Chachito Perez and His Orchestra – Cha! Cha! Cha! (in medium tempo)
1960 – Richmond Records
I picked this one up in a 5/$3 pile a few months back. Totally worth the money! This kind of music is definitely not in my normal wheelhouse, but I enjoy it just the same. The feel is amazing, with great horn lines, percussion, and tinkling piano. The piano player is the underrated hero on this album. She (or he, there are no credits) has such a light touch and great feel underneath the other instruments and their syncopated lines. This album reminds me of Desi Arnaz and his band on “I Love Lucy”, which makes sense because Cha Cha Cha is a Cuban-based music. Since this album has “in medium tempo” in the title, and no musician credits, I am going to assume that it was made to be danced with, not dissected musically. It sounds like what I would imagine a stage band would be playing in a club in the 50s with a dancer in front. To that respect, some of the horn lines sound very dramatic and “Hollywood-y”, but that is not a bad thing. It fits perfectly with everything else going on in the music. These are some seriously talented musicians as well. Everything is so clean and together. They sound like they’ve been playing together for years, which could have been the case. I can’t seem to find any information on Chachito Perez, so I have no idea even what instrument he played. It is too bad that there are no credits here, I would love to see who is playing each instrument and find a little background on each of them. Maybe it is better not to know and just enjoy the music! There is a lot to latch onto on this LP and it makes you want to dance, which is exactly what I am going to do now….