Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cuban music legend Israel "Cachao" López R.I.P.

Cachao 1918 - 2008

From The Miami Herald obituary:

Known to the world by his nickname, Cachao, bassist, composer and bandleader Israel López died Saturday morning at Coral Gables Hospital of complications resulting from kidney failure. He was 89.
Cachao was, in his last years, the most important living figure in Cuban music, on or off the island. And according to Cuban-music historian Ned Sublette he was ''arguably the most important bassist in twentieth-century popular music,'' innovating not only Cuban music but also influencing the now familiar bass lines of American R&B, ``which have become such a part of the environment that we don't even think where they came from.''

Cachao and his brother Orestes are most widely known for their late-1930s invention of the mambo, a hot coda to the popular but stately danzón that allowed the dancers to break loose at the end of a piece. Typically modest, Cachao always admitted that it was bandleader Dámaso Pérez Prado who made the beat world famous in the '50s.


(pictured left, album cover of the famous 1957 Afro-Latino Cuban jazz jam session Cachao produced in the early hours with musicians "pumped" after a night of playing in Havana nightclubs. Cachao is on the far left with his bass)


Endnote:
Los Angeles Times obituary for Cachao
MSBN's
notice of Cachao's passing.
Reuters listing for Cachao
March 2008 Bass Player article on Cachao
• Chuy Varela
on Cachao and the "musical glue" known as Tumbao
All About Jazz 2007 profile of Cachao
New York Times AP coverage of Cachao's passing.

Longtime friends pianist Bebo Valdez and Cachao performing "Lágrimas Negras" in 2000.

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8 Comments:

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Audiologo, thanks for remembering him.

 
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