In the biographical film depicting the life of Cuban Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, there is a scene where he switches on the radio program "Voice of America" and becomes lost in the Jazz music and even quotes the exact album and track playing. His deep emotional involvement in the music is evident and shows the impact the music had on a whole generation of Cuban musicians. The music of the Swing Era Big Bands became part of the Cuban musical vocabulary and Cuban trombonist J.P. Torres pays homage to Ellington, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman and American Jazz in his loving tribute "Cuba Swings".
This is traditional Cuban music in form and flavor featuring the legendary percussionist Tata Guines. The rhythm is rock steady and light as a feather. The format on every tune is similar as are the tempos. This is traditional Son where the Jazz melodies are stated and then the ensemble breaks into montunos for the solos with call and response between voice, horn and voices. The rendition of Tenderly breaks into Manisero, the Cuban classic and Take the A Train segues into Guantanamera. Autumn leaves is sung with Spanish lyrics by Mario Elena Lazo (gorgeous!) as is My Prayer.
There are also versions of Satin Doll, In the Mood, Rhapsody in Blue, Perfidia, Summertime and Moonlight Serenade. There is no piano; the harmonic instrument is the Tres played by Pancho Amat, adding to the Cuban feeling. Julio Padron on trumpet and leader-arranger- trombonist J.P Torres are the soloists. Torres has a soft, rich tone, has done clever,imaginative arranging and the music stays sweet, danceable and absolutely Cuban. There are no politics here, just love and respect showing once again that music and art transcends all Borders and Blockades.