What a week for deaths. I’m not terribly sad — he lead a life rich with acclaim and, towards the end at least, financial renumeration — but it’s a blow nonetheless. For those who known little about the bassist, bandleader, and composer, who for all intents and purposes invented the mambo, Israel “Cachao” Lopez made some of the most sheerly gorgeous dance music I’ve ever heard. Those rolling bass lines burrowed under arrangements of astonishing density and exuberance. I mean, Sylvester and New Order level of beauty, the kind in which you want to bask were it not for your shaking hips. I’m not a fan of Andy Garcia, but he deserves every plaudit for his stewardship of Cachao through the man’s sunset years, especially for his production of Master Sessions Volume One and Two (for a while I couldn’t go to a family party without hearing the damn thing blasting from a stereo). Get yourself a copy.