Orquesta Akokán at (le) poisson rouge
Straight out of Havana, Cuba comes Orquesta Akokán – a blazing ensemble of deeply soulful mambo reminiscent of Benny Moré, Pérez Prado, and banda gigante of the 1940’s and 50’s. The album boasts all original songs recorded at the historic state-run Estudios Areito with Cuba’s finest players, young and old, led by the inimitable and dynamic singer José “Pepito” Gómez, produced by Chulo Records’ Jacob Plasse, with incendiary arrangements by Michael Eckroth. The ferocious and pedigreed wind and rhythm sections consist of musicians from storied groups including Irakere, NG La Banda, and Los Van Van. Robust, time-tested musical architectures of son cubano and mambo are honored and modernized through a synthesis of the rich compositional styles of Havana, New York, and beyond. This brand new project, released on Brooklyn’s Daptone Records, finds the venerable label in uncharted territory; their first Spanish language album, one recorded outside of Daptone’s studios, yet bursting with the label’s innate sense of soul, fine-tuned attention to sonic detail, and inspired songcraft that is timeless, immaculate, and utterly unique.