Yesterday, when I was feeling like I wanted to die, someone named Israel Lopez was dealing with the real thing. Better known as Cachao, this Cuban dude basically invented the mambo and a few other Latin genres besides. I don’t really know that much about him, and I’ve never seen the film about him that I’ve heard exists, but I will never forget the first time I heard “El Son No Ha Muerto,” on WTUL. It’s not a mambo, it’s son, a old Cuban genre I didn’t even know existed. The title means “The Son Has Not Died.” It remains one of my favorite pieces of music, and I can think of no better tribute to the passing of Cachao than this fine song. Listen, then buy.
As for me, I’m still feverish and miserable with the lump in my neck growing to an alarming size — but I do feel better than yesterday.