Monday, June 30, 2008

Grupo Arará - 1983-'84 Santiago De Cuba

"Son Con Sol"
Grupo Arará
Vinyl LP
Recorded in Santiago De Cuba on Siboney.

Grupo Arará were a nonet from Santiago De Cuba.
The first five are all smoking dance oriented tunes, the last four are very "Afro Cuban jazz concert" oriented and really swing with tight punchy horn arrangements, a killer drummer who doesn't miss an accent, an electric guitarist who swings.
Grabado en Santiago De Cuba... "the heartland of Cuban dance music"

"Son De Mi Mundo Gria"

"Cepillo y Pasta"

"En Tiempo"


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Julian Ávalos y Su "Grupo Afro Andes" in the Subway N.Y.C.

From 1991 to 2000 I played bongoes with a small group here in N.Y.C. called Julian Ávalos y 'Grupo Afro Andes'.
All the musicians in the band were from Peru, except me.
We played clubs, however my my favorite gigs I played with the band were often "underground" down in the metro N.Y.C. Subway system.

Once a year, the 'New York City Transit Authority' holds auditions for individual musicians and bands who after being chosen, then take part all year long in what is called "Music Under New York". Every type of music from Classical, rap, Chinese, Arabian, country music, opera, Peruvian, jazz, string quartets, Cuban Son and anything else you can imagine.
There was a guy who played a "wash tub bass" and sang 1950's "doo wop" who was amazing.

If you are chosen by the judges, you get a "permit" to play down in the Subway for a year, usually at major stations like Times Square 42nd street, or Herald Square 34th street, my favorite station. The "favored" bands get to play at the best stations, meaning lots of people passing by and listening. You are only allowed to play for 2-3 hours. The leader of the band receives a letter every month telling which stations and the times to play at.
If you play at really busy prime stations.... and also sell your bands CD's .... you can make mucho $.

The members of the band were the leader 'Julian Ávalos' singing & playing an electric "Steinberger 12 string" guitar, his brother 'Pedro Avalos' playing a "Peruvian Cajón" (wooden box), another brother 'Julio' who walked around in the crowd and sold the bands CD's and once in a while played a "shaker", 'Hugo' singing & playing electric Fender bass and
Arturo Flores.... who came from a Peruvian family of MASTER flute makers and played two or three different single "Queña" flutes he made himself.

Very sadly..... Arturo Flores died Nov. 2008.... he was riding his bicycle in Queens, N.Y...
a car hit him.... he fell off and hit his head on a parked car... he is very much missed by his family and all of us who had the good fortune to play music with him.

These Peruvian musicians while totally capable of playing indigenous music of Peru, were really into Cuban Son and Guaracha, especially being influenced by the Cuban duo 'Los Compadres'. ('Los Compadres' recorded several LPs in Peru)

We always had so much fun.
Down in the N.Y.C. Subway system is literally the "crossroads of the world", a microcosm of every single ethnicity you can think of. As well as rich people, poor people, college professors, fat people, skinny people, crazy people, sane people, sexy hot secretary's on their way to, or coming from work, other musicians, people in wheelchairs, famous athletes, dancers, actors, politicians, undercover police, hookers, drag queens, young, old, children, tourists, native New Yorkers, booking agents, famous haute couture designers, I have even seen the Mayor of N.Y.C. and Governor of N.Y. down there while we played.
All experiences I'll never forget.

I took a video camera down there one day, put it on a tripod and pressed record.
This is not rocket science.. simply gritty street music. Or should I say, subway music?

El fallecido Arturo Flores en la flauta
Descanso en paz mi hermano musico.

Los Latinos 1970's - Cuba

Los Latinos "De Nuevo" - 1970's - Cuba.

"A Bailar Con Los Latinos"
Vinyl LP - 1976
Compilation from Spain

"Conjunto Los Latinos (1975-76)"
CD compilation by EGREM,
part of their "Agrupaciones Bailables" series.
19 songs nicely remastered.
Easily available free, on all "the usual"
music blogs and file sharing sites.

Los Latinos

Friday, June 27, 2008

Moacir Santos 5 LPs / 1965, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1978 - Brasil

1978 - OPUS 3 Nº 1

1975 - Carnival Of The Spirits
 1974 - Saudade
 1972 - Maestro

1965 - Coisas

Moacir Santos a true Maestro & Legend.
Baratone sax, Composer/Arranger/Conductor.

Born: July 26, 1926 Pernambuco, Brasil.
Died: of a stroke at age 80 August 6 2006, in Los Angeles.

Four of my favorite LPs and in my opinion, his most prolific works.
1965 - his first LP "Coisas" recorded in Brasil. (reissued)
1972 - his never reissued and now obscure "Maestro" LP recorded in L.A.
1974 - his "Saudade" LP recorded in L.A. (only available as a Japan import)
1975- his never reissued and now obscure "Carnival Of The Spirits" LP recorded in L.A.
1978 - his "Opus 3 nº 1" LP recorded in L.A.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bonkó Enchemiyá - The two best Bonkó Enchemiyá solos ever recorded -1960's Cuba

The two best Bonkó Enchemiyá solos ever recorded.
Two different recordings, same drummer plays the Bonkó Enchemiyá on both.
Ripped from vinyl @ 320

Bonkó Enchemiyá solo #1

Bonkó Enchemiyá solo #2

In memoriam - Comedian George Carlin dies at age 71

Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs, dirty words and the demise of humanity, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday, June 22. He was 71.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Irakere live in Caracas Venezuela 1981 Cuba

'Irakere' live in Caracas, Venezuela 1981

1. El Guayo de Catalina

2. Tres Días
The singer from Trabuco Venezolano
sits in with Oscar Valdes

3. El Caramelo

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Arsenio Rodriguez original Tico & Puchito LP covers

The two Tico original green and pink LP covers.
All the songs have been reissued on a CD on the Tumbao label.

Above is the original "Cuban" pressing LP cover on the Puchito label.

LP sold on Ebay 10/2011 for $359.00

"Sabroso Y Caliente"
The same record, but a different cover & title
issued by Puchito for the U.S.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cancionero Hispanocubano - Cuba

14. Muchacha no seas boba

Peruchin all stars / Orq. de Peruchin con Cheo Marquetti - Cuba

Pedro "Peruchin" Justiz
With Tata Güines,
Alejandro "El Negro" Vivar,
Israel "Cachao" Lopez.
Julio César:vocal

Peruchin all stars
El Elefante Cantor

Peruchin all stars
Cara De Cocodrilo

Pedro "Peruchin" Justiz Y Su Orq.
Vinyl LP
Empezo La Molienda
Canta: Cheo Marquetti

Come Platano Burro
Canta: Cheo Marquetti

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Los Papines - Their "BEST" LP -1961-'62 Cuba

"Fantasia En Ritmo"
Above is the original '61-'62 cover on the Areito Egrem label.
With "all 12" original songs.

"Con To' Los Hierros"
This was the 1970's "Bootleg" LP on the Manopla label, 
poor sound and missing 2 songs: "Vacilaguanco" and "En Un Avion" from the original LP.

This is a recent "Japanese import" bootleg vinyl LP,
includes all 12 songs of the original LP,
It sells for $99.00 on Ebay.

It's really impossible to pick a "best" record by the four 'Abreu' brothers "Los Papines", as all their recordings are superb. However these three are among my favorite Los Papines LP's.

1. "Fantasia En Ritmo" on Areito from 1961 or 1962. The four Abreu brothers together with a large orchestra, the interplay between them and the orchestra shows their virtuosity not only in their drumming, but their vocal harmonic sensibility. The original LP "Fantasia En Ritmo" included two tracks which were not included on the bootleg LP "Con To' Los Hierros" that was put out on the Manopla label, "Vacilaguancó" and "En Un Avion" that los hermanos Abreu sang "A cappella", with no instruments other than the Tympani roll at the beginning and then again at the end of the song.

It must have been an amazing recording session in that there was no multi-tracking/overdubbing. The four brothers played together with the whole orchestra live in the studio, if you listen to the incredible arrangements...... not an easy recording to do. The Abreu brothers were born in Marianao, Cuba (Chano Pozo was also born Marianao).

"Oye Men Listen... Guaguanco!"

2. "Oye Men Listen... Guaguanco!", my second favorite Papines LP given to me by my father when I was 14 years old. This is a real gem by them that includes the classics: "Quimbombo" (composed by Luis "Lilí" Martínez Griñán), "Hipocresia Y Falsedad", "Buenas Noches Che Che", "El Escapulario", the Abakúa "Eron Gri efó", "Los Beodos" and of course the classic original "Mi Quinto" writen by both Pascual Herrera and Ricardo Abreu.... Pasual Herrera singing and Ricardo showing his superb and very "musical" Quinto style.

"Retorno A La Semilla"

3. "Retorno A La Semilla", my third favorite Papines LP which featured guests Papi Oviedo on Tres guitar as well as the late Lazaro Ros singing one song, the late Saldiguera & Viruilla singing one song, Pascual Herrera also singing and two great compostions by two legends: Gonzalo Asencio Hernandez a.k.a."Tio Tom" and 'Calixto Callava'.

Julio Beque y su Cumbia Son - 1998 Cuba

"Julio Beque y su Cumbia Son"
I came across this several months ago, I had never heard of 'Julio Beque' before.
It's a strange hybrid cross polination of Cuban Bata with elements of Colombian Cumbia.
Actually, I don't know what to call it, maybe a Cuban "invento"?
Several things really swing and are really funky. Other things I'm not too crazy about.
The musicians taking part in this are all great, including the late 'Jorgé Varona' (Irakere), 'Andrés "Niño Rivera" Echevarria' (Tres), Blas Egües (Pailas), 'Juan Formell' (Bajo)
If anybody knows anything about 'Julio Beque' and this CD, let me know in a comment.
I've "Googled" 'Julio Beque'... but interestingly, there's no info on him.

1. Tambores Bata *****
2. La Cumbiela **
3. Ay! me duele **
4. Hara Kiri *
5. El Camion **
6. Juan Pampiro (Niño Rivera) ****
7. Los Cucheros de ayer *****
8. Oyeme Puchucha
9. Ayer no es hoy*
10. Salsacumbiando ***
11. La Clave Majadera ******
12. Para la Cumbia **

Musicians / Musicos:
Julio Beque: Producer, performer, mixing, recording engineer.
Jorgé Varona, Eduardo Sanchez, Fernando Sanchez, Andres Castro & Adrian Lopez: 
José Eugenio Alvarez.
Roberto Fonseca & Jorgé Aquino.
Piano: José Gonzalez:
Tres: 'Andrés "Niño" Rivera Echevarria', Bass: Juan Formell, Pailas: Blas Egües,Tumbadoras (Congas): Mario Ortega, Coro: Dolores Banguela Navarette, Jose Vasallo & Ignacio Aymé Castro.
Tambores Bata:
Christobal Larrinaga, Arturo Martinez (Bata & Chekere), Mario Facundo Rivera Cabrera, Santiago Garzón Rill & Trinidad Torregoza

*Note: They spelled "Trinidad Torregrosa's" last name wrong and he died in 1977, so for him to be playing Bata on this, it would have had to be recorded in or before 1977.
For some reason, this doesn't sound like a '70's recording to me, it was recorded in
1998 and released in 2000.

René Lopéz Sr. René Lopéz Jr. 2007

José "Apatche" (best Cajón maker in N.Y.C.),
Tito Sandoval, René Lopéz Sr., René Lopéz Jr.,
Ivan "Sonny" Ayala (kneeling).
At the 108th street Rumba en "El Barrio".

Friday, June 13, 2008

In memoriam - NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58


Rumba in New York City - Videos

Rumba at Skips apartment 2004 N.Y.C.

Rumba Columbia

Tumbadora: Rubio
Tres Dos: Skip "Brinkito" Burney
Quinto: Myself
Cucharas: David Coleman
Barry, Max, Papoté, Skip
Dancer: Ajna

Rumba at Skips apartment 2004 N.Y.C.

Rumba Guaguanco

Tumbadora: myself
Tres Dos:
Quinto: Skip "Brinkito" Burney
Cucharas: David Coleman
Barry & Max
Chekere: Ajna

Thursday, June 12, 2008

El "Niño" Rivera - "Y Su Conjband" - 1958 Cuba

'Andrés "Niño" Rivera Echevarria' Y Su Conjband
Vinyl Panart - 1958

Cuban master tresero and composer, Andrés "Niño" Rivera Echevarría and his 1958 big band.
Great photo him in the Panart recording studio.
"Niño" Rivera was also a major figure within the "Filin" (feeling) music genré in Cuba during the late 50's into the 60's.
"Niño" Rivera is one of my three favorite tresero's.
His playing style and the way he tunes his tres is unlike anyone else.

"Montuno Alegre"

"No Tengo Espinas Ni Flores"


"Monte Adentro"

"Levántense Todos"

Original LP sold on Ebay for $408.00

Noriel Vilela - "Eis o Ome" 1968 Brasil

'Noriel Vilela' and his amazing baritone voice on his 1968 "Eis o Ome"
Swinging band, great arrangements and superb Trombone.

  1. Promessado
  2. Saravando Xangô
  3. Só o Ôme
  4. Meu Caboclo Não Deixa
  5. Pra Iemanjá Levar
  6. Samba das Águas
  7. Eu Tá Vendo no Copo
  8. Acredito Sim
  9. Peço Licença
  10. Cacundê Cacundá
  11. Acocha Malungo
  12. Saudosa Bahia
2. Saravando Xangô

9.Peço Licença

10. Cacundê Cacundá