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Back in 1967 an album was produced by Al Santiago for Musicor Records that has influenced countless musicians since. The album "Cuban Roots" featured amazing performances from the top names in Latin jazz (including Kako, Chick Corea, Bobby Valentin, Mario Rivera, Tommy Lopez Jnr., Jullito Collazo) but was poorly recorded and has since become super scarce.
In 1999 a group of todays top Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz musicians teamed up with CuBop to re-record and pay homage to the "Cuban Roots" album. In the midst of recording it became obvious that the new Cuban Roots project was capable of turning out a heavy album, an album equally as impressive as the inspirational "Cuban Roots" from 32 years ago. The "Cuban Roots Revisited" album features new material in addition to covers of tunes from the original.
The all star line-up that helped turn the "Cuban Roots Revisited" album into a monster includes Francisco Aguabella, Humberto "Nengue" Hernandez, John Santos and Omar Sosa. What may appear strange to some is that this heavyweight project also features and was co-ordinated by the Jewish uncle/nephew team of Mark and Dan Weinstein. Those unaware of the Weinstein history may be apprehensive about the loose cultural connection between Jewish relatives and Latin jazz. However, Brooklyn born Mark Weinstein played with all the great New York based Latin bands of the 1960s and led, wrote and conceived the original Cuban Roots album back in 1967. He was part of the original Eddie Palmieri band and has also spent time playing with Charlie Palmieri, the Alegre All-Stars, La Playa Sextet and Louis Ramirez, Herbie Mann and jazz legends like Tony Scott, Clark Terry and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band. Originally a trombone player Mark Weinstein moved to flute playing in the mid-1970s. Despite his current career as a teacher (he is Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University), Mark Weinstein has never lost the desire to play and write jazz and Latin jazz. Such enthusiasm obviously affected his younger nephew Dan Weinstein who, since the early 1970s, has professionally played trombone, viola, violin and baritone horn as well as composed, arranged and sung. His resume includes stints with Ray Charles, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Marcus Shelby, Jerry Lee Lewis and dozens of LA Latin bands.
If anyone ever asks about the 'unlikely' pairing of Jewish musicians with hardcore Latin jazz Dan Weinstein has been known to reply "Jewish people have rhythm, too". The Weinsteins' history speaks for itself as will the "Cuban Roots Revisited" record released June 22nd, 1999. While inspired by legndary recordings of the past this album is firmly rooted in the present. Blending beautiful melodies with increasingly complex rhythms "Cuban Roots Revisited" is a milestone addition to the Cubop catalog.