From the high-class orchestration of Orquesta Aragon to the low-brow minimal Peruvian sounds of Los Kubaney, we have Almendra (almonds), one of my favorite songs from the Cuban danzón era.
Orquesta Aragon is the type of cuban orchestra where you really can hear the European waltz influence more than an afro-cuban one. Perhaps its the stringed instruments and tight ensemble style that they present. Nevertheless, highly popular and regarded as the best charanga orchestras in the 50’s and 60’s, the Orquesta Aragon still performs to this day.
I probably have 3 other versions of Almendra. This standard is done by all the big names from Perez Prado, Tito Puente to Johnny Pacheco. But I was really floored by this version from the unknown chicha group Los Kubaney. Even though they forgot their bass player when they recorded this track, this minimal psychedelic electric guitar driven version also boarders on greatness. Enjoy!