Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oscar "Floresita" Velasco O'Farrill - Trumpet - 1955 Cuba

The Original 1955 pressing and LP cover on the Riverside label. Cover artwork by 'Gene Gogerty'.
According to 'Gregorio "El Goyo" Hernández', this was the first "commercially released" LP of "Cuban rumba".
(info via Patrice Banchereau)

The CD reissue above.
 (They changed the text and changed the cover artwork a bit.)

Same record reissued as:
"La Rumba y la Conga - Coro y Percusion Cubana"
LP cover on the I.C.A.I.C. label.
1960 -'61

The CD reissue above.

All 12 Sones all by prolific composer
'Bienvenido Julián Gutiérrez'

"Sones De Ayer"
The original 1958 vinyl/LP cover on Gema.

Two recordings which showcase the sublime trumpet playing of the great Oscar "Floresita" Velasco O'farrill.

This post is really for "Floresita", not for the so called "star players".

In an interview with Felix Chappottin he says that "Floresita" was the major influence on him when he was a young man. Some absolutly beautiful trumpet playing by "Floresita" can be heard on these two sessions which both have been reissued and preserved on CD.
"Floresita" can be heard playing in Arsenio Rodriguez' conjunto (box set) and his superb playing can also be heard on the LP "Cuba Baila" .

#1- "Festival In Havana" 1955 was released as an American pressing on the Riverside record label. And reissued on CD in 2003 on Milestone.
#2- "Sones De Ayer" 1958 LP.
Reissued 1995 as "Miguelito Cuni con Septeto de Bienvenido Julian Gutierrez.
On an Egrem CD.
"Festival in Havana" is a true 1955 "classic".
Floresita's sublime trumpet playing is heard on all the six Havana style 'Congas'.

Playing true "Havana style" trumpet for the "Conga" rhythm that is performed with the carnival Comparsa groups is highly stylistic and an art form not to be confused with playing "Son".Carlos Embale singing and a multitude of historically important and legendary drummers.He is the only horn player in both of these sessions.
Miguelito Cuní with a Septeto, playing Sones written by the great Bienvenido Julián Gutiérrez ("Sones De Ayer")Another excellent recording again showing "Floresitas" literally "sublime" trumpet playing.... this time playing 'Sones' ('Son'). I don't have words to describe Miguelito Cuní's voice.... not only on the Sones, but the boleros as well.
"Niño" Rivera is the tresero on this.
Lily Martinez and Nené Pedroso: piano.
Bienvenido Cardenás: Bass.

And the bongocero is Papa Kila.
This has nothing to do with "old" school.... it has everything to do with "the school".For me... Floresita was the best trumpet player within this musical idiom.... hands down.
Felix Chappottin & Chocolate Armenteros
both being fine trumpet players with thier own unique individual sound may both have more "notoriety", but if you listen "closely" to Chappo' y Choco', you will hear Floresita.Floresita didn't play in the upper registers so a dog could hear him ten miles away.
He played with pure soul! Alma Cubana.
(and it ain't got nuthing to do with Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford brown, Kenny Dorham or Roy Eldridge)
Oscar "Floresita" Velasco was "the man"!

Video of "Floresita" 


Anonymous said...

The Festival in Havana rec is the first rumba record ever. El Goyo tells the initial group was El Coro Folklórico Cubano, led by Odilio Urfé, and the name of the Gema record was "La Rumba y la Conga". The record had never been sold in Cuba.
This group is still alive, led by Pedro Aspirina (Pedro Pablo Valdés Rodríguez). patricio

Anonymous said...

A real gem of an LP. Thank you so much for making it available.

Unknown said...

I can`t belive it, In "Sones de Ayer" trumpet player is not Chappo??.. In Convergencia is also Florecita?..

Waoo.. He estado engañado todo este tiempo.

Gracias Mark!!!

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

Yes, the trumpet player on 'Sones De Ayer' is "Florestita".

CANUCO said...

Who was the Bass player on Sones de Ayer, with Miguelito Cuni?

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

The bass player was 'Bienvenido Cárdenas'.