Jazz Meets the Classics
The Afro-Cuban sax/clarinet legend makes a familiar concept come alive. These are smart re-arrangements of classical chestnuts; more importantly, the performances thrill. Chopin-ish "Fantasia Impromptu" swings in a relaxed mode for most of its first three minutes, before a flame of Latin Jazz fire scorches the back half. The waltzing version of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 ("Beethoven Peru") has the groove, too. Before playing part of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A Major ("Adagio"), Paquito says it's long made him think Wolfgang "was really from New Orleans." He makes a strong case!