Album released in 1961 by Mercury collecting twelve of the most renowned musical hits of the Spanish director, arranger and violinist Xavier Cugat. This album is another splendid example of part of the work of Cugat, made with amazing quality to the sound of those years. It offers rhythms that were absolutely pointers, as mambo and cha-cha, boleros and melodies with Brazilian air. The pictures of the album covers are of who was his wife, Abbe Lane.
Xavier Cugat's family emigrated to Cuba when he was 5. There he trained as a classical violinist until his family moved again to the U.S., where it eventually became very influential personality in the spread of Latin and Cuban popular music. Since 1931 he became director of the orchestra at the opening and then as a resident of the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Cugat recorded many albums for some of the best-known record labels (Columbia, RCA Victor, Mercury and Decca). Cugat's success in the U.S. allowed the luxury of having lots of money to hire the best musicians and arrangers of the time, with what he achieved splendid results, as shown here.
Xavier Cugat's orchestra offers a collection of 18 universal themes of Latin music. Presents danceable rhythms, mostly mambo, but are also various 'chachachas', a couple of 'beguines' and a 'samba'. The titles, from the strictly Latin to and from other sources, from established authors as Lecuona, Agustin Lara, Perez Prado, Youmans, Barroso and Porter, are instrumented with Cugat style.