Miguelito Valdés With Machito & His Afro Cubans - Decca 18516 (1942)

From wikipedia…

Machito (born Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, February 16, 1908?–April 19, 1984) was an influential Latin jazz musician who helped refine Afro-Cuban jazz and create both Cubop and salsa music. He was raised in Havana alongside the singer Graciela, his foster sister.

Machito was somewhat short in stature, at 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) in height. A lifelong Roman Catholic, he married Puerto Rican Hilda Torres on January 17, 1940, at which time he changed his nickname from "Macho" to "Machito". The cross-cultural marriage served as a sign to New York Latinos that it was possible to attain a sense of pan-Latino brotherhood. Frank and Hilda Grillo produced five children: Martha (1941), Frank Jr (1943), Barbara (1948), Mario (1956) and Paula. The family lived in Spanish Harlem at 112th Street and Second Avenue, where Machito enjoyed cooking for his children, writing the occasional song such as "Sopa de Pichon" while working in the kitchen.

In New York City, Machito formed the band the Afro-Cubans in 1940, and with Mario Bauzá as musical director, brought together Cuban rhythms and big band arrangements in one group. He made numerous recordings from the 1940s to the 1980s, many with Graciela as singer. Machito changed to a smaller ensemble format in 1975, touring Europe extensively. He brought his son and daughter into the band, and received a Grammy Award in 1983, one year before he died.

Machito's music had an effect on the lives of many musicians who played in the Afro-Cubans over the years, and on those who were attracted to Latin jazz after hearing him. George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton credited Machito as an influence. An intersection in East Harlem is named "Machito Square" in his honor.

Machito suffered a stroke before a concert in London, England in 1984, collapsing while waiting to go on stage at Ronnie Scott's club. He died four days later on April 19, 1984, at University College Hospital in London. His son Mario carried forward the legacy by leading The Machito Orchestra after his father's death. His daughter Paula, though dedicating her life to scholarly studies, has occasionally fronted the group as its singer.

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