Oh boy, I was excited to have this one. I had not known of Machito before, so this was a new one for me and it was instant love. "Wild Jungle" came on with instant energy, immediately clearing out any sullen 90s/00s alternative cobwebs from the brain. Yeah, baby! The horns! The percussion! We are all dancing like mad! Then "Congo Mulence" comes in cooooooool. We're sitting down to sip our Cuba libres and catch our breath. I love the piano and bass to the percussion rhythms. "Holiday" with the muted trumpet makes me very happy. I laughed out loud when a song called "Frenzy" came on. It was a word that had already come to mind listening to this album. I loved "Blues a la Machito" and "Conversation" ...and all the other songs too. I also have to add that the remastered album sounded amazing. I found this joyful and fun!

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

So far its a BANGER. All I could ask for on a Monday. I want to be in a smokey jazz club listening live. Making eye contact with the curvy bodacious woman in the red dress across the room. This albums the closest we'll get to teleporting and time traveling.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

There were a couple of songs that sounded real similar to others, not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Overall it was a nice listen with some beautiful instruments.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
5

Really really cool jazz! I loved this album

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

I did not expect this to be so amazing!

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz. Oof. Style, panache, and now added to my collection.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Excellent Afro-Cuban jazz. I could throw this on any day of the week and it will make me want to get up and dance.

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

A surprise 5 stars for this gem on Cuban jazz. Listening to it driving on a gorgeous sunny day may have biased the final verdict, but in those circumstances it’s perfect

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

One of those genres I practically never listen to yet every time I do, I love it. Listened to this and then just kept listening to the mix that followed all day long. Such uplifting music

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Thu Mar 17 2022
5

5.0 - High energy, sophisticated afro-cuban jazz. Perfect for entertaining or when you need fun background music. The brass section is especially bright and the rhythms are rich.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Love it. Afro-Cuban jazz is fantastic. This is what this list is all about.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

This was surprisingly enjoyable, for someone who doesn't necessarily enjoy jazz. I like how each song is short and sweet, gets to the point. I will definitely be listening to the album again.

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Tue May 17 2022
5

So enthusiastic and light and breezy.

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Sat Aug 27 2022
5

Perfect album to smoke this j to. 🤣

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Sun Aug 28 2022
5

很有趣的一张爵士专,很欢乐,很丰富。总会给我一种迪士尼老动画的感觉。整个专辑声音都很满,可是听起来却一点都不累。没有任何不喜欢的单曲,很不错。

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

Probably more of a 4.5 album.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

This album is fuuunnnky. I haven't listened to much jazz outside of pop culture stuff, so this album was really nice to listen to. Although not every song completely grabbed me, I was vibing with the whole album. Plus it's a nice length, if it was longer I might have gotten sick of it. Favorite song: Holiday Worst song: N/A

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

Had me dancing with my daughter. Excellent cuban jazz

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Sun Oct 23 2022
5

Finally, after Tom waits and experimental miles Davis, I got a jazz album that I really really like. John Coltrane was pretty good but it can’t compare to the high energy afro Cuban stuff that’s on this album. I think this is also one of the oldest albums I’ve gotten. Conversation and tin tin deo are my favs

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

This one is going in the regular rotation. Listened 4 or 5 times yesterday. I loved everything about it. Damn good album.

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Tue Nov 22 2022
5

I know I sound like a broken record (HAHA) but can we have more of these albums and fewer generic forgettable boring 1980s post punk scottish wastes of my time? I have nothing to say about this album that isn't just a tired superlative. It's so good and restores my belief in the power of music.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

Afro-cuban jazz. Dig it. Besides Tin Tin Deo, which I was familiar with, all of the other tunes were great. Band is tight, locked in and this does not sound like it was recorded almost 70 years ago. Good music should be timeless like that. Seven man percussion section. Damn! Cannonball Adderley is on this?! Holy crap! Definitely something I am going to come back to.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

This is some spicy jazz I like it very much December 15, 2022

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Mon Jan 02 2023
5

Fully enjoyable listen. Tin Tin Deo is a personal fave.

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Tue Jan 10 2023
5

This was a really good album! I love jazz, obviously, and this was some energetic jazz. You can't listen to this album without getting the urge to dance, or at least move your body in some way. My favourite song was Kenya, but all the songs were all pretty good.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

This is only the second jazz album I've gotten on here, and it's another 5-star album. I love the frenetic energy of this with the soulful Cuban drums. Truly every song is amazing from start to finish. I loved this album so much that when Spotify started playing recommended tracks when it finished, I just started it over. This will be a regular part of my jazz rotation from here on out.

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Sat Jan 28 2023
5

Amazing album that is impossible to resist.

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Fri Feb 10 2023
5

Great big band Cuban style. Loved it!

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

Супер-джаз, єбєйший

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Tue Feb 28 2023
5

Loved it. The jazzy vibe was fitting with what my mind needed.

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Tue Feb 28 2023
5

This is an excellent example of this sort of thing.

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Thu Mar 02 2023
5

I'm not really a jazz aficionado, I've listened to a good amount of the classics I suppose, liked most of them pretty well. This one hits a special spot for me though. It's energetic, dancey! I think describing it as old-timey big-band Afro-Cubano jazz gets the main idea across. Very Salsa like, with brash and kinda noisy brass and also... Bongo solos! I never thought I would be hyped for yet another bongo solo! But I was! Listened to this twice in a row and I still wanna listen to it again! Apparently I dig Latin jazz. 5/5

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Thu Mar 09 2023
5

Super lively and fun! I listened to this a couple of times in a row at work and will absolutely be returning to it. This is exactly what I was looking for from this site.

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Mon Mar 13 2023
5

I love this so much. Makes me realize I have no musical talent though…

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Thu Mar 16 2023
5

Exactly what I want to listen to when I'm two whiskeys in and cooking with friends.

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Sun Mar 19 2023
5

Wonderful album, definitely going into the library

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Fri Apr 07 2023
5

Another great example of why this project is so fun. Despite loving jazz, I'd never ventured into Afro-Cuban Jazz and yet it's really fun. A cool blend of American big-band, with African rhythm, and Cuban melodies. Some complain that it's a bit one note, without enough variety, but I find the tempo and tone changes sufficiently exciting while maintaining a consistent theme for the album. It's an album for cooking, then enjoying a nice meal, then chilling with a cocktail, and maybe having a little dance. 06/04/23

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Fri Apr 28 2023
5

When I want jazz, I specifically means THIS. Fast-paced, heavy brass, loud, rhythmic. So much good stuff out of this album. I’ll be coming back to this anytime I want to listen to this genre. The trumpet solos A+++

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Sat May 06 2023
5

Bursts out of the gate hard and fast and just keeps going. High energy mad joy good time fun. I especially love Machito's song endings: a good all horn blast bwaaah! or on the classic doo-weee-youuuu or horns up bwaah! saxes down duuuh or how the whole album ends on just a hard single BOP! Great stuff. Full marks.

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Tue May 30 2023
5

This music is joy. It makes you feel happy and like dancing.

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