Saturday, November 13, 2010

Profiles in greatness: Agustín Gutiérrez (selected bongó solos)

Agustín Gutiérrez
a.k.a. "Manana"
(pictured with Abelardo Barroso playing Clavé)
Born: La Habana 1900 - died: ?

It's often thought that Agustín Gutiérrez created
the "Cuban" rhythmic form called the "Martillo"
which is the basic pattern played on the bongoes.

Agustín Gutiérrez was a member of the Abakúa in
La Habana and is often thought to be one of the first
bongoceros to introduce the technique of using the
thumb and middle finger to produce a glissando effect
by running the finger across the skin, producing a
low pitched "braying" or "mooing" sound, which in
actuality was derived from the highly secretive
Ékue drum which plays a major role in Abakúa
rites, never leaves the Fambá (temple) and is rarely
ever heard
by non Abakúa societal members.
The sound is meant to replicate the call of a Leopard.
(originally rooted in the Calabar region of Nigeria)

Agustín Gutiérrez - 1927

Agustín Gutiérrez - 1928

Agustín Gutiérrez third from left.

El coro dice:
"Agustin el bongocero, que tiene fama mundial 
ahora le va a repicar hasta que se rompe el cuero"
 Cuarteto Caney -1936 
Panchito Riset: vocal
"Sabrosito bongó"
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
"Loma De Belén"
Sexteto Habanero 1925
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
"Yo No Tumba Caña"  
Sexteto Habanero 1926  
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes

"Elena La Cumbanchera"
Sexteto Habanero 1927  
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
"El Bongó Del Habanero"  
Sexteto Habanero 1928
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes

Septeto Nacional recorded in Madrid,1929
Bienvenido León: voc.
Juan De La Cruz: voc.
Lazaro Herrera: trumpet. 
Ignacio Piñeiro: bass.
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes.
Eutimio Constantín: guitar. 
Francisco Solares González: tres.

"El Que Siembra Su Maiz"
Septeto Nacional 1929
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
"Bururún Barará"
Septeto Nacional 1929
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
"A La Loma De Belén"
Septeto Nacional 1929
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
Septeto Nacional 1929
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes
Septeto Nacional 1929 
Agustín Gutiérrez: bongoes 

Agustín Gutiérrez with Conj. Clave y Guaguancó -1967

3. "Tumba La Caña"
Agustín Gutiérrez: quinto-cajón
 5. "Cuando Me Toca Mi"
Agustín Gutiérrez: quinto-cajón
7. "Sarabanda Kimbansero"
Agustín Gutiérrez: quinto-cajón
8. "Coco Mondanséré" 
Agustín Gutiérrez: quinto-cajón

Conjunto Nasako
Agustín Gutiérrez playing Chekeré
Luis Santamaria (Mongo Santamaria's cousin) singing.
Jesús Pérez playing el hierro (guataca).
Sonia Calero dancing.
(3 drums made by Candido Requena)


The drummer on the left in the photo below on the classic
Panart 'Guaguancó Afro-Cubano' LP is in the video above.

The drummer on the left is playing a tumbadora made by
Candido Requena... and the other drummer on the right is
playing my absolute favorite Quinto for the last 45 years.
I'd kill for a drum that exact shape and size.
(Nicolás Mauro: quinto)

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