Album: Manuel Galbán, Blue Cha Cha (Concord Picante)

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The Independent Culture

The great Galbán, who died last year while still making this album, was the Duane Eddy or Bert Weedon of Afro-Cuban guitar stylings, whose sly reverb and tricky tremelo decorated the island's music from cha-cha-cha to the Buena Vista Social Club.

This is a smooth-jazz job pairing him with everyone from Eric Bibb to Omara Portuondo, with a neat bonus DVD telling his story, but what you really need is the work he did with Los Zafiros in the 1960s.