Friday, November 28, 2008

Honoring the Elders......CANDIDO

This quartet was originally organized by Marco Rizo, the famous Cuban composer who gained immortality by penning Lucy's Theme from the I Love Lucy Show. After his passing, Bobby Sanabria kept it alive using the fantastic Eddy Martinez on keyboards at this performance. This particular tune was written by Rizo specifically to show off the talents of the "Thousand Fingered Man" Candido. It's called Afro Samba.
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Candido sings.........

We have another jewel here where Maestro Candido sings "Compadre Pedro Juan," a classic Merengue from Santo Domingo. Eddy Martinez, Victor Venegas and Bobby Sanabria give it a new little twist.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

El Gran Combo, en vivo!

Puerto Rico has produced some of the most exciting bands in Latin Musicdom. These include Cortijo Y Su Combo, La Sonora Poncena, Tommy Olivencia's Orch., Willie Rosario and Roena's Apollo Sound among many others. My personal favorite however is El Gran Combo. The combination of swing and polished performances explain the moniker they wear. Here we have videos where they thrill thousands of their fans with two of their time honored hits.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eddie Palmieri @ Lincoln Center 8/25/00

What can I say, Eddie Palmieri playing AZUCAR on a Summer's night in NYC! How can you expect people to restrain themselves and remain in their seats and NOT DANCE? Well, you will hear the security staff from Lincoln Center booed resoundingly for trying. They failed. My little crew was hoping that Eddie P realized what was going on and not assume the boos were aimed at the band. The magic that is his music has an uncanny affect on folks as anyone who has seen him live can attest to. Que Viva Eddie Palmieri...Azucar!!!!!
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Bronx Horns @ Lehman College 8/16/97

Here we have a series of videos from the Bronx Horns. The performance took place in August of 97 at Lehman College's Lovinger Theater. The tunes featured are from both their current CD at the time "Catch The Feeling," and their new one (which had not been released prior to this concert), "The Bronx Horns Play Horace Silver." Ray Vega and Mitch Frohman's talents are abundantly on display throughout.
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Bronx Horns @ Lehman College 8/16/97

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Bronx Horns @ Lehman College 8/16/97

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Graciela's 80th @ Birdland 8/27/03

There are so many special musical nights in NY. This was truly one of them. Friend and fan gathered to pay their respects to the wonderful Graciela on her 80th birthday. The bash held at Birdland was fantastic, bringing out some of NYs finest musicians to pay homage to this truly great singer. "Gracie" took to the stage to lead what became an all out descarga, featuring David Oquendo on tres, Jimmy Bosch on trombone and Manny Duran on trumpet.

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Graciela's 80th @ Birdland, 8/27/03

This video begins with a tribute to Ernesto Lecuona, one of Cuba's greatest composers by one of Cuba's greatest musicians, Paquito D'Rivera and continues with a vintage Graciela bolero.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

La India from on high!

Say what you will about La India, the woman can belt out a song. That powerful voice is unmistakably hers. I heard her begin to sing when the band started playing, but couldn't see her. Then I looked up, and suspended above the concert throng was India 4o feet over our heads in a cherry picker raining down her lyrics for our mutual consumption. Her "publico" ate it up as she sang one of her biggest hits.

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Eddie Palmieri...up close

Some videos are harder to shoot then others. This one certainly tested my patience. I found myself in a Mosh Pit of paparazzi hell bent on getting their own shots. This will ceretainly be reflected in the video quality. I had to hold my ground to get what I got. It was worth the fight to hear Eddie P's vintage solo however and it is after all a labor of love. I don't have the exact date of the concert recorded. My guess is the late 90's.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Tambo Reunion, Knitting Factory, 1/27/98 pt.I

In 1973 Alegre Records put out an album by a group of young Latin musicians under the name Tambo. Directed by a very young Louie Bauzo, Tambo would be a cradle for many who would make their careers playing this music. In 1998, they celebrated their 25th anniversary with a concert at the famous Jazz emporium, the Knitting Factory in NY. Here is their dedication to Latin Jazz in general and Dizzy Gillespie in particular. The Manteca Suite was arranged by Jose Madera and is almost 17 mins. long.

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Tambo Reunion @ Knitting Factory 1/27/98 pt.II

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Perspectiva Fragmentada" - John Santos Quintet (Machete Records)


I am a big John Santos fan, but moreso for his folkloric offerings (i.e. Kindembo, Batachanga). John always manages to get great rumberos and percussionists together to record as a cohesive unit, it never sounds forced in other words. Sandy Perez, Willie Ludwig, Yaya Maldonado, Roberto Borrell are some of his regular guests.

But when it comes to Latin Jazz, he ain't no slouch either. "Perspectiva Fragmentada" is no exception. John fearlessly takes us on a journey through concepts made reality and recorded with a tenderness and attention to detail that only comes from truly having a respect for the traditions while forging ahead.

I won't go into too much detail, but I have been pumping this in the car for a couple of days and it just refuses to get old and tired. "Campana La Luisa" starts as a Palo song, then bembe, then son, then afro! I can't remember the last time I heard an Afro tune that wasn't recorded during the Golden Era of Latin Music. "Not in Our Name" is another great tune which seems to be taken straight out of "Miller's Crossing" only with bata thrown in for good measure.

Check out this review:

A musician’s perspective is their unique view of the world, shaped by their life and shared through music. Life experiences shape a musician’s perspective in many ways; every event in a musician’s life has an effect on their overall perception of the world. Upbringing, ritual, and tradition all foster a musician’s cultural perceptions, and the value that they place upon their heritage. Exposure to other lives and beliefs can expand an individual’s perspective, helping them look at the world through another person’s eyes. As musicians translate their perspective into sound, that worldview, background, and exposure shines through their compositions...

(click below for the whole review)