Thursday, July 31, 2008

René Alvarez "4 missing songs" from the original sessions, not included on the CD.

In the late 1990's the 'Tumbao' label from Spain, well known for reissuing classic Cuban music that otherwise would never be heard, released this CD by the late René Alvarez Y Su Conjunto said to be recorded in 1987.The CD has 18 songs, however.... there are "4 songs missing" from the original sessions, not included on the CD.
These are the "missing" songs:
1. Consuelate Como Yo*
2. Pueblo Nuevo Se Paso*

3.Esta Noche*

4. Me Boto La Negrita*

"Consuelate Como Yo"

"Pueblo Nuevo Se Paso"
"Esta Noche"

"Me Boto La Negrita"

'Opus 13' - 1979
René Alvarez
Tumbadoras: 'Miguel "Anga" Diaz'

HAVANA IN THE 1950's - article by Leonardo Acosta

HAVANA IN THE 1950's - article writen by by Leonardo Acosta (here)

Leo Castañeda 2 LP's 1959, 1963 Cuba

"Leo y su Ritmo A Caballo"
Vinyl LP/LD Discuba label.
1. Con mi caballo
2. Como un carnaval

3. preparen candela

4. La sitiera

5. Gloria a beny Moré

6. Leo esta loco

7. Leo llego

8. Cariño falso

9. Me llaman loco

10. Cintra tu traicion

5. Gloria a Beny Moré
Moré died Feb. 19, 1963
(you can hear the galloping "A Caballo" rhythm)

8. Cariño falso
 (you can hear the galloping "A Caballo" rhythm)

 9. Me Llaman loco
(Ritmo "A Caballo")

Leo Castañeda, Cuban singer who led a swinging big band, his intonation and vocal style influenced by Beny Moré. 
He was also an amazing bolerista (bolero singer).
Far from just an "imitator" o sea "Beny clone", Leo Castañeda had his own distinct and VERY unique voice!

Recorded in 1963, his "Leo y su Ritmo A Caballo" LP on Discuba, with several of the tunes on the LP using his "A Caballo" rhythm. The cover photo has to be the wildest Cuban cover I've seen, with Leo in Cuba standing outside en "el campo", holding a attache case in one hand, while holding the reins of the Caballo, with a Güiro in the other hand and pair of congas are slung over the horse.
The bass drum in the photo has a very odd conical shape.

Juanito Marquez developed his ritmo "Pa'ca", Enrique Bonne developed his ritmo "Upa Upa", Perez Prado had his "Dengue", Aragon had their "Cha-Onda"...
Leo Castañeda had his "Ritmo A Caballo".
The "A Caballo" sound was done by a musician playing the old chinese temple blocks playing a rhythm that sounds like a horse galloping, really unique to say the least, you can even hear it in the boleros.
Leo's "Ritmo A Caballo" LP is long out of print, never reissued. Obscure and rare.I have meticulously "cleaned" and trimmed" each track " using Goldwave V.5, the 10 tracks now have an excellent sound .

"Mucho Corazon"
Leo Castañeda's LP "Mucho Corazon" very different than the other LP (no "Ritmo A Caballo" theme) it was recorded in Cuba in 1959 and reissued on CD, however they recorded it directly from the vinyl LP with audible pops and clicks and at a low audio level.
I have meticulously "cleaned" and trimmed" each track and brought the audio up using Goldwave V.5 and now the 12 tracks sound excellent. Both his singing and the band swing.
The more I listen to these two recordings.... the more I'm amazed at what a great voice Leo Castañeda has!

10. La Majana

2. Son De La Loma

**As a result of this post, I recently had a great conversation with Leo Castañeda's daughter, 'Elsie' who has told me that Leo also spent time in Mexico and Venezuela, now in his 80's he is doing very well and lives in Miami Florida and that as well as singing... Leo plays Congas, guitar and drums!

Leo Castañeda in a 2008 photo in Miami, Florida.
Graciously sent to me by his daughter Elsie.

Leo... you are one cool musician!
Mucho corazon de verdad!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Orq. America Vol-3 Panart 10" LP - Cuba

Ninon Mondejar's Orq. America
Vol-3 on the original Panart 10' inch LP.
Nice 1950's Panart cover showing the couples steps.
These have all been "remastered"and "reissued" on several CD's.

Conjunto Supremo - 2 LP's Cuba

'Conjunto Supremo', from Santiago de Cuba.
Two LP's recorded on the Siboney label.

The first LP: 'Conjunto Supremo' swings.... they don't stop until the end of the record.
They play some fast ass tempos .... molto prestissimo, 'ñño!
Track #6, #7, #9 have short but sweet tres solos.
Excellent electric guitar that isn't "in your face", just perfect.
(ripped rom vinyl @ 320 / Mp3's "cleaned" and "trimmed" with Goldwave V.5 and now sound great)

4.Ya Voló

The second LP: "Conjunto Supremo Nuevamente!" is a dissapointment to me, as the band lacks the same "steam" as they had on the previous LP.

Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba to play Olyimpic games in Beijing.

Conjunto Folclórico Nacional de Cuba actuará en Juegos Olímpicos de Beijing, China.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Conjunto Artemiseño - Artemisa, Cuba

Conjunto Artemiseño"
Vinyl LP

4. Artemisa

Conjunto Artemiseño, early 1980's (pre timba) Conjunto. From Artemisa, a city in western Cuba that's along the main highway and main railroad line between Havana and Pinar Del Rio. Not something that I would go out of my way to buy, however the band has a nice swing and is obscure, exactly what I like posting here on Fidel's Eyeglasses.
The piano player is playing a vintage 1970's "Univox" !
vinyl LP

Monday, July 28, 2008

Photo: Chano Pozo & Art Blakey 1948 N.Y.C.

Chano Pozo & Art Blakey
at 'The Royal Roost' N.Y.C. 1948

Photos: Francisco 'Chino' Pozo

Born: October 4, 1915, Habana, Cuba
Murio: April 28, 1980, New York City, U.S.
Francisco 'Chino' Pozo 1957

Francisco 'Chino' Pozo 1941

Francisco 'Chino' Pozo: bongoes,
Chonguito: tumbadora
with Tito Rodriguez.

'Chino' Pozo with José Curbelo live at the 'China Doll' 1947.
Tito Rodriguez: vocal, Curbelo's father on bass.
Tito Puente: timbales, "Chino" Pozo playing bongoes.
Listen to what he does during the coro.
He definitely was "in the zone"!
These were bongoes that did not use tuning hardware, they were tuned by using a can of 'Sterno' that every conguero y bongocero brought to every gig.

Franciso 'Chino' Pozo: bongoes
Tito Puente: timbal
(listen to what he does during the coro)

Francisco 'Chino' Pozo: bongoes,  
Tito Puente: timbal
his boleros were immaculate.

'Sonaremos El Tambo'
Pupi Campo Orq.
Franciso 'Chino' Pozo: bongoes,  
Tito Puente: timbal

In memoriam - jazz saxophonist Johnny Griffin dies in France at 80

'Johnny Griffin'
Born April 24, 1928 - Died July 25, 2008
"The Little Giant"

Ben Ratliff's N.Y. Times article here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

'Milton Banana': father of modern Bossa Nova drumming - Brasil

The late 'Milton Banana': "father of modern Brasilian Bossa Nova drumming".
These are my "essencial" LP's by Milton Banana, "O Mestré"
('Milton Banana' was the drummer on all of João Gilberto's early LP's)

1963 O Ritmo e o Som da Bossa Nova *****

1965 - Ve *****
1965 Milton Banana Trio *****

1966 Balancando com Milton Banana Trio *****
1967 O Som do Milton Banana Trio
1968 Todo Dia e Dia *****
1970 Ao Meu Amigo Tom, Samba e Isso Vol. 4
1970 Milton Banana Trio *****
1971 Milton Banana
1971 Milton Banana Trio
1972 Milton Banana *****
1975 - Milton Banana
1977 Samba é Isso
1978 Tipo Exportacao (Samba e Isso) Vol. 2
1979 Ao Meu Amigo Chico Samba e Isso Vol. 3

1981- Ao meu amigo Vinícius

Jorge Autuori Trio - 2 LP's 1967, 1969, 1972 Brasil

Jorge Autuori Trio - Vol. 1 - 1967

Jorge Autuori Trio - Ovalô - 1969

Jorge Autuori Trio - 1972
(Jorge Autuori,Cristovão Bastos & Luis Roberto)

Master Bossa Nova drummer Jorge Autuori has a very different style than the late great Milton Banana, the "father" of Brasilian Bossa Nova drumming.
If you have never heard true "Bossa/Samba" drumming... it is nothing like the American crap you hear going up in the elevator to your dentists office, or in the bathroom at the airport.
Jorge Autuori kicks ass!