Friday, June 25, 2010

Profiles in greatness: 'Florecita' Oscar Velasco O'Farrill - "Selected works"

'Florecita'
1938
Cuarteto Hatuey
1930's
Left to right:
Armando Dulfo, Evelio Machín,
Francisco "Compay Segundo" Repilado
Top: 'Florecita'

'Florecita' with El Conjunto Arsenio Rodriguez
1951
'Florecita' with El Conjunto Arsenio Rodriguez
1956

Lately I've been listening to a lot of music that has 'Florecita' playing trumpet, it is most often Felix Chappottin and Alfredo 'Chocolate' Armenteros who get all the attention and notoriety and they absolutely deserve it, as they are both uniquely great "Cuban trumpet stylists".
But rarely is the uniquely stylized trumpet playing of Oscar Velasco O'Farrill a.k.a. 'Florecita' given recognition.

There is a well known "music critic" who has stated: "Felix Chappottin was the Louis Armstrong of Cuba", I disagree, if arguably any comparison may be made to a "Cuban Louis Armstrong"... the title would be better associated with Oscar Velasco O'Farrill.
'Florecita' was older then Chocolate, older then Felix Chappottin, a generation before both of them.
It is common to hear trumpet players in Cuba "quote" or play like Chappottin and it is also common to hear trumpet players who are influenced by Alfredo 'Chocolate' Armenteros.

But you never hear anyone sound like, play like, or imitate 'Florecita', as he had a style and a sound totally unique and "soulfully Cuban".

Listen to Chappottin's early playing and the influence of 'Florecita' is clearly apparent. 
There are many great trumpet players who were/are incredible "stylists": Enrique Hernández, Lazaro “El Jabao” Herrera, Juanito Rodger, Armando "El Gorilla" Albertini , Chappottin, Alfredo 'Chocolate' Armenteros, "El Guajiro" Mirabal, Gilberto Azcuy... all fabulous players within the "Son tipico" style, as opposed to El Negro" Vivar's "Cuban jazz" style or Julio Cuevas who I like and have always thought of as the Cuban Harry James.
But..... for me
, 'Florecita' Oscar Velasco O'Farrill was "the Man".

There are other posts on this blog that have 'Florecita'
playing, but this post has some "selected works" that you can
distinctly hear Oscar Velasco O'Farrill's "style" and "sound".

With Arsenio Rodriguez y Su Conjunto
Me Dijo Que Sí Y Le Dije Que No 1951
'Florecita' short trumpet solo

With Arsenio Rodriguez y Su Conjunto
Guaragüí 1951
'Florecita' short trumpet solo

With Arsenio Rodriguez y Su Conjunto
Avaca De Maíz 1956
Comp:
Silvano Shueg
'Florecita' : short trumpet solo near end

With Arsenio Rodriguez y Su Conjunto
Dame Tu Yoyo Ma Belen 1956
 
'Florecita' : 3 short trumpet solos


* * * * *

 With Alberto Zayas' y Su Grupo
Las Jardineras
'Florecita' : short trumpet solo
Bongoes: Rogelio 'Yeyito' Iglesias


* * * * *

With Cheo Marquetti
Fuegos En Los Bomberos
'Florecita' : short trumpet solo.
Coro: Carlos Embale

With Cheo Marquetti
Hay Comentario
'Florecita' : two short trumpet solos.


* * * * *

With Miguelito Cuní & Niño Rivera
El Diablo Tun Tun
'Florecita' : Trumpet

With Miguelito Cuní & Niño Rivera
Contradiccion
'Florecita' : Trumpet

With Miguelito Cuní & Niño Rivera
Con Amor Todo Se Olvida
'Florecita' : Trumpet

With Miguelito Cuní and Niño Rivera
Convergencia
'Florecita' : Trumpet

With Miguelito Cuní and Niño Rivera
Lo Mismo
'Florecita' : Trumpet

With Miguelito Cuní & Niño Rivera
Donde Va Chichi
'Florecita' : Trumpet


* * * * *

From Festival In Havana
Ignacio Piñeiro: arranger/leader
Tumbando Caña
 
 'Florecita' : Trumpet

From Festival In Havana
La Chambelona
 
'Florecita' : Trumpet

From Festival In Havana
Tumba La Caña
 
'Florecita' : Trumpet
 

* * * * *

With Enrique Jorrin and Odilio Urfé

Conga Del Senador

'Florecita' : Trumpet

Donde Va Maria 
'Florecita' : Trumpet

Bilongo

'Florecita' : Trumpet

Rumba
'Florecita' : Trumpet


Video of "Florecita" Here

3 comments:

Mario Alberto said...

Excelente!!.. He estado escuchando la trompeta de cada uno de los que mencionados detenidamente.. Cada uno con su genialidad hace maravillas para la posteridad. Pero ¿todos estos grandes trompetistas, aun el estilo Jazz de Vivar, fueron influenciado por Floresita??

Para mi concepto, las trompetas cubanas, son más musicales y sentimentales que las trompetas jazzisticas americanas, de cualquier epoca..

Un saludo desde Cartagena de Indias y gracias Mark por este tremendo espacio.

mmarks3141 said...

Very nice article and clips - I recently heard about Florecita for the first time and found your article very informative.

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

mmarks3141, glad you enjoyed listening to Florecita's work.
He had an incredibly unique sound and style all his own, as Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros has... but both had/have completely contrasting styles.
Pure soulful playing and typically "Cuban".

Personally what I like is there's no Dizzy G., Arturo S., Miles D., Clifford B., Freddy H. or any other "bop-ish" influence in Florecita's sound. (as is commonly heard nowadays)

Regards,
Mark

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