Live at the Watts Jazz Festival, Vol. Percussion, Primary Artist, Timbales, Vocals. Latin Percussion, Percussion. Drums, Guest Artist, Main Personnel. Guest Artist, Main Personnel, Timbales. Drums, Performer, Primary Artist, Timbales. Cuban Percussion, Guest Artist, Percussion. Groovy Vol. Primary Artist, Producer. Pulp Fusion: 15th Anniversary Crystal Edition.
Verve Club: Legendary Jazz Grooves Quatro: The Definitive Collection. Chico Hamilton. Wes Montgomery. Dexter Gordon. Best of Dexter Gordon [Blue Note].
Only the Best of Eddie Harris, Vol. Eddie Harris. Only the Best of Freddie Hubbard. Freddie Hubbard. Jazz for Wedding [Universal Japan]. Primary Artist, Vocals. From Latin to Jazz Dance, Vol. Defected in the House: Eivissa Herbie Mann. Primary Artist, Timbales. Bobby Flores. Main Personnel, Percussion. Pottery Barn: Dirty Martini, Vol.
Congas, Main Personnel. Progressions: Years of Jazz Guitar. Masters at Work. Guest Artist. Bongos, Jawbone. Congas, Drums, Percussion. Masters of Afro-Cuban Jazz. Thievery Corporation. Drums, Guest Artist. Leader, Primary Artist, Timbales. Tropical Spirits: Parts One and Two. It happened in the following manner.
While opening up for vocalist Tito Rodriguez's band at a ballroom in Newark, Chico's vocalist failed to show up and he wound up singing lead and playing the conga drum, a task which he found overwhelming. Noticing his potential, Tito approached him at the end of the set and suggested that he pursue a career as a vocalist. Although he felt honoured that such a renowned artist would take notice of him, he continued to play the congas, which he loved.
Although they remained in the back of his mind, Tito's advice went unheeded for a couple of more years, until around As fate would have it, there occurred a second boom with the "charanga" style bands, Round Trip - Willie Bobo - Lost And Found (CD, and another quirk of fate led Chico to a club called La Mancha, which was located on 14th Street, near Union Square.
As he passed La Mancha, he noticed a lot of "Latin" looking people going upstairs, so he asked someone what this place was. They told him it was a Latin music dance club. Seeking work for his Latin jazz sextet, he decided to go upstairs and check out the ambience.
Boldly, he approached the bandleader and asked to sit in on congas. The leader said no, but asked Chico if he could sing, to which he replied "Yes". On the bandstand that night was the legendary bassist Israel Lopez Cachaowho later on spoke to Chico and matter-of-factly echoed Tito Rodriguez's words, even suggesting to him that he had the chops to be a lead singer. This time he heeded the elder's advice, and decided right then and there that this was what he wanted to do.
With this band he was initially a "corista", but he quickly picked up the art of playing the guiro, an instrument that he had never paid much attention to, but which was essential to the charanga sound. He learned to play it from one of the masters of that instrument, Osvaldo "Chihuahua" Martinez.
He is also an excellent maraca player, a task that is very much underestimated these days. For years he listened to the artful playing of Felipe Neli Cabrera, from the Sexteto Habanero, considered the man who put the instrument on the musical map. During this period he also composed many original numbers, which have been recorded by artists from Mexico to Sweden. He also worked for a brief time with publisher and artist Izzy Sanabria, designing the popular magazine Latin New York.
With this recording, he presented a colorful album of Afro-Cuban music, revolving around the theme of the drum, with skilful and sophisticated arrangements, exciting and romantic moods, which transported the listener to a faraway and forbidden land, just ninety miles from Key West. It is probably his most typically Cuban album. His latest endeavour is the formidable Orquesta Palomonte, an all-star big band that features five saxes, four trumpets, two trombones, three singers and a full Afro-Cuban percussion section.
His presentations are not limited exclusively to big band dance music, and feature many colorful and diverse types of aggregations, such as a rumba group, a son sextet and a Latin jazz quintet. He has released seven albums, both as a solo artist and with various bands, including the Bronx-based group Nosotros and the Afro-Caribe Band, which he broke up in On that night, Chico delighted dancers and listeners alike with his powerful voice and his formidable 18 piece orchestra, breathing new life into the classic arrangements of those arrangers whom I have mentioned previously.
He has performed recently with Charanga Soleil and is featured with Junior Rivera's Cuarteto Son at the favorite Greenwich Village restaurant "Cuba", as both vocalist and percussionist. He is also Round Trip - Willie Bobo - Lost And Found (CD official conga player and Latin vocalist for Album) Ken Gross Orchestra.
Chico is presently associated with the renowned pianist and arranger Edy Martinez, alumnus of the bands of Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto and Gato Barbieri, with whom he often performs as a Round Trip - Willie Bobo - Lost And Found (CD guest. Much to his credit, this multi-faceted musician, vocalist and bandleader was once one of the most sought-after graphic artists in New York City, designing over five thousand album covers during the ten year period between and He gave up a lucrative career in that field in order to pursue a career in music, and has never regretted it.
Although the program aired in Spanish, the type of music that Chico featured attracted a wide cross-section of New Yorkers and urbanites. He conducted his shows in much the same manner that he conducted his band, in that each performance was a unique learning experience, rather than just mere entertainment.
Prior to his programs most Latin Jazz shows were done in English. To this day he continues to promote the bi-lingual format while stressing the importance of using correct Spanish on the air. The series examined the synthesis of two musical traditions that shared common origins; American jazz, developed by Afro-Americans at the turn of the twentieth century in the port city of New Orleans and the son, developed by Cubans in the port city of Havana during approximately the same period.
It is a long and complicated story, and the end result has been the marriage of these two forms. In practically all of his presentations, Chico manages to convey this very important aspect of the music to his audience, publicly acknowledging the masters and their contributions. He never forgets where the roots are, and he lets his public know it. Chico's contention is that their collaboration was as key moment in the evolution of jazz and their brief relationship changed forever the musical landscape and the popular culture of North America.
He vehemently emphasizes this, especially to those who would rather re-write history. All three programs focus on the transculturation process as it was experienced in New York City and other major urban centers throughout the country. Apart from the great music, Chico also concerns himself with putting forth much valuable information about the recordings themselves, both from historical as well as sociological perspectives.
Baobab - Pirate's Choice some great older tracks Orch. Laba Sosseh - singing his heart out! Africando - The African Salsa Powerhouse!!! Early Afrcan Salsa dispite goofy and racist cover imagery, it's a great record! Don't miss them in concert, and buy all their CDs!
Ricardo lemvo - simply one of the best! The Great Ricardo Lemvo - words cannot describe this man's talent and super friendly personality!!!! Sorry it's sooo small! Tabu Ley In Action! Essential Rochereau collection - required! Wow - Rumba On The River - a nice collection in a fab package - a must! Ah, the sweet M'Bilia Bel - beautiful lady, incredible voice, sublime in concert - and she's on "Kinavana" too! Orchestra Baobab is a shining example of the positive outcome of negative historical circumstances.
The many diverse fruits of a new culture have grown — both in the so-called New World and back in the Motherland — out of the malignant carnivorous flowers of the slave trade, Middle Passage, and wholesale colonial appropriation and exploitation of Africa. The cross-pollination of Africa, Europe, and Indigenous America yields an incredible cornucopia of artistic and religious expression that travels both ways, and it is a testament to the strength and inner light of the human spirit that so much positive energy and healing strategies are the result of Round Trip - Willie Bobo - Lost And Found (CD an evil garden of suffering and destruction.
Like the tree, the band is a graceful temple of bundled sinew, solidly muscular but able to bend in the winds of history. The Baobab is imposing in its longevity, relying on a system of deep roots and natural wisdom to throw off seeming dormancy or death and the vicissitudes of the barren harsh environment that surrounds it.
It is said that in the old days the hereditary bardic musicians called griots were buried in the hollowed out centers of the sacred baobab trunk, no doubt infusing the tree with the spirit of music. First formed in Dakar, Senegal, at the Baobab Club inout of the ashes of the rival Stars Band from the Miami Club, Orchestra Baobab disbanded in the earlys and did not record together again until The full spectrum of African Diaspora musical expression was there on stage, from rock to jazz, with the more naturally similar Cuban song forms of the son montuno and cha-cha-cha dominating, though less obvious Caribbean strains like zouk, merengue, and reggae were in abundance as well.
The show ended with saxophonist Issa Sisokho blowing a saucy accapella bop coda, sounding like a jazz player of the 50s, with his tall thin frame topped by a jaunty fedora that brought to mind Dexter Gordon. Though the concert had a more up-to-date sound than their freakier 70s recordings, most of the members in effect that night at Pearl Street had played on those early sessions, and it was a thrill to see the whole band together on our soil performing their superb songs for an evening of pure pleasure, taking us home and soothing us.
But the interlocking poly-rhythms of Baobab are at once more sexy and slower — the closest rock equivalent would be the Velvet Underground, with the droning double rhythm guitar attack of Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed always propelled by the rock-steady clocking drum beats of Mo Tucker. Small wonder that Reed hated the cymbals and forbade Tucker to use them; for Mo, it was no big deal jetisoning rock's tinny time keepers; she had learned to bash the tom toms from those same beautiful Olatunji records that turned on Carlos Santana and my dad back in the day.
But let's return to Africa, especially the Congo, where titans like O. Such deeply swinging music was made on that river or influenced by itthat sinuous snaking waterway that Conrad had called the Heart of Darkness in the previous century.
It continued to be the sound track for Indpendence, though in later years many left the scene or were forced to leave by regimes that followed the first years of idealism and nation building in the post colonial era. My absolute favorite from the 60s is Bantous de capital - be sure to listen to their faulous music, especially "Kumbele Kumbele" - though another tune, "Paquita" by African Fiesta, has laid claim to my heart for it's soothing and trance-inducing tones. I even love the phonetically pronounced Spanish; half the lyrics to Cuban and Puerto-Rican music are of African origin anyway!
The fact that some of this proto-African salsa came from Mali and Senegal, many miles from Kinshasa or Brazzaville, speaks not only for the universal allure of Afro-Cuban music in the Motherland, but also to the fact that many Africans were feeling a burgeoning pan-African consciousness at the time.
My treat was that I got to play. The quintessential cool cat, Bobo played timbales, congas and bongo with Tito Puente and Cal Tjaderin whose band the Nuyorican percussionist performed beside the great Cuban player Mongo Santamaria.
He took his music very seriously. He ruled it with an iron first and it had it be right; he was a great performer. Willie Bobo put out 14 solo albums on labels that included jazz bedrocks Verve and Blue Note, although, his son recalls, he was not so good at playing music industry politics. He gave them some psychedelic soul songs instead.
Dextro, Prince Igor-Polovstian Dances 8 And 17 - Various - Classics For Lovers (CD), Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, The Makings Of You, Chevy One & Hanon (3) - Hostage (File, MP3), Silence Is Golden - Various - 20 Great Heartbreakers (Vinyl, LP), Seguidilla And Duet - Bizet* - Highlights from Carmen (Vinyl, LP, Album), Giant Steps - Jaco Pastorius - Holiday For Pans (CD, Album)