Machito: Mas Que Muy Bueno!

Rdio has my deepest gratitude for featuring this brilliant portal into the historic Afro-Cuban jazz scene; a heart-throbbing celebration of life and love. My favorite track so far would have to be “Tin Tin Deo” for taking a cozy party of instruments and turning them into a declarative, triumphant ensemble with a confidence that at once commands awe and respect. The frolicking only gets started there, however, as “Mambo” gleefully shows. Every track on “Mambo Mucho Mambo” takes all of life up to its most artistic with inimitable genius. The album is a gift, a gem, and anyone who finds it is in for a party wherever they are. This morning at home, I certainly am!

Author: J.T.

JIMBO TIMES is about the heart of a nation, which begins with the heart of a woman. It was the 1980s, and hailing from the dusty trails of her pueblo of San Pedro in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, my mom crossed over 2,000 miles to find work as a garment laborer in downtown Los Angeles. Shortly afterwards, she met my father. He had just escaped from a civil war in El Salvador and was working as a handyman for an apartment complex in East Hollywood. They were both in their mid-twenties when they met, and in 1989, they married to give birth to me and my brother, respectively. Ten years later, before my brother and I became teenagers, my father left. Heartbroken, but not overcome, my mom didn’t remarry, but chose instead to raise us on her own. It wasn’t the first time she had to start over. When mom was in the sixth grade, her father —a tradesman of el pueblo — was shot and killed by a jealous ex business partner. As the oldest of nine siblings, mom left school in order to take care of her brothers and sisters. She helped raise them alongside my grandmother for the next ten years, after which she'd leave for L.A. Today Mom's resilience is mine, which flows through JIMBO TIMES: a dedication to her and Los Angeles. J.T.

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