I’ve purchased the majority of my music through downloads over the past couple of years; for me, digital files have definitely replaced CDs. The music stores in my area have slowly disappeared and the existing ones only cater to the top of the pop charts. The combined cost of visiting a city with a major CD store and then buying enough music to make the trip worth it just doesn’t suit my budget. Having CDs shipped to my house again adds a cost beyond what I choose to pay. A physical CD purchase costs much more than a download as well, limiting the amount of music I can hear. I listen to almost all my music on an iPod now anyways, making the actual CD inconvenient. Downloading music from iTunes or eMusic makes music both affordable and practical; that’s a deal that I just can’t resist.
Although I enjoy the convenience and lower price of MP3 downloads, I genuinely miss the traditional CD experience. I remember digging through the record store bins, searching until I found that elusive disc. Once I got to the car, I’d quickly rip the cellophane from the jewel case and put the disc in the player. I’d often drive a few extra minutes just to hear another song while on the road. Once I got home, I’d plow through the liner notes while the CD played; any detail that would bring me closer to the recording was a thrill. Every time I uncovered one more piece of information, I’d replay a song and listen a bit closer. The experience of a new CD purchase was exciting, something to await with anticipation – that’s a feeling that I thought I’d lost . . . until I discovered the new releases from Cacao Música.
Artistic Packaging and Extensive Liner Notes
Each Cacao CD utilizes unique packaging that frames the recording with the respect that it deserves. Every release uses a different color scheme that creates an artistic sensibility. From a bold mixture of orange, red, and black to a stark white and yellow, the distinct look sets each CD apart. Inside the binder format, Cacao surpasses the standard expectation for written material with over 50 detailed pages of information. The liner notes provide historical facts about the recording, track by track breakdowns, and an overview of the artist’s concept. Detailed biographical information introduces the majority of performers; listeners become familiar with sidemen as well as bandleaders. The written information is translated in both Spanish and English, but unfortunately, the English translations contain several grammatical issues. Still, they are readable and the information is valuable. Each book contains an extensive range of vivid pictures, featuring all the musicians. In every way, Cacao Música treats their musicians as artists worthy of significant remembrances and their customers as partners that deserve special treatment.
World Class Artists Playing Exciting Music
Cacao’s exquisite packaging represents high quality, only topped by the outstanding music that they offer; their initial releases present world-class artists playing Latin Jazz with a variety of approaches. Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez’s Italuba II contains interactive and creative small group Latin Jazz that fuses Cuban rhythms, jazz harmonies, and pop sounds. Telegrafia Sin Hilo captures master Cuban percussionist Changuito performing a blend of instrumental jazz and modern dance music. Venezuelan vibraphonist Alfredo Naranjo and his group El Guajeo deliver Latin Jazz and salsa with an energetic descarga feel on their album Y El Guajeo. In addition, Cacao’s catalog includes an album from Latin pop artists Santos Viejos, Pop Aut and Otro Llano, a recording of traditional Venezuelan folk songs from Vidal Colmenares. They are planning six additional releases in 2008 which range from a release from the Caracas Clarinet Quartet to an from New York guitarist Aquiles Baez and a jazz trio date led by Puerto Rican pianist José Negroni. Cacao has collected a group of outstanding recordings that represent the highest level of modern Latin Jazz.
Recharging The Value of CDs
Cacao’s attention to detail and artistic vision recharges the value of CDs and builds bridges between the listener and audience. The distinct presentation recalls the golden age of jazz record labels like Impulse that felt each piece of the project deserved attention. Listeners get a wider picture of Cacao artists; they bring listeners closer to the people behind the music. The recordings are clean and articulate and the music reflects artistic liberty. The musicians themselves perform at a high level, and their approach each expose a different side of Latin Jazz. Every element of the Cacao releases reflect a caring touch that should both satisfy listeners desire for a fuller Latin Jazz experience and leave them anticipating future Cacao recordings.
Get all the info on Cacao Música – Check out Cacao Música on the web.
What Do You Want In A CD?
I’d be curious to know what LJC readers find valuable in a CD release. The music remains the most important piece of the experience, so are CDs even relevant anymore? Would you buy a CD with an extensive book of liner notes and pictures or would you rather find info online? If you’re a downloader, what would drive you to buy a physical CD? The way that we listen to Latin Jazz is changing quickly, so should artists deliver their music to us? Leave a comment with your thoughts – these releases inspired me . . . would they do the same for you?