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Cuban Music and its Deriavitives

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    Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 6:09pm
Cuban music is often labelled as Son and people are partly right but Son is actually a style of Cuban music which has become the most well known. Cuban music is divided into many of these styles or sub genre's which today has become a mix with comtempary Latin music becoming what is known as Boogaloo and Salsa. Many a Cuban singer, even today would wince as being known as a Salsero but a Sonero is the correct term for these singers that originate from the home of one of the greatest styles and influences throughout todays modern music including, particulary African and Western styles of music. Salsa also has Puerto Rican and slight western influences which have their own deriavitives and although Salsa is primarily Cuban based it has been, one could say, "corrupted with these other influences". This is not a page on disrespect for this fabulous music that Salsa has become and I myself would never have delved back many years ago into Cuban music if not for those first Fania Salsa albums that I purchased containing all the joy, drive, beat and class that great Salsa has. "Still it just the sauce" which went on top of Cuban music one could say, if you pardon the pun for Spanish speaking people.
 
The clave is the basis for all of of those poly rhythms which actually were originall old sailing ship pegs but slowly morphed into todays smooth looking varnished wooden pegs. The clave provides a five accents which is the basic under laying rhythm within so many Afro Cuban compositions and styles. Whether the clave is used or not by a band or orchestra that rhythm is still present.


Edited by Matt - 05 Jul 2012 at 7:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 6:12pm
First up I will start with the "Montuno" which are the repititions used in many of the deriatives of Cuban Music primarily at the end of the composition. Here is the first example with this link and yep it is a Fania release but still a Cuban composition by the great Arsenio Rodriguez and one will hear the montuno mid during the tune and particulary at the end of this little Latin rocker Larry Harlow changed it too. Junior Gonzalez is the vocalist with the montuno section having the addition of the coros ( backing vocalists) being mixed with Junior's lead. It's the repitition!
 
Celia Cruz has a version as well from her Tico album "Son Con Guaguanco".
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 6:12pm
Start from the begining with the first style being "The Danzon" which originated in the 1870's and is basically a four bar intro, another changed four and 12 containing melody with the whole thing being repeated over. Orquestra Antonio M Romeu is the band and Antonio was himself personally a pianist. This is how the charanga element was introduced as well when piano was added to the original Danzon line up of flute, violin, bass, timbalitos and guiro
 


Edited by Matt - 05 Jul 2012 at 6:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 6:32pm
Good article Matt, I'm just getting into it, I'll probably have to finish some of it tomorrow, but I had one correction for you right off the bat:

The clave is five accents, but it covers a four beat time period, or one bar.
Saying it is "five beats" isn't exactly the right language, I know what you were trying to say though. Wink

In other words, a clave is a repeating rhythmic figure that involves the same 5 accented beats within a one bar (or four beat) phrase.


Edited by js - 05 Jul 2012 at 6:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 7:52pm
Originally posted by js js wrote:

Good article Matt, I'm just getting into it, I'll probably have to finish some of it tomorrow, but I had one correction for you right off the bat:

The clave is five accents, but it covers a four beat time period, or one bar.
Saying it is "five beats" isn't exactly the right language, I know what you were trying to say though. Wink

In other words, a clave is a repeating rhythmic figure that involves the same 5 accented beats within a one bar (or four beat) phrase.
Thanks John. I know what you mean accents it is. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 7:54pm
Son is next which all one needs is a guitar or tres and bongos to play at a basic pattern as Son is the African rhythm mixed with the European melody but things have become slightly more filled out over time with bass, trumpet, trombone, congas, piano added giving us a Conjunto band format which is the most common method to present the music today starting from the mid forties after the great Arsenio Rodriguez came up with the idea of the Conjunto band make-up. Of course the clave is the basic percussion pattern and Son is not just Son as it also has sub-genres being  mixed within at times Afro, Bolero,Guaracha,  Mambo, Guaguanco, Pregon,etc and the majority will have a montuno added to them bringing that absolute distinct recognition of its origins to the music's structure. Maria Teresa Vera with Rafael Zequeira and assistance from Manuel Corona on 2nd guitar had some of the first recorded instances of Son being made in 1916 but the band that is always remembered as the most famous is Sexteto Habanero as it was their early records in 1925 that actually popularised Son. They became Septeto when a trumpet was added to their line up of six already in October 1927 and then that classic Son sound was really born.
 
Here they are as Septeto with their tune "Coralla" recorded late May 1928
 
 
Below is Arseno Rodriguez with a Son Montuno presented in the classic Conjunto format. "El Rincon Caliente" recorded in Havana April 1950
 


Edited by Matt - 05 Jul 2012 at 7:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2012 at 7:18pm
Originally posted by js js wrote:

Hey Matt, what do you call this beat or style, especially the cowbell on every downbeat.

I realize this is way off your timeline here, but this one has been bugging me.
It is Boogaloo with what I can hear. I am only getting about the first 10 secs of the tune and it just keeps timing out. That is "Louie Louie" the Pop song The Kingsman had the hit with?  Iggy Pop does a fab version too from his "American Caesar" album.
 
Mongo wrote the music for George Fame's hit 'Yeh Yeh" the lyrics though were done later
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 4:55pm
The Gauracha actually predates Son and was used in early style Cuban Theatre originally (Bufo, comic theatre) is at a faster pace than Son with usually humorous lyrics which were sometimes critical with comedy injected of current social and political issues. As Guarachas are sung at a more rapid tempo the vocalists which specialise are named Guaracheros which has faded with time and today Sonero is in general description. Even though Son did come later the Guaracha today is catergorised under the Son banner as it is one of the most used forms of music with Son. One of the greatest singers to do the style was Celia Cruz who I will add could sing any other style as well just as proficiently but another who performed them beautifully was Nico Saquito whose bands name was Nico Saquito y sus Guaracheros de Oriente ( Oriente depicts which side of the Cuban Island that they originated from. The other side was named Occidente).  Benito Antonio Fernandez Otiz was actually Nico Saquito's real name where he worked as musical director at the radio station R.H.C. and this is where he ran into  Celso Vega's quintet and after Celso left for New York, Nico Saquito took over with the running of the band and renamed them Guaracheros de Oriente which dates back to 1946. Nico Saquito usually only added maracas and coros ( backing vocals) with his contribution to the band and the band did not just do Guarachas but covered most other forms of Cuban but it the Guarachas that they are remembered for.
 
The link below is for Nico's guaracha "Mama Belen" recorded 1947
 
 
And this one, first recorded 1946 is "Adios Compay Gato"
 


Edited by Matt - 07 Jul 2012 at 4:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 5:08pm
Originally posted by js js wrote:

Also, what is this one called?

Boogaloo,   I'd say that whole album is with the fusion of Latin and Western tracks listed on the cover.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 5:19pm
What is confusing is that in Memphis music language, boogaloo means an RnB drum beat from New Orleans that sounds a lot like the Bo Diddley beat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 5:51pm
Originally posted by js js wrote:

What is confusing is that in Memphis music language, boogaloo means an RnB drum beat from New Orleans that sounds a lot like the Bo Diddley beat.
I have always known it John as a Latin genre that incorporated influences in contempary music ( above) even  Doo Wop. 1963 to about 1969. Nyorician is a contempary term for this and early Salsa to a degree these days. Originated in New York. Willie Colon, Richie Ray, Johnny Colon, Joe Cuba, Tito Puente, El Gran Combo, Joe Bataan, Bobby Valentin (very early days) and the list goes on are just some of the bands and artists. Of course Fania has the bulk of the material these days ( under their banner of subsidy labels taken over by them) and some of these albums are rare as hen's teeth with a price tag to match of course Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 6:04pm
Yeah I've been listening to boogaloo for years, I have lots of LPs and cassettes, I always called it Latin Soul or Latin RnB.

One thing about the rhythm, you can say the phrase "boog a loo" every 4th beat, its in the rhythm, the loo comes on the next one. (pun unintended) ha.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 6:14pm
Originally posted by js js wrote:

Yeah I've been listening to boogaloo for years, I have lots of LPs and cassettes, I always called it Latin Soul or Latin RnB.

One thing about the rhythm, you can say the phrase "boog a loo" every 4th beat, its in the rhythm, the loo comes on the next one. (pun unintended) ha.
Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz came up with the term. Pretty sure I reviewed his "On The Loose" album a while back.
Love their early stuff. "Aguzate" is a fab Salsa album. " El Bestial Sonido de" is another. They always threw in English tunes most times on their early albums and Latined them up.
 
Here is Joe Cuba doing "Bang Bang" for anyone who wants to know what we are talking about. Pure Boogaloo. Biggest hit.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 7:01pm
Might as well do the Pregon while we have Son and Guaracha above because simply that is what the style is. The Pregon is taken from the original street vendors cries or yells on what he is trying to sell. Hawkers is another term for these sellers which were all over the world back around the turn of the century with this style of selling and not just Cuba and they still exist with similarities today where ever one travels. Son or Guaracha was the style that a Pregon's lyrics are placed over.
 
I have to place this on here even if it is on other thread it is that important being "El Mansiero" ( The Peanut Vendor) recorded by the great Antonio Machin 1930 ( New York) in its original form but this one is a later date either live or from a movie. This would be the most Famous Pregon of them all which is Son based and Rita Montaneer recorded the first version in 1928
 
 
Here is another from the great Miguelto Valdes in front of Machito and his Afro-Cubans. Yes this is Mr "Babalu" himself. "Rica Pulpa" is the song and it another Son based but this in front of an Machito's orchestra. Recorded 1942
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 7:29pm
The Bolero is close behind Son for it's popularity and the Bolero ruled throughout the 20th century right up to the late fifties and still used today even on current contempary albums and still performed. The Bolero is what we would name as a ballad but technically it is not as it has a set rhythmic pattern being 2/4 time but the original Spanish boleros were 3/4 which is close enough for all us to say, "Yes they are ballads" to simplfy.
 
No need for any long back production here as the musicians from that time are here anyway and who else to do one than The Buena Vista Social Club, "Dos Gardenias"
 
 
Now this one is real contempary done by my favourite contempary Salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa being "No Pense Enamorarme Otra Vez" He is fab and boy can he belt out a Bolero not to mention fantastic Salsa as well. This tune is from Gilberto's "Viceversa" album and also appeared on his compilation release "Solo Bolero" being all Boleros and Ballads of course.
 
 
Nearly all Latin music and it's genres from all over South America and The Carribean has incorporated the Bolero
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2012 at 6:18pm
The Mambo swept across the United States in the late forties not to mention Cuba and is performed by an Orchestra in most cases which is where it is most suitable as it is Afro Cuban swing. Perez Prado was the man who came up with 'The Mambo" He originally replaced Anselmo Sacasas on piano in the early forties in Casino De la Playa. He hit the rythmn by doodling on the piano so the story goes but there were many late night Jam sessions with the band.
 
Perez's own words "Keep it clean a and punchy, with shouting brass and diamond bright percussion" and another term he used was "The Mambo was Afro-Cuban rhythmns with a dash of American Swing"
 
Mambo No. 5 originally recorded in Cuba between 1947 and 1949.
 
 
We have to have a Machito ( Frank Grillo) and it is "Tanga" written by Mario Bauza his lead trumpetor and arranger.
 
 
Another have to have is the great Xavier Cugat with "Bim Bam Bum" which is really is a Guaracha mamboed up one could say with that Swing firmly injected into the composition. Wait to you see the clip. Not only was Xavier extremly keen on women he was one fabulous artist.
 
 
One more from The Mambo greats and this one is Tito Rodriguez, "Sun Sun Babae" recorded 1950 to 1951
 
 


Edited by Matt - 08 Jul 2012 at 6:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2012 at 6:36pm
Great stuff, once again, "Tanga" has that typical mixolydian chord progression you also hear in early dub and African rumba, this time it is C to Bb.

Prado and Cugat records in good shape are common in SF thrift stores, I have a nice collection of Prados.

By the way, I found a cool record in my collection the other day, Roy Burrowes' "Reggae au go Jazz". You know that one?


Edited by js - 08 Jul 2012 at 6:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2012 at 6:52pm
Originally posted by js js wrote:

Great stuff, once again, "Tanga" has that typical mixolydian chord progression you also hear in early dub and African rumba, this time it is C to Bb.

Prado and Cugat records in good shape are common in SF thrift stores, I have a nice collection of Prados.

By the way, I found a cool record in my collection the other day, Roy Burrowes' "Reggae au go Jazz". You know that one?
Thanks John, I haven't heard "Reggae au go Jazz". Sounds interesting though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 4:47pm
Rumba is one of the lesser understood forms of Cuban music. Comprises percussion and singers only and is not to be confused with 1930's style Cuban Son and Danzons which some how garnered the name which was incorrect, The is another form of Rhumba as well although the whole world calls it that but technically it African music which originates from the Republic Of Congo and has nothing to do with Cuban Rumba albeit their music does have a slight Cuban Influence and it is spelt with a "h" included.
 
Rumba is of African origin but it is not African. You would not hear that style of percussive music anywhere over there. Sure you may hear influences but not Cuban Rumba with it's Yoruba origins. Rumba comes form the melting pot of African races that were brought to Cuba since the 14th century, Yoruba, Fang, Mandingo, Wolof, etc. It is played with three drums Tumba, Ilamador and Quinto. Boxes can also be used (cajones) that came about due to the illegality of hand drums in Cuba and if one was caught, "This is not a drum it is just a box, sir". The clave is also used or it can be spoons. Rumba also has vocals are which placed over the rhythm. When the Rumba starts that is where the dancers come in, either one or two who will simulate the meaning ascertained from the rhythm. There are six styles but three are primarily used only today being, Columbia, Yambu and Guaguanco. The Columbia is danced solo and the other two ( Yambu and Guaguanco) with a couple which is not just male and female but also can be just two males or the other way around.
 
Rumba is often associated with being Sacred music but although there are components with Santeria often being one of the claimed sources it is just party music that the Orishas with Santeria being one of, can listen too and party along with as well. Rumba was played  indoors more so due to its illegality than any sacred context. That is why we have the dancers. This was basically African descent street music with all the European influence swept away and turned into what we could say black Cuban music due to it being practised by the African descendants and not the European in Cuba.
 
Here are some samples, instead of me waffling on and you can hear loud and clear what Rumba really is.
 
Here is group of professionals at it. Two styles the Columbia and the Guaguanco are danced.
 
 
Here is another from a band that has does have Rumba influence and actually this band is greatest exponent of a fairly contempary style of Cuban music being "Timba' but here is it just, Rumba. Los Van Van is the bands name
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 5:21pm
Yeah, that is the most African sounding, complex poly-rhythms.
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