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  • The Times (UK) Names Nonesuch Albums Among the Decade's Best in Classical, Jazz, World, and Pop

    The Times (UK) has had its say on the best albums of the decade, covering the best in classical, jazz, world music, and pop, and Nonesuch artists are represented in every one: John Adams at No. 1 on the classical list with Doctor Atomic Symphony; Brad Mehldau and Bill Frisell in jazz; Youssou N'Dour, Orchestra Baobab, "Cachaíto" Lopez, and Amadou & Mariam in world; the Malian duo in pop as well, along with Brian Wilson and Wilco.

  • Orlando "Cachaíto" López, Legendary Cuban Bassist, Dies at 76

    Orlando "Cachaíto" López, the legendary Cuban bassist, died in a Havana hospital yesterday, after complications from a routine operation. Born in Havana in 1933, Cachaíto came from one of Cuba’s foremost musical dynasties, which included his father, Orestes López and uncle, Israel "Cachao" López, and he was considered by many as the finest bass player in the world. The "heartbeat of the Buena Vista Social Club," bass player Cachaíto was the only musician to have played on every album in the Buena Vista Social Club series.

About this Album

In May 2001, World Circuit / Nonesuch released Cachaíto, the highly anticipated debut from Orlando "Cachaíto" López. On the album, the Buena Vista Social Club bass player is joined by an eclectic ensemble of musicians representing a variety of styles.

Cachaíto (1933–2009) was regarded throughout Cuba as the country’s finest bassist. He was the only musician to have played on every track of every album in the Buena Vista Social Club series. Cachaíto also bore the torch of the legendary Lopez family’s musical dynasty. For generations, this family—which includes over 30 bass players—has made an important contribution to the music of Cuba. In his youth, Cachaíto witnessed a revolution in Cuban music as his father, Orestes and his uncle, Israel (“Cachao”) Lopez, broke ground with their innovative takes on mambo and descarga.

On his debut album, Cachaíto made his own bold departure—from the rest of the Buena Vista series and from the Cuban musical tradition in which he was so steeped. The record incorporates a wide variety of influences that stretch from dub reggae to jazz and DJ culture, while the music remains essentially Cuban, rooted in fundamentally Cuban rhythms.

The album brings together musicians from a diversity of musical backgrounds to create a truly original composite. Cachaíto is accompanied by his longtime partner in rhythm, the conga player Miguel "Angá" Díaz. Amadito Valdés contributes timbales, and Carlito González adds bongos to the rhythm section. Rather than employing the conventionally Cuban piano/tres combination, the ensemble contains Hammond organ (played by Jamaican Bigga Morrison) and electric guitar (played by surf guitarist Manuel Galbán, member and arranger of the '60s Cuban doo-wop band Los Zafiros). Demetrio Muñiz, the arranger of Havana’s renowned Tropicana Cabaret and Ibrahim Ferrer’s big band, brings to the album his imaginative arrangements for a full orchestral string section.

Providing additional accents on Cachaíto are a variety of accomplished soloists, including "Polo" Tamayo (flute), Pedro "Depestre" (violin), "Jimmy" Jenks (tenor sax), and Jesús "Aguaje" Ramos (trombone). The South African Hugh Masekela plays flugelhorn, Pee Wee Ellis plays tenor sax, and the French DJ Dee Nasty (the legendary turntablist and hip-hop pioneer) is on the decks.


Orlando “Cachaíto” López, bass
Miguel “Angá” Díaz, congas, percussion
Amadito Valdes, timbales
Carlos Gonzalez, bongos
Alejandro Pichardo, guiro, calves
Bigga Morrison, Hammond organ, clavinet
Manuel Galban, electric guitar
Dee Nasty, decks/scratching (5)
Pedro Depestre, violin (3)
Pee Wee Ellis, tenor sax, horn arrangements (4, 10), Hammond organ (10)
Ibrahim Ferrer, vocals (10)
Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, tres (10)
Rafael “Jimmy” Jenks, tenor sax (4, 6, 10)
Hugh Masekela, flugelhorn (8)
Yaure Muñiz, trumpet (4, 5, 7, 10)
Johnny Neptuno, tres (9)
Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos, trombone (2, 5, 8)
Policarpo “Polo” Tamayo, flute (2, 7)

Additional Musicians:
Si Burwell, keyboards (7)
Jose “Maracaibo” Castaneda, tres (11)
Junio Dan, electric bass (3, 8)
Roberto Fonseca, piano (12)
Tony Remy, electric guitar (11)
Filiberto Sanchez, bongos (11)
Javier Zalba, baritone sax (12)
Demetrio Muñiz, trombone (5), string arrangement (2, 7, 9), horn arrangements (3, 5)
Antonio Leal, trombone (5)
Strings (2, 7, 9): Pedro Depestre, Ariel Sarduy, Humberto Legat, Gerardo Garcia, Javier Filiu, Silvio Duquesne, Rogelio Martinez, Hugo Cruz, violins; José Maron, Angel Zaldivar, Roberto Herrera Diaz, Enrique Navarro Galces, violas; Roy Avila, Arelis Zaldivar, cellos
Saxes (3, 5): Antonio Jiménez, Braulio Hernandez, tenors; Panteleón Sánchez, Roman Felio, altos; Javier Zalba, baritone
Trumpets (5): Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal, Alejandro Pichardo

Produced by Nick Gold
Recorded by Jerry Boys
Mixed by Jerry Boys and Simon Burwell
Mastering and post production by Tom Leader, Jerry Boys, and Simon Burwell
Recoreded at EGREM Studios, Havana, and Livingston Studios, London
Assistant recording engineers: Simon Burwell and Nick Coplowe
Mixed and mastered at Livingston Studios, London

All songs by Orlando López, except tracks 2, 4 by Israel López; track 3 by Anais Cruz; track 8 by Orlando López, Miguel Angá Díaz, Hugh Masekela; track 9 by Arsenio Rodriguez; track 10 by Orlando López, Lazaro Villa; track 11 by Orlando López, Miguel Angá Díaz.

Design: House@Intro
Photography: Christina Jaspars


This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

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