Black Entertainment : CLAVE:The African Roots of Salsa...

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Isaiah, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  2. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I love salsa, latin jazz, cubop and all that good stuff. I think it's a nice natural sound. I love music with instruments and the singing is beautiful. Never heard of Clave though. Definately have to check it out.
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes, brother KenteMojo, I love AfroCuban/Salsa music, as well!!! I wish African Americans would listen more deeply to this genre of music, because I think we'd love it very much... We are a rhythm people, and this music is our roots, particularly the drumming - which I can listen to minus the fierce salsa horns and brass sections...

    Having done some drumming myself, I found a love in listening to the greats on this instrument(s)... The Africans in Cuba are second to none when it comes to drumming, and I find that their style, actually, closely resembles African Americans... They love a big PHAT BOTTOM(BASS)in their music, as we do here... It is the heartbeat that rumbles from your feet up into your heart, and makes you wanna move(smile!) In fact, as you are a jazz lover, study the relationship of Dizzy Gillespie and Afro Cuban trumpeter, Mario Bauza... Together, these men, one African American and the other African Latino, put together the sound we, today, call Latin Jazz... Powerful story about two very intensely proud and gifted Black men...

    Glad you responded to this piece KenteMojo!!! I will present more on this topic!

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I will check it out (Dizzy and Mario Bauza). Sounds interesting. If you know of any good AfroBeat, Afrocuban or jazz CD's, I would definately be interested in them. I just came from Tower Records and tried to pick up some jazz, but couldn't really find anything that sparked an interest. I love vocals and drums and lots of horn man. That's real music. I think that's what's getting me away from all this mainstream crap that's out now. Once you hear this music you realize all that other stuff is garbage. Not all...but most. No real musicianship or talent.
     
  5. sweetbrownsugar

    sweetbrownsugar Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I've always felt embarrassed or guilty or something because I just thought I was the only black person who liked salsa. Still saddened by the death of Celia Cruz. But I love the music. Most of my guilt comes from not knowing a lick of spanish and having the nerve to love and enjoy salsa. I've never heard of clave though. But I have to say, a while back I let some West African women braid my hair and they were braidin' and jamin' and the music was some West African music that had a salsa/reggae beat to it. Sounded good! I'm gonna check out the website and it's information. Sorry if I butted in the conversation guys.
     
  6. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That's funny. I always though it was weird because I can't speak or understand spanish either. It still sounds good though. :shades: I'm expanding my music library with music like this now, after years of getting frustrated because there was no good music coming out. It opens up a bunch of new CD's to add o my collection. I also encourage African Americans to look beyonf R&B and Hip Hop because there is so much more out there. Most of my family don't understand how I can listen to music I can't even understand. Then I tell them "can you understand Lil Jon"? Same thing....just better, purer music.
     
  7. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    SweetBrownSugar, how you doin' sista!(smile!)

    Claves are literally two sticks which the AfroLatin musician uses to keep time, and which the 6/8 AfroCuban/AfroLatin rhythm is built around... Our African American rhythm is slightly different, as it is a 4/4 rhythmic metronome... African Americans also popularized the BackBeat, which is that big thumping heartbeat in most Black music from the United States... Like in Church, when we clap on the 2 and the 4, that's the backbeat/heartbeat - make ya feel so weak(smile!) James Brown made all of his band thump on the BackBeat, which he called the ONE... Funk!

    Brother KenteMojo, there's so much stuff out there that I don't know where to begin... Like I said, I'm into the polyrhthmic drumming, so my collection is made up mostly of great drummers, like Mongo Santamaria, Carlos "Patato" Valdez, Ray Barreto, Milton Cardona, or the great folkloric group from Cuba, Los Munequitos De Matanzas... Los Munequitos is a Black Family group from the most famous African Cuban province in Cuba,(Matanzas) and their dancing and drumming is just mad awesome to see live... Africa lives in these brothers and sisters in every way shape, form, and fashion... They also do the Yoruba religious songs and chants, and the NANIGO secret society rhythms... Brother, the agogos and triangles, quiros and shekeres will make you cry - I'm telling ya!(smile!)

    Another Folkloric group to pay close attention to is Peru Negro(The Soul of Black Peru)... Off the chain, man... They have a website on AfroPop WorldWide, and you should check them out... Their singers are Susana Baca and Lucila Campos, and Lucila has a mad powerful voice... They've got good sound and video clips on their website, too... They play what is called the Cajon(carton or crate)and the Cajitas(Jawbone of an ***), and there's and interesting history behind the Cajon, which is about African people in Peru being persecuted for playing African Drums... The brothers simply started playing their rhythms on crates they'd secured from the docks, and now it's a world-class instrument used by lots of African folkloric groups...

    KenteMojo, if you don't have that Buena Vista Social Club stuff, then get it... Yes, it is old, yes it is somewhat dated, but the percussion in that music is ridiculous... Also, Ruben Gonzalez's work by himself, on piano, is beautiful... The best Buena Vista album, I think, is Distinto Differente, but all of their stuff is great... if you are into the Santeria/Yoruba music, man, the drummers I mentioned up above will ALWAYS feature a tribute to their Santos, dig - always! Remember, however, that there aint gonna be nothing but some percussion when they do their thing...

    Lastly, brother, the Afro Cubans developed a style when the Africans from Haiti came to Cuba during the Haitian revolution... It is called Danzon, and always features a waltz-like opening stanza, with violins and piano that makes you ask, "WTF is this?!" But, brother, after that opening stanza is done, and the percussion takes over, you actually dig the surprise after a while(smile!) From that particular style, the Afro Cubans developed what they call the Charanga style, which features great violins, guitars, some horns, and whole lotta drumming... It's all good, brother, believe me... I will look through my stuff for some albums, but my man Cachao(Israel Lopez)is one of the great masters of both styles... Cachao and his brother Orestes are the creators of the MAMBO more than 60 years ago, and he's still kickin' on that stand-up bass, man(smile!)

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  8. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother, almost forgot... The Haitian connection with the Danzon style is the type of drum and dance step used in the style, which the Haitians in Cuba called Tumba Francesa... The Tumba or Tumbador is the larger of the set of Conga Drums used in all African Latin music... If you already knew that, cool(smile!) I don't want to appear to be a know-it-all(smile!)

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  9. sweetbrownsugar

    sweetbrownsugar Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Isaiah, I think I am gonna come out of this shell I'm in (due to not knowing the languages and all) and grow a bit more..musically. And it's funny that you mentioned the Haitian influence....Danzon?

    My first 2 military deployments were to Haiti where we got to... on our "down-time" interact with the Haitian brothas and sistas. They would have us dancin', play and share music with us....different but similar in so, many ways in comparison to reggae/salsa and the music I heard the west african women playin'. I don't know if it was this Danzon style? But brotha I was jammin' over there too! And it's great that a people with so little...can have a treasure like that... music so rhythmic and uplifting. But just like KenteMojo...I like good music beyond R&B and Hip Hop. - Salsa, I play just as much and prefer working out to it as well (great for anyone trying to stay tone in the abs/hip/buttock area men and women). And man, it's good to hear from someone that knows alot about something Other than R&B and Hip Hop which I love too.
     
  10. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother KenteMojo, the address below is a nice long bio on Mario Bauza, the African Cuban trumpeter who befriended, mentored, and introduced John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie to Afro Cuban polyrhythms, and later, to Conguero, Chano Pozo... Chano and Dizzy composed Manteca, the all-time classic Latin Jazz/CuBop tune of the ages... Chano was an inveterate weed smoker, and it is alleged that he got stabbed to death in Harlem after his dealer tried to play him on a bag of weed(smile!)

    Brother, another cat whom you might want to check out - since you are into the brass - is Afro-Rican trumpeter, William Cepeda, of the World Famous Cepeda family of Puerto Rico. William was a member of Dizzy Gillespie's band in the early 1990's, and went on to form his own band... The album he put out in 2001 called BomBazo, is tremendous, as it features a lot of the Afro Puerto Rican folkloric music... Folkloric music always means lots of drumming and African Chanting, in addition to the great straight up jazz this brother plays...


    http://www.picadillo.com/picadillo/figueroa/bauza.html

    SweetBrownSugar, that's what makes Cuba such a very interesting place...(smile!) The Haitians were brought to Cuba by their masters fleeing Toussaint and the boys(smile!), and my thinking is that at that date in history, with Africa still mad strong among our people in the New World, their transition in Cuba was mainly about learning a new language... They already had the Chops when it came to the music... Nearly a century later, a large influx of english-speaking Africans from Jamaica and Barbados came to Cuba to make some money chopping sugar cane, and stayed, mainly near what is Guantanamo Bay... Those Jamaicans and Barbadians of Cuba are ancestors of Cuba Gooding, Sr. and George Stanford Brown(smile!) That's Africans in the Diaspora, no?(smile!) I always tell my Puerto Rican friends who say they are playing the same music as the Cubans, that it aint necessarily so(smile!)

    The music you heard in Haiti is probably the Konpas, which is real jazzy, with wicked tight horns and percussion, or if it was just the drumming, I think the Haitians call it RaRa, and that is like a secularization of the Haitian sacred Vodoun rhythms... Man, that is what kills me about people of African descent, how we will hem and haw about how it is not right to take from the sacred and secularize it, but we just can't seem to resist doing it(smile!) I have read the book, Afro Cubanismo, which is a history of the music of Africans in Cuba, and people were literally killed for bringing the sacred Bata Drums on to the secular scene, but today it is done without much notice... The same is true of the Samba in Brazil... Samba is actually a sacred dance, but today it has been reduced to a catchall phrase for Brazilian music... And, of course, we all know how we be "goin' to church" on the Soul-R&B tip(smile!) Thank y'all both for listening to my rambling...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
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