Monday, March 30, 2009

Casino de la Playa - Canta Felo Martinez 1962 - Cuba

Casino de la Playa - Canta Felo Martinez
EGREM vinyl LP - 1962

8. Cuando Tu Vayas A Oriente

12. Descarga Orquestal

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Photos - Myself, my Father & Mother in Cuba, 1959, 1957, 1949

In 1959 my father took me to Cuba when I was six years old.
My dad had a Roliflex camera that he would use hand held and also on a tripod with a self timer. He took hundreds of photos, many that I still have.

My boarding pass to get on the plane.

Getting off the airplane.

My dad and myself sitting on the sea wall
along 'El Malecon'

La Habana 1959

I'm standing on the back of a cracker truck,
in front of the 'Capitolio'.
La Habana 1959.

This Man carried the dog in that blue box, the dog
came out of the box and did tricks while I watched.
La Habana 1959

I'm looking at mannequins in the window
of a store that sold uniforms.

La Habana 1959

A magician was doing tricks in the street,
my dad took
a photo of me squatting down and watching.
La Habana 1959

In front of a theater.
La Habana 1959

  At the amusement park Coney Island (the Cuban one)
Photo taken by my dad, 1959

My Father and Mother in a restaurant.
La Habana 1957

My father and mother at the Morro Castle,

with a Cuban Navy guard.
La Habana 1949

Next to Parque Central.
La Habana 1949

La Habana, Cuba 1949

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Conjunto Casino / LP cover 1960 - Cuba

Conjunto Casino / Velvet LP cover - Cuba 1960
The Man in the hat is 'Rosendo Rosell'

3. Rumba Pa' Los Rumberos
Vocal: 'Felo Martinez'
('Rogelio "Yeyito" Iglesias' Bongoes)

Los Munequitos De Nuevo - Cuba

"Los Munequitos de nuevo"
Old vinyl LP, a few skips at beginning.

"A Beny Moré"

Jorge Reyes "Pocito 11" 1982 - Cuba

'Jorge Reyes' - "Pocito 11"
Vinyl LP

1. Pocito 11

2. Como Fue

4. El Manisero

Video of Jorge Reyes with
Amaury Perez y El Grupo Expreso Ritmico 1979

Friday, March 27, 2009

Orquesta America de Ninón Mondéjar 1959 - Cuba

1. Ay, Ay, Ay
2. Ay, Lupita

3. Cha Cha Chá Chabela

4. Cha Chá Con Melodia

5. El Zapatero

6. En Ti, En Ti

7. Isabelita

8. Lejos De Cuba (Cuba, Que Linda es Cuba)

9. Mentiras Criollas

10. No Quiero Ser Feo

11. Para Que Me Recuerdes

12. Quiereme Un Poquito Mas

5. El Zapatero

8. Lejos De Cuba (Cuba, Que Linda es Cuba)

9. Mentiras Criollas

11. Para Que Me Recuerdes

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In memoriam: Manny Oquendo dead at 78

Manny Oquendo
January 1, 1931 - March 25, 2009

Died at 78 from a heart attack during kidney operation.
Iba ayé ba yé t'orún

Charlie Palmieri, Manny Oquendo,
Mongo Santamaria, Vicentico Valdés.

In San Francisco, California 1950's.

Manny Oquendo playing with Charlie Palmieri.
Mongo Santamaria: tack head tumbadora.

Vicentico Valdés band, Ray Coen: piano,
Mike Collazo: timbales Manny Oquendo: bongoes
Tommy Lopez Sr.: tack heads.

Arsenio Rodríguez Trio "live-en vivo" @ The Smithsonian Institute's music festival 1969

At the Festival of American Folklife, Washington, D.C. 1969
Luis Salomé: bass, Arsenio: tres,
Quique Rodríguez: tumbadoras

Arsenio Rodríguez live-en vivo at the Smithsonian Institute's world music festival in Washington D.C. 1969
These recordings are often mistakenly referred to as "Arsenio Live at The Smithsonian"....
in actuality, it was at the third outdoor "Festival of American Folklife" that The Smithsonian Institute organized.

Arsenio Rodríguez and his brother "Quique" Rodríguez take part in the Smithsonian Institute's third Festival of American Folklife.

A trio, with 'Arsenio Rodríguez' on Tres guitar & Tumbadora, his brother "Quique" on Tumbadora (o sea "Conga") and 'Luis Salomé' on accoustic bass.
It was done on a magnetic tape "Reel to Reel" recorder with the sound less then ideal.
Here he shows his Congolese roots as well as well as playing Abakúa & Lucumi rooted music. (No Son Montunos)
Arsenio's playing style, tuning, as well as the "sound" he gets from his tres sounds at times amazingly close to an African string 'Kora'.
1. Yimbílá - 3:35
2. Tangan luchá - 3:37
3. Abakúa - 4:23
4. Cancion de cuna - Lucumi - 3:26
5. Tambor de Yuka - 3:24
6. Agó Elegúa - 3:15
7. Mayombé - 3:41
8. Rezo a Yemayá & Ochún - 3:53
9. Ogún - 4:24
10. Tambor de Yuka (alternate version) - 3:12

1. Yimbílá


3. Abakúa
 Arsenio speaks, sings, plays tres, then he plays
 the 'Bonkó Enchemiyá' part with his brother

6. Agó Elegúa

9. Ogun
Arsenio sings, plays tres, then
 plays solo drum with his brother

In memoriam: 'John Hope Franklin'

Jan. 2, 1915 - May 26, 2009
94 years old.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Combo Tiempos Nuevos 1970's - Cuba

"Camina Con Los Codos"

Combo Tiempos Nuevos

"Abraza Me Por Favor"
Combo Tiempos Nuevos

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rudy Calzado - Cuba, N.Y.C.

"Pachanga Time"
Vinyl LP - 1961

Rudy Calzado
Nov. 1929, Santiago de Cuba
May 11 2002, N.Y.C.

Singer, arranger, bandleader and prolific composer, this was his first 1961 LP as a leader of his own band.
Originally on Gema (RLP1146), this was the reissue on Gema's subsidiary label: 'Rumba' (RLP 55546).
After this
it was never reissued again.

Rudy Calzado: director, singer, güiro, composer.(all 12 songs)
José Andrew: violín
José “Chombo” Silva: violín
Daniel González: violín
Roberto (Bobby) Rodríguez: bajo
Roger Lewis: flauta
Elliot Romero: coros,
Frank Mercado: coros
Alfredo Valdés: tumba
Felipe Yanes: piano
Miguel P. Hernández: güiro
Walfredo De Los Reyes III: timbal

7. Tumba La Caña Jibarito
10. La Botija De Abuelito

"Orq. Nuevo Ritmo De Cuba"
Original LP cover on GNP

"Orq. Nuevo Ritmo De Cuba"
Original group in Chicago 1958 

Armando Sánchez: leader and tumbadoras.
Victor Venegas: bass.
Rene 'El Látigo' Hernández: piano.
Rolando Lozano: flute.
Rudy Calzado: vocal, Güiro.
Nicolas Martinez: timbal.

"Discothèque Goes Latin"

"Salsa En Los Infiernos" 1978"Rica Charanga" 
*All 8 compositions by Rudy Calzado

Pupi Legarreta plays his ass off on flute (and violin).
Mario Bauzá on clarinet.
Everyone swings on these sessions.

Vinyl LP
"La Charanga Antillana"

CD reisssue

Rudy Calzado also kills on this LP.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rosendo Ruiz Jr. (Orq.Estrellas Cubanas) 1960 - Cuba

Original vinyl LP cover on TICO

"Havana Bound"
Rosendo Ruiz Jr. & His Orchestra
(Orq.Estrellas Cubanas)
CD reissue out of print, with 12 additional
songs I added from an other source.

The following was a review written by the respected Cuban music historian 'Luis Dequesada' on August 13, 2001 on
His information is excellent.
(I corrected only a few misspelled words)

"Definitely one of the most rare and sought after of all Cuban Charanga orchestra albums.
This compilation was recorded in Havana, Cuba in 1959 or 1960 and was first issued then as a 33rpm vinyl Lp by 'Tico' Records.
Unfortunately it was discontinued by Tico around 1964 and since then it has become an elusive, hard to get and sought after recording, especially by connoisseurs of this genre.

This excellent Cuban Charanga directed by the great composer and pianist Rosendo Ruiz, Jr. was none other than maestro 'Felix Reyna's' "Orquesta Estrellas Cubanas", which was 'José Fajardo's' original orchestra until Reyna's takeover in 1959.
This great orchestra was nicknamed "Rosendo Ruiz Jr.& His Orchestra" for these recordings.
These recording sessions were made at the legendary CMQ Radiocentro's Studio #1 in Havana, Ruiz made one addition and one substitution. He added the famed violinist
'Miguel Barbon', aka "El Niño Prodigio" of 'Orq.Melodias del 40', to enhance the orchestra's strings section and substituted 'Julio Guerrero', aka "El Distinto" for 'Gonzalo Fernandez' then of Orquesta America de 'Ninon Mondejar' as flutist, the latter change became a controversial topic among experts and fans, then and in subsequent years.

This is a superb CD, the Charanga chorus, the musical arrangements, the tunes and the band are just exquisite. "Flor de Amor", "ChaChaCha del Diablo", "Lloraras"(my favorite), "El Pregon del Amor","La Vida Es Corta","El Borracho y El Bodeguero","La Combinacion", "Cha Cha Cha Loco", "Salsa Negra", "Guapacha en La Luna", "Pan Con Timba" and "Mambo Sideral" will simply delight you. I highly recommend the acquisition of this rare Cuban musical gem.
Definitely Rosendo Ruiz Jr.'s best lifetime work.

Recorded in Cuba during the famed and flavorful "Guapacha era", 1955-1960.

The original CD reissue has 12 songs, I added an extra 12 songs from another 'Rosendo Ruiz Jr.' recording. 24 songs total.

The remastered CD recordings have excellent sound.

"Carnaval En La Habana" 1974 EP - Cuba

"Carnaval En La Habana"
1974 EP

"Carnaval Del XX Aniversario"
Canta: Tito Gomez

"Son Veinte Na' Ma"
Canta: Pacho Alonso

"El Carnaval Es Fiesta Con Sabor A Pueblo"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Video: Cuba - Orq. Aragon 'Alejandro Tomás Valdés' (cello) Cha-Onda

Alejandro Tomás Valdés , cello player and the creator of the ritmo "Cha-Onda", gets up and dances "Cha-Onda".

"Esa La Ley"


"Pare Cochero"

Alejandro Tomás Valdés , cello player and the creator of the ritmo "Cha-Onda", gets up and dances "Cha-Onda".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Miguelito Cuni - "Guaguanco A Todos Los Barrios"- Cuba

'Miguelito Cuni' - "Guaguanco A Todos Los Barrios"
Early 1980's vinyl LP
With 'Miguelito Cuní', 'Felix Chappottin', '
Arturo Sandova'l, 'Andrés "Niño" Rivera Echevarria' .