|6.||"Cuba Libre" (reprise)|
Recorded at a time when Japan was in the midst of an intense love affair with all things jazz-funk, this long lost album by Cuban band Irakere (which was recorded in Japan in 1980) has been lovingly brought back into stock by the diggers supreme at Far Out Records.<br>Having formed in Cuba in 1973, Irakere brought their fusion of jazz and Afro-Cuban funk to these recordings, which were put together by Japanese bandleader Chikara Ueda (notable for having been sampled by Phoenix on "If I Ever Feel Better". The recordings certainly bear a distinctive Japanese quality to the production (sounding similar to Sadao Watanabe's 80's output), but Irakere's funk certainly punches through as well. Opener "Cuba Libre" sounds like an out-take from Curtis Mayfield's Superfly sessions complete with some tight Latin percussion, while "Sea Mail" is looser and blessed with some inspired alto-sax solo's. <br>The calm and sanguine "Que Pasa?" really shows off the clarity and perfection of the recording techniques, with every rim shot and guitar pluck picked up perfectly and clearly - rarely has this style of music been recorded in such a meticulous way. "Gospelanza" is another real highlight, as two separate pianos panned left and right duel with each other before the brass takes over and does the same. It's a magic moment on an album full of unexpected delights - a very worthwhile reissue indeed.
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