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
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.
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
Fun listen. Afro-Cuban jazz like this will always put a smile on my face.
Einfach extrem cool
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.
This is fun jazz!
I loved this album. You can inject big band music right into my veins
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
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!
How can you not like afro cuban jazz grooves?
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
Unexpected. Brightens up even the gloomiest day!
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,
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*
So fun and upbeat! Felt like I was in a Latin club while working on the couch!
Fav Song: Wild Jungle
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
Joyful, impressive, upbeat.
lot of rythm, fun to listen to
Ya like Jazz? Thoroughly enjoyed this album. Gave me The Mask vibes. Definite boost in productivity while this was playing.
This album made me wish I knew how to dance. Really great swinging jazz!
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
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.
i love it
Love it - short big band late 50s jazz. Afro rhythms. Cuban Latin jazz. Cannonball Adderley. Superb.
so cool so funky so jazzy so good
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Really really cool jazz! I loved this album
I did not expect this to be so amazing!
Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz. Oof. Style, panache, and now added to my collection.
I love, love, love this.
Fun and ritzy, this was a welcome surprise!
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.
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
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
just fun jazz
Thoroughly enjoyed this
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.
Love that sound
Love it. Afro-Cuban jazz is fantastic. This is what this list is all about.
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.
So enthusiastic and light and breezy.
jazz cubano hey
Perfect album to smoke this j to. 🤣
Really enjoyed this
Connor: African Jazz. lots of good horns. v much my genre
I am not a huge jazz fan but this album fucks.
Very uplifting - made me want to go visit latin america
Like a modern Perez Prado Orchestra
This was a super fun Friday listen. At first I thought, omg I know this song. Then I listened to the second, and realised I just recognise the style of music... and they all are relatively similar. Still great though
loved it awesome jazz beats
Very enjoyable album. Standard 4 for something I liked a lot, but didn't fall in love with.
Pretty good background jazz. Makes me wish I had someone to go to jazz bars and dance with.
great Jazz album
Don't have much to say - this was a pleasant listen. I wasn't paying too close attention and 4 songs went by before I even realized that it wasn't all one long song.
Ten seconds in and this is already my favorite album of this journey. Not sure if I’ve listened to an album of afro-cuban Jazz except maybe Tito Puente, but I am loving it. I love the fast playing of bongos and trumpets. I also feel like this could be a worship album for the great god Damballa. What’s just as nice is that these songs are all less than three and a half minutes long. Lots of Jazz out there goes into the David Bowie range which isn’t a problem but this is a nice change of pace. These songs remind me of the late Cloris Leachman dancing with young Dewie in Malcom in the Middle. There honestly isn’t much more I can say about this album as I don’t know the vernacular for complimenting jazz. So I’ll say that I give this album three whiskeys, neat, two winks in a smoke filled dive bar, and six whistles from a mysterious sax man.
A relax song :)
This album is the same age as Mervyn... but it's aged so much better. I think this is my favourite to come up so far. An album that I've never heard of that actually rips start to finish.
Excellent Afro-Cuban Jazz Album. Would listen again. Great for active or passive listening. Great album to toss on to impress people with some jazz thats fun.
Fun to listen to while working and enjoyed a second helping of the instrument quiz
This reminds me of wii music and I love wii music! ❤️❤️
Pretty solid album. Would listen again.
Different kind of vibe than I'm used to but it made for excellent work background music.
Sounds like it could be modern
Solid jazz sound!
Outside of my typical genre preference, but this was a great album!
! WOW. Really enjoyed.
Unexpectedly good jazz album
Big band Afro-Cuban jazz! Truly enjoyable.
Wild Jungle starts the party off right. Great trumpet tone. Kenya, Oyeme are excellent grooves. Holiday puts a smile on my face. Excellent album.
-The drumming in "Frenzy" was pretty spiffy -Generally nice Jazz type stuff
Great big band jazz music heavy on percussion with cuban and Caribbean influence. Felt like a soundtrack for a three old oceans 11 or another fifties Hollywood blockbuster. Great for the background while cooking or cleaning.
Second listen. 4/5
It's jazz. And it's pretty good.
The production on this is great, those horns sound CRISP
Good jams. This album really slaps.
Jazz met een Afrikaans tintje. Echt lollig
Packs a lot of wallop into a brief package, though I see the objection I read in some reviews that the songs are so short that the musicians don't really have room to stretch and stand out.
Great music......in the correct context.
Fun jazz to listen through, but didn't excite me as much as Take Five.
Sorprendido, muy alegre y la música se sigue escuchando interesante a pesar de tener más de 50 años el disco. El disco más antiguo que me ha tocado escuchar hasta el momento
I'm not much of a jazz kind of guy, but I very much enjoyed this. Every song blends well with one another, since this is purely a instrumental album in the 50s. So it makes sense. Analysing jazz... I find a bitch to do since it all sounds similar. I'd reccomend for any jazz lover out there, this is their bread and butter. I'm more of a rocker, so havn't got much to say sadly.
Don’t know much of this music so hard to compare. But I enjoyed it.
Wow this is a really good big band jazz album. The brass is startling and sounds bright and warm at the same time. The rhythmic drive is intoxicating. Mmmm such wonderful playing. This adds another beautiful album to my collection of wonderful jazz albums of the 50s. 4.5 stars
Reminded me of Mario Kart music.
Really enjoyed the Cuban Jazz rhythms
Instrumental Jazz album, has a big of a "big band" vibe to it. Cuban influences are very strong, the "afro" part seems to mostly come through in the drums and the song titles. Good dinner music, or something in the background at a classy party.
First album from the '50s. Lively and fun African/Latin jazz album that reminded me of '50s movies like Orson Welles' Touch of Evil and Hitchcock's Rear Window. The more jazzy parts reminded me of some of Charlie Parker's work. Best enjoyed on a hot summer night, but even on this cold November evening it lightened my mood.
Very enjoyable. Unknown to me
Peppy, enjoyable music
No puedo dejar de pensar lo actual que suena este álbum, y es de 1958. Personal: 8. Me ha gustado mucho Trascendencia: 8 Género: 10
LOved it. Great energy and beats. Really really good!
Spicy elevator music!!
Not jazz literate enough to understand it’s significance but it’s a great listen that’s for sure - one for repeats definitely
rätt episkt.... önskar att det var mer varierat dock.
A straightforward, digestible kind of jazz that just sounds good. That might sound dismissive, but it’s really a treat when done well, as it is here
The album is peak jazz from start to finish. Not my favorite jazz album but impossible to dislike.
Altså det her, det kan jeg bare godt lide!
This is actually nice classic Cuban jazz. 8/10.
4/5 nice jazz sounds!
A bit distracting for background work music, but pretty good. Good coffee shop music.
Good background music for a party
This music makes you feel good.
I really enjoy when this list introduces me to an album outside of the western canon, and Kenya took me off guard. Great playing, high energy, but also a little hard for me to rate, just because I'm not overly familiar with the genre. The production sometimes made it difficult to hear all of the parts, but that might have been on purpose. Fav tracks: Tin Tin Deo, Conversations, Kenya and Congo Mulence
This album is a great reminder on the impact that Louis Prima had on so many genres of music; storyteller, swing, jump blues, Orleans Jazz, pre-Rock and Roll. Most people would know his music by more recent versions by other artists, they likely would not recognize him as the voice of King Louie in the original Jungle Book and his great take on "I Wanna Be Like You". This is a compelling album and is easy to get hooked on, it puts a smile on your face and a jump in your step! Singer, songwriter, bandleader and trumpet player, he does it all. Hard to pick favorites but I will go with, "Just a Gigolo Medley", "Oh Marie", "Buena Sera", "Jump, Jive an Wail". 4 out of 5 stars
Loud horns smooth rhythm with high speed toe tapping beats and maracas. Whats not to like. Is this the speed metal of the 40's? Maybe, the cover art would pass.
Really dig the variety that we get here, great background music
Sounds exactly like it’s name
This great upbeat, energetic jazz. I would love to here this again when I’m in the mood for jazz. I’m not in the mood for jazz very often, which I don’t want to hold against this album. So I’m breaking my mood a bit. It’s a 3.5, but I’ll round up. I’m not putting it in my library, but I recognize the skill.
didn’t like instrumental music
Liked this a lot. Will definitely throw this on again
pretty cool shit audio quality, 3.5
I listened to this whole thing, it held me in its grip the entire time and I feel like I ate a gallon of coffee. Jeezo.
I very fun listen! Kinda reminds me of the exotica genre that was also popular at the time, but more upbeat, more jazzy, and less cringe. Fave track - "Wild Jungle" is a great opener! "Blues / Machito" also stood out.
I only got to listen to part of it rip but the ones I heard were awesome. I love music like this once in awhile but I have to be in the mood for it would be great dnd battle music for certain kinds of fights lol
Great band! Like a lot that latinjazz.
Just a wonderfully arranged album, a gem.
Good jazz stuff
Very cool Latin jazz album. Not my immediate go to album, though I highly recommend checking it out.
What a bucket of fun, this album! Right from Wild Jungle, I had to move along to these smooth sounds.
racous crowded Mafia-style afro-cuban big band jazz. musty old-school recording feel. Somehow reminds me of the Copacabana scene from Goodfellas
4/25/2022 Today's Album: "Kenya" by Machito - This album is one of afro-cuban jazz and it is done quite well. The highlights amongst these tracks stand out as amazing demonstration of jazz stylings with great representation of both African and Cuban percussion and a ton of really excellent improv performances. The others of the track list might not impress as much as the highlights, but they still do a great job as background music and the production is top notch. There's a lot to like in the instrumentation of this album and all of the horn players do a really great job with crescendos and fast stops. Some of the solos throughout the album are noticeably worse and it is a mystery to me whether or not it is intentional, but either way it just sounds less musically proficient than the others.. The mix places everything pretty much exactly where it would be in a usual jazz band, with sax in the front and trumpet blaring out from the back. I don't think there is too much to say outside of the fact that this is a really solid jazz album with a ton of personality. Give this one a listen if you like improv jazz and/or African percussion/Latin horns and you won't be disappointed. This is obviously a very talented group and I like a ton of the sounds here. Score: 8/10 Great Jazz with a few minor lacking performances Highlights: Congo Mulence, Kenya, Holiday, Cannonology, Frenzy, Blues a La Machito, Conversation, Tin Tin Deo, Minor Rama, Tururato
trilha sonora perfeita para filmes que se passam no caribe. boas músicas, mas não é o meu estilo, porém dá para perceber a influência que teve em sintetizar a música da região.
Jazz latino. Está bien. Un 4.
I'll be listening to this again.
Perfect, blistering and crazy, repetitive sometimes
Very good instrumental album brah
Lots of fun - not what I expected, but was tapping my foot. Not entirely sure why this is afro Jazz, but whatever it was, I liked it
Was fun to listen, very upbeat and engaging
I liked this a lot! I think I'm starting to become a fan of jazz. I would consider listening to this again because it was so fun. If the rating system allowed for half stars, I'd give this 4.5 stars.
just so cool, no complaints, a very good time
Not a genre id ever think to seek out, but this was really nice, made me just wanna groove and dance.
Wow, I loved this! Fully instrumental is usually my jam for Jazz, and it was super uptempo/fun. Again, I don't really have standouts because the album really kind of blended together for me, but this one will definitely go into the Jazz rotation.
Absolutely loved this! This put a smile on my face and got my hips moving and my toes tapping. Over the past week I’ve listened to it several times and the feeling has been the same every time. I feel like this is music for the hard-working regular Joe or the hard-luck fool who just wants to cut loose and forget his troubles on a Saturday night, 'cause when the jazz gets hot and your feet start moving you can’t help but be happy in your very soul. Each song carried a positive, propulsive energy; I felt I could see each musician smiling behind his instrument. And it wasn’t just that it made me feel good - even though the Caribbean beats with a Glen Miller swing screamed post-war big city it still felt incredibly fresh to me. Wild Jungle - Well I don’t know how to dance to this but my feet and hips were doing something that felt so right. Is this mambo? Salsa? All I know is it transported me to some smokey club uptown where Mickey Mantle sits in the corner not slowly getting drunk. Kenya - big band start then driving island drums Holiday - brought a smile to face with its upbeat trumpeting Frenzy - lived up to its name with its frenetic background drumbeats that lingered before each soaring solo and duet Blues a la Machito - “Sometimes I feel bad. But when I play the blues, I feel good.” Tin Tin Deo - the screaming orchestra hits just keep coming Minor Rama - sax/trumpet call and response - in stereo! Feel like I don’t want to be throwing 5’s around yet but this is a 4.5 for me for sure! I could listen to this stuff all day.
Really fun frenetic jazz, yes please
incredible. every song sounds similar but has its own unique flavor to it. melodies are so catchy. almost perfect. One of the best ive heard so far from this list
Recording quality was really poor
Frantic and fun. Not sure how I'd be able to dance to some of these songs without absolutely destroying my hips. Trumpet is definitely the star here. Favorite tracks: "Wild Jungle", "Kenya", "Cannonology"
Not my thing. Nice horn work. Mambo style.
Not for me but it certainly wasn't annoying. Funky beats had my toe tapping at times so must have been hitting a spot, somewhere. 2.7/5
Big band x salsa/afro-cubano. No words, just horns and drums.
Thought it was good and would like to listen to it again, to get a better feel for it
This was enjoyable enough, nice to bop to. In the right circumstances this would be great fun, unfortunately not as fun just sitting at a desk listening.
Nice listening. Instrumental. Positive vibes.
Good cuban thingy. I wouldn't listen to it all the time, but I've enjoeyd it. 3.5
Full of bops
Very lively, these are the deeps cuts that I was looking for. Not my favorite jazz/samba album that we’ve had so far but nonetheless it’s solid.
I'm mostly giving props for the energy and engaging sound. The cuban influence of lots of brass and brasher jazz limits how much i want to listen to it again, but overall the african-cuban jazz sound is pretty cool.
Nice Music, but not my taste, good for what it is
Nice mambo-y latam vibes
Jazz cubano. Bien.
Can't go wrong with a bit of jazz. Enjoyed it.
This was interesting and enjoyable
Honestly, not his best.
Kenya by Machito (1957) In the vein (if not quite the league) of Tito Puente and Xavier Cugat, this recording is Latin (‘Afro-Cuban’) jazz—the kind of music you’d hear as background in black & white film noir detective movies in the late 1950s. Cool. No lyrics, just endless layers of semi-progressive jazz produced and arranged in the big band style. There is an under emphasis on melody in favor of the variations—yet not the sometimes incomprehensible variations of pure progressive jazz. We hear steady rhythms dominated by unadorned congas, bongo, and timbales; but the spotlight is on the horns (mostly a bouquet of trumpets, with plenty of alto sax lead licks and other woodwind color). The musicians are uniformly superb, flawlessly executing standard stylings. There are many opportunities on this album to sit back and admire the technical proficiency of band members. But the primary weakness here is a lack of variety in arrangement—Machito has a successful formula and he sticks with it, but it’s not the kind of music you’d want to listen to for hours, and it doesn’t inspire much thought (or passion, for that matter). It’s just cool. But very, very cool. This the music that rich New Yorkers paid to listen to on their summer vacations in the Catskills, spicing their evenings with formal attire and pizazz while putting down cocktails and planning God-knows-what. You know, the post-WWII ‘victory’ culture. They paid for it—we get to enjoy it. Thanks, guys. 3/5
Cool latin jazz album with African vibes. More latin than jazz and African
Party time! Never heard of Afro-Cuban Jazz before, quite a toe tapper.
This is an album I swear I have heard in the background of sitcoms and movies from the 70’s and 80’s. Great trumpet and bongos! Good album to use in movies to date the times to those spicy Cuban scenes.
Couldn’t name this or any other album in this genre. I enjoyed listening to it. Not really sure in what setting I would listen to it again.
Good kitchen drinks vibes
I feel like it's a victim of its own success. So pioneering and influential on certain genres that it now feels like something I've heard before. As others mention, it sounds like a soundtrack or background music, but still fun to listen to.
Nice to have something a bit different to listen to, not something I'd usually be into but I did quite like it. I bet Giles Peterson is well into this 😂 I'm astounded at how old it is. I'm sure the remastering helped, but it sounds sick! They pioneered some important technical musical advancements that had a profound and lasting impact on several genres and Afro-Cuban music in general, as well as the social/political environment surrounding it. Random observation: some parts of it sounds like a Tom & Jerry soundtrack (eg start of Holiday). 7/10
Enjoyed this album and would probably stick a couple of tunes on a summer playlist.
Om eoa rare reden heb ik deze plaat helemaal afgedraaid en vond ik het best leuk. Verder ga ik dit nooit meer aanzetten natuurlijk, maar blijkbaar wel leuk voor 1x.
Cuban jazz. Nice!
Fun good motivating background music
Nice, easy listening.
Not really my style, but a good listen.