- Released: February 1, 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Q - 10/94, p.1064 Stars
- Excellent - "...Cachao's incredible bass playing dazzles, acting as both the creative anchor to the music and its powerhouse generator..."
New York Times (Publisher) - 1/5/95, p.C15
Included on Jon Pareles' list of the Top 10 Albums Of '94 - "...A history of the music he has shaped...from the genteel danzon to a lilting guajira to intricately arranged and hard-swinging descargas..."
- 1.Al Fin Te Ví (I Finally Saw You)
- 2.Isora Club
- 4.Son No Ha Muerto (The Son Has Not Died)
- 5.Lindo Yambú (Beautiful Yambú)
- 6.Mi Guajira (My Country Girl)
- 7.Lluvia, Viento y Caña (Rain, Wind and Reeds)
- 8.Club Social de Marianao (Marianao Social Club)
- 9.Gozar con Mi Combo (To Rejoice with My Combo)
- 10.Cachao's Güiro
- 11.Alcalde (The Mayor)
- 12.Descarga Cachao
Personnel includes: Israel Lopez "Cachao" (conductor, acoustic bass, background vocals); Daniel Palacio (vocals); Juanito Marquez (acoustic guitar, background vocals); Francisco Aguabella (quinto, percussion, congas, background vocals); Russ Cantor, Bette Byers (violin); Jan Kelly (cello); Nestor Torres (flute); Paquito D'Rivera (alto saxophone); Justo Almario (tenor saxophone); Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jimmy Bosch (trombone); Alfredo Valdes, Jr. (piano); Orestes Vilato (timbales, bongos, cowbell, background vocals); Cecilia Noel, Iris Ibarcena, Felicidad Gongora (background vocals).
Recorded at The Record Plant, Hollywood, California. Includes liner notes by Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Cristobal Diaz Ayala.
MASTER SESSIONS, VOL. 1 won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album.
Cachao's Master Sessions, Vol. 1 could not be more aptly named. There has not been a bass player to date who has done more to develop and refine the instrument's role or to better demonstrate its power and importance than Israel "Cachao" Lopez. Several of the selections on the collection originate from the Descarga sessions, in which Cachao de-emphasizes the role of the piano as the primary comping instrument in Cuban music, and effortlessly rocks the entire band with his thunderous tumbao. There is a slant toward danzon and son styles on this collection, which gives the record a very refined, almost stately feel. The first track, "Al Fin Te Vei," a clarinet and bass duo in danzon, is performed with such skill, grace, and class as to be fit for kings. Cachao does not, of course, ignore the beautiful folkloric traditions of his country. "Lindo Yambu," a creeping rhumba that moves into a carefree mambo, is performed with equal reverence and class. The fidelity of the recordings is amazing, a crystal-clear sonic treat. Cachao takes the listener on a tour of the sights and sounds of his homeland like no one else could. From the conservatories and recital halls to the cigar shops and street parties, Cachao brings his listener inside to encounter the diverse and mysterious character of Cuban music. Lindisimo. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez