Picks and Pans Review: Music Notes
BEFORE HE MET ACTOR ANDY GARCIA in 1989, renowned Cuban bass player and composer Cachao, whose real name is Israel Lopez, had been reduced to playing the wedding circuit in Miami, where he now lives. The Cuban-born Garcia, a longtime fan, took action: He organized a tribute concert to the 77-year-old inventor of mambo music, filmed it as a documentary and convinced Emilio Estefan to sign Cachao to his Crescent Moon label. Cachao: Master Sessions, Volume I won a Grammy this year; Cachao: Master Sessions, Volume II was released in October. The 39-year-old Garcia recalls how he first discovered Cachao in the early '60s: "I had started collecting Cuban music and I was at my usual store, searching the bin. I saw this shot of Cachao and his bass with his group behind him, smiling. The album was Cuban Jam Session in Miniature Descargas. I took it to the store owner and said, 'What about this?' He said, 'That's classic' So I took it home. I was absolutely blown away. It was done as just a jam session, put together at 4 in the morning, one take. My interest in him became obsessive, and I started to collect all of his music."