Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cubania en Miami - Tany Gil, Paquito Hechavarria, Cachao

Tany Gil
, Paquito Hechavarria, "Cachao" among others, taking part on these two LP's.

A story of my experience in Miami and how I met Tany Gil:
In 1977 I drove in an old station wagon from New Orleans to Miami with two other musicians, Mexican American Roberto Tametta a great pianist/flute player and Hector Gallardo a Cuban bongocero, conguero, timbalero.

After we arrived, within a few days started hanging out and sitting in with bands.
Hector Gallardo had lived in Miami for a few years after arriving from Cuba in the 1960's
(before his family moved to New Orleans) and was a friend of
Tony Zaydal, a Cuban bongocero who played with Miami's Conjunto Impacto and many others.
We hung out some nights at Conjunto Impacto's gigs, Hector would sit in on bongoes and I would sit in on Chekeré, at that time in Miami, nobody played Chekeré in bands, only Güiro... so I was always welcomed onstage, they loved the sound of the Chekeré.
We also went to Conjunto Univeral's gigs, where Hector and I also would sit in.

Sitting in with Conjunto Universal in 1976.
(the Conguero for Conjunto Universal, "Araña"
would often beg me to sell him my Chekeré)

We went once to see Tany Gil playing with Willy Chirino at some little club out by the airport,
I remember we were like the only ones in the audience

I eventually met Andy Harlow who asked me to play with him and I wound up staying in Miami for 4 or 5 months. Andy had "El Negro" Vivar on trumpet in his band at that time and the Puerto Rican timbalero Frankie Rosario and
Ignacio "Nacho" Arbucias on vocal.
I had a lot of fun playing in Andy's band for several months.
Andy got me on a gig with him playing a concert with Barry White and the "Love Unlimited Orq." at the old
'Hollywood Sportatorium'.
I also met a Puerto Rican conguero named 'Ronnie' (I forgot his last name) who played with several bands in Miami, I lived with him a block from "Calle Ocho" in his small apartment for a month, he was legally blind and used a cane and I remember he always had to be picked up to go to his gigs.
I eventually left his apartment after he started making a lot of "demands".
I then moved to a 1920's house in "Coconut Grove", owned by a friend of my dad's which was great.

I also had a great time playing Rumba with a family of young Chinese-Afro-Cuban brothers, often in their front yard. And going to bembe's with the Cubans Chino Puente and the late babalao, Juan Candela.

One day 'Ronnie' told me Tany Gil wanted to meet me, so someone dropped me off at Tany's house. I remember Tany having two tumbadoras on stands in his living room... both painted with designs like the old Cuban drums from the '50's, '60's. I remember him showing me a record by Los Van Van with pride, as Cuban records were like having gold back then. (It was the LP cover with the band wearing stripped jackets).
Tany and I jammed in his his living room and we had fun showing off "our styles" to each other.

(Tany had a lot of Tata Guines style in his playing)

Though I was never "knocked out" by Tany's playing... I do like his "different" way of playing and I admire his skill as a composer/producer.
I admire and respect any percussionist who has their own "unique style" of playing including Tany.
I have no idea what became of Tany Gil, or if he's still in Miami.

For me, Tany Gil's "unique Cuban style" of playing can be heard best on the LP's:
"Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas '75", the two LP's "Walpataca I & II" and these two records, of which I like "Amor Con Pecado" best.

"Amor Con Pecado"
'Tany Gil
', 'Paquito Hechavarria'
(The other musicians are uncredited)
198? - vinyl LP
(Never reissued that I know of)
(Part1) (Part2)

"Tipica Pata"
With 'Tany Gil', 'Francisco "Paquito" Hechevaria'
and 'Israel "Cachao" Lopez'.
198? - vinyl LP
on Tany's & Paquito's lable "Tania"
(Never reissued that I know of)

9. "Paco En Nueva York"

11. "Del Tumbao"

A video of 'Tany Gil' taking a solo in 1977,
with Willy Chirino.

1 comment:

Bongos not Bombs said...

That Tipica Pata cover is really something else. Too bad they trimmed out the conguero's drums. Still very very cool.