Straight out of Havana, Cuba comes Orquesta Akokán – a blazing ensemble of deeply soulful mambo reminiscent of Benny Moré, Pérez Prado, and banda gigante of the 1940’s and 50’s. The album boasts all original songs recorded at the historic state-run Estudios Areito with Cuba’s finest players, young and old, led by the inimitable and dynamic singer José “Pepito” Gómez, produced by Chulo Records’ Jacob Plasse, with incendiary arrangements by Michael Eckroth.The ferocious and pedigreed wind and rhythm sections consist of musicians from storied groups including Irakere, NG La Banda, and Los Van Van. Robust, time-tested musical architectures of son cubano and mambo are honored and modernized through a synthesis of the rich compositional styles of Havana, New York, and beyond.
Tune in to KUVO JAZZ as we continue our celebration of the “LP” through June 15. KUVO hosts will be sharing their record stories and favorite album art, plus random reflections on decades of record-related encounters.
We invite you to enter our Record Store Day drawing today and tell us your record story!
The winner will receive the following:
A Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable courtesy of Listen Up.
A “starter-pack” of 10 LPs hand-picked by KUVO JAZZ Music Director Arturo Gómez from the bins at Twist & Shout
“Giant Steps” – John Coltrane
“Just Coolin'” – Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers with Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley
“Everybody Digs Bill Evans” – Bill Evans Trio
“Saxophone Colossus” – Sonny Rollins
“The Cape Verdean Blues” plus J.J. Johnson – Horace Silver Quintet
“Rainbow Sign” – Ron Miles w/ Bill Frisell
“The Hits” – Sinatra
“Howlin’ Wolf” (Blues)
“The Astrud Gilberto Album” w/Antonio Carlos Jobim (Brazilian)
You have until midnight on June 15, 2021! Good luck.
In the before times, the music went out to the masses via the disc – black lacquer, pressed with grooves that transmitted sound through a needle to hungry ears, stamped with a colorful label, pierced precisely with a hole measuring 9/32 of an inch (1.5 inches for 45 rpm singles).
Of course, the music was the main attraction, but it didn’t take long for marketers of the LP to create a package that was a sound-and-sight experience: album covers with original, commissioned artwork and photography, literary and entertaining liner notes, printed sleeves, colored vinyl, punch-out mobiles, stickers, posters, and LYRICS!
Fully enjoying the LP was an experience: unwrapping the album and inhaling the fresh ink and vinyl, dropping the needle on the edge of the platter, turning the stereo up LOUD, sitting down for Side A, getting up to turn the disc over for Side B, and taking it all in while you pore over every word and image on the jacket. My favorite artists always included graphic treats and word puzzles along the way. A whole vocabulary arose around the medium of the record. Hipsters wanted to be “in the groove,” and “groovy” was a most positive accolade. DJs promised “more platter,” “stacks o’ wax,” and “mounds of sounds.” Later, with hip-hop, the sound of the needle forced back-and-forth on the record wasn’t a gag or a mistake; scratching was part of the rhythmic texture of the song.
Radio stations have had to keep up with all the technological developments of musical conveyance, the CD, and now digital storage and playback, plus a few formats you may not even have heard of – DAT and MiniDisk. But the affection for the jazz LP has never waned. Every public radio station I know of has a few record mavens on the airstaff. KUVO Jazz has Mike Wulfsohn’s “Wulfy’s Wax Museum” (Mondays at 8:30 p.m.), Geoff Anderson’s “Vinyl Vault” (Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.), Rodney Franks, JJ, Adam Morgan, Djamila Ricciardi, myself and a few others.
It’s probably not on your calendar, but if you’re a music lover, it should be: Record Store Day. There are two Record Store Days this year, the first of which is Saturday, June 12. For a few of us around KUVO Jazz, it’s in our planners, we’ve saved up, and we’re ready to do some serious crate-diving. But why wait?