The Best of Paquito D'Rivera

by: Paquito D'Rivera

This best-of marks the six years that Cuban saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera spent on Columbia Records, between 1981 and 1987. This was a period when the great jazzman walked the knife's edge between very commercial-sounding Latin-tinged jazz and the burning sound of his return to his roots. There is a phenomenal version of "On Green Dolphin Street" here, and Michel Camilo's "Just Kiddin'" evokes Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts" in a quote near the beginning. The burning salsero "Manteca" is also here, as are some beautiful midtempo ballads such as D'Rivera's own "Song for Maura" and classically graced "Wapango." A fine introduction. ~ Thom Jurek

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