Most of the tracks were recorded in New York City between 1930 and 1932.
Pianist Don Azpiazu led the first authentic Cuban band to perform on Broadway. It was his dream to someday combine together Cuban rhythms with jazz improvisation but the Afro-Cuban jazz movement was a decade away when he arrived on the scene. However, he did have a first-class Cuban dance band that introduced such songs as "The Peanut Vendor," "Mama Inez," and "Green Eyes." This definitive CD from the British Harlequin label has the soundtrack from a pair of obscure film shorts from 1930 and 1932, plus Azpiazu's best studio records from 1930-1931. Included are "The Peanut Vendor" (this version was a major hit and started a Cuban music craze, usually performed in watered-down form by American bands), "Green Eyes," "Siboney," and other vintage examples of Cuban dance tunes. Recommended for music historians and those who wonder what Afro-Cuban jazz sounded like before the emergence of Machito. ~ Scott Yanow