Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

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Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Salute to the Americas

October 11, 2021- Today's Topic: Salute to the Americas

Today we focus on a number of jazz greats who came from various areas of Latin America ,some of which are not necessarily associated with the specific style of their region.

Last week we devoted an entire day to Bossa Nova which came from Brazil. There were a number of other jazz musicians who came from South America that wasn’t part of the Bossa
Nova scene. Astor Piazolla came from Argentina and is one of the music’s greatest composers. Gato Barbieri is Argentina’s most well known saxophonist. He made a major impact in the
United States with recordings and film work.

Lalo Schifrin was born in Buenos Aires and became a significant jazz pianist as well as a legendary composer and arranger. Besides his work in the jazz field he is well known for his
film and television work including some of the most memorable television themes of all time.

Another of the great jazz composers and arrangers was Manny Albam who was born in the Dominican Republic. He paid tribute to his homeland with a 1950 composition for Stan
Kenton called Samana and a 1949 piece for Charlie Barnet called Pan Americana. A number of great jazz musicians were born in Puerto Rico including Juan Tizol and David Sanchez. Juan Tizol is an early pioneer who became an important member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and is most well known for his composition Caravan. He also contributed some early latin influenced scores to the Ellington Orchestra including Congo Brava and Moon Over Cuba.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Flamenco Jazz

October 8, 2021- Today's Topic: Flamenco Jazz

American jazz was first introduced to audiences in Spain when Sam Wooding performed in Barcelona and Madrid in the 1920s. Spanish musicians were first influenced by New Orleans style jazz.

In 1934 Spain’s first jazz club opened in Barcelona but in 1936 the Spanish Civil War put an end any inroads being made at the time. There was a movement to eliminate western ideas 
from the country which resulted in a censorship that discouraged any further developments.

By 1946, things began to change and two “Hot Clubs” opened, one in Barcelona and one in Madrid.

Eventually there was a fusion of Flamenco music and american jazz which led to the Flamenco Jazz style.

Pedro Iturralde is the Spanish musician most associated with Flamenco-jazz. Several american jazz musicians became interested in Flamenco and experimented with it. The most prominent was Miles Davis.

Miles Davis became interested in flamenco music in the late 1950s which led to the classic Miles Davis-Gil Evans Sketches of Spain. Other american artists that incorporated Spanish elements into recording projects included Lionel Hampton, Jim Hall, Chet Baker, Bill Holman and Chick Corea.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Bossa Nova

October 7, 2021- Today's Topic: Bossa Nova

Prior to the success of Bossa Nova in the nineteen sixties, most popular latin styles in the United States had been linked to popular dances: The Tango, Rhumba, Mambo and the Cha 
Cha Cha.

Bossa Nova was the marriage of American jazz and the samba rhythm from Brazil and based on musical concepts not related to a specific dance style.

The roots of Bossa Nova happened in Los Angeles in 1953 when Bud Shank, Laurindo Almeida, Roy Harte and Harry Babasin experimented with Samba Rhythms at Harte’s Drum 
City Music Shop. Alamieda and Shank had been together on Stan Kenton’s band a few years earlier. 

They experimented with adding samba rhythms to some of Laurindo’s melodies and it resulted in several groundbreaking albums released on Pacific Jazz. It didn’t have a huge impact in the United States at the time but a number of young musicians in Brazil coveted those records along with other west coast artists including Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

One of those young Brazilians was Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was Jobim along with Joao Gilberto who became the key figures of Bossa Nova.

During a 1961 tour, guitarist Charlie Byrd heard this music in Brazil and told Stan Getz about it when he returned. They went into the studio in 1962 and recorded an album called Jazz 
Samba which became a huge hit in the United States. It launched the Bossa Nova craze in this country and opened the door for Jobim, Gilberto and his wife Astrud Gilberto to introduce 
Bossa Nova to the world.

The music has been largely defined by the compositions of Jobim who left a legacy of over 300 songs including Desafinado, One Note Samba, Corcovado, Wave and The Girl from Ipanema.
Bossa Nova was so popular in the early sixties that almost every jazz artist made a bossa nova album or at the very least recorded a bossa nova tune.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- The Latin Jazz of the Hard Bop Era

October 6, 2021- Today's Topic: The Latin Jazz of the Hard Bop Era

Beginning in the nineteen fifties a number of well known jazz musicians recorded albums with a latin theme. 

Ray Barretto appeared on numerous Blue Note, Riverside and Prestige sessions throughout the fifties and sixties and was more or less the house latin percussionist. His conga drum 
provided a latin feel to many recordings by Lou Donaldson, Gene Ammons, Red Garland, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Herbie Mann, Horace Parlan, Ray Bryant, Oliver Nelson and many more.

Today we focus on a variety of latin themed recordings including such classics as Kenny Dorham’s 1955 album titled Afro-Cuban that features Carlos Patato Valdes.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers 1957 albums Orgy in Rhythm and Cu-Bop both featuring Sabu Martinez. Red Garland’s Manteca. A 1958 session for Prestige with Ray Baretto.Herbie Mann’s 1959 Flautista with Patato Valdes and Jose Mangual. The Jazz Crusaders Chili Con Soul from 1965 with Carlos Vidal plus individual tracks by Horace Silver, Billy Taylor, Donald Byrd, Wes Montgomery, Joe Henderson, Grant Green and many more.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Candido

October 5, 2021- Today's Topic: Candido

Candido Camero was born in Havana in 1921. His career spanned the entire history of latin jazz in the United States. He lived to the age of 99 and was active almost to the end.

He is considered one of the important pioneers of Afro-Cuban jazz and one of the great innovators of conga drumming.

He became very popular in the United States and became universally known simply as Candido. He appeared often on variety shows like Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason which gave 
him exposure to a much bigger audience than most of his contemporaries.

By the time he arrived in New York in 1947 he was already famous in Havana as both percussionist and guitarist.

In Havana he had been a member of Chano Pozo's Conjunto Azul, where he met Mongo Santamaría, who then played bongos. As more and more American jazz musicians started incorporating latin rhythms into their music Candido became very much in demand. He worked with a who’s who including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Taylor, Stan Kenton and countless others.

He was the first to play multiple conga drums. Candido explained that necessity was the mother of invention. He was recruited to perform in New York with a popular Cuban music and 
dance revue that didn't have the budget to take along all of the musicians in the troupe. So he learned to play all the drum parts himself on two drums, then eventually three. As drum manufacturing technology changed, he was able to actually play melodies on drums tuned to specific musical notes.

Candido recorded several outstanding albums as a leader for ABC-Paramount in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the early 1970s he recorded for Blue Note before joining the dance 
music record company Salsoul.

Candido’s album Inolvidable was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2004. He received the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2008 and
he received a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award the following year.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Cal Tjader

October 4, 2021- Today's Topic: Cal Tjader

Cal Tjader was one of the most well know latin jazz artists of all time and by far the most popular non-hispanic giants of latin music. He was born in St. Louis. His parents were of Swedish decent and were both in show business. They settled in San Mateo where Cal was somewhat of a child prodigy playing drums and tap dancing.

After a stint in the Army he enrolled at San Francisco State and met Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond. He worked with them in Brubeck’s Octet and eventually a trio format. He taught himself to play vibes during this period.

He joined George Shearing in 1953 playing both vibes and bongos. The bassist with Shearing was Al McKibbon who was the bass player with Dizzy Gillespie’s band when Chano Pozo was a member. Al learned Afro-Cuban rhythms directly from Chano and encouraged Shearing to include more latin sounds. While the group was in New York, McKibbon took Tjader to see  Machito and Chico O’Farrill which had a major affect on him. He also met Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo during that same trip.

When he left Shearing he returned to San Francisco and formed the Cal Tjader Modern Mambo Quintet. This led to many albums for the Fantasy label throughout the 1950s. During the sixties he began recording for Verve which led to his biggest hit: Soul Sauce.

In the late seventies Concord Records created a Concord Picante series specifically to record Cal Tjader.

He recorded in a variety of contexts throughout his very prolific career but will always be thought of as one of the most important latin jazz artists in the history of the music.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- West Coast Latin

October 1, 2021- Today's Topic: West Coast Latin

Although New York was considered the epicenter of latin jazz in the 1940s and 1950s there was also a lot of activity in Los Angeles. It began with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in the mid 1940s with the recording of Machito and the addition of Jack Costanzo to the rhythm section. Shorty Rogers joined the Kenton Innovations Orchestra in 1950 and wrote several latin pieces including Viva Prado and Sambo.

When Shorty left the Kenton Orchestra in 1951 he began working at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach and continued to experiment with latin rhythms. Shorty’s Viva Zapata and Casa De Luz 
were so popular that it began a tradition of the various Lighthouse All Stars arrangers to contribute latin pieces to the book.

Los Angeles audiences were also hearing all the sounds coming out of New York thanks to legendary disc jockey Chico Sesma who began broadcasting on KOWL in 1949. Chico was the first to introduce the Mambo to west coast listeners. He also started promoting latin jazz concerts in the early 1950s and by 1959 he was presenting his “Latin Holidays” live shows at the Hollywood Palladium.

During the 1950s there were a number of latin bands in East L.A. and many of the young west coast jazz musicians worked in those bands. Included were several artists that made big names for themselves later including Lennie Niehaus, Tony Ortega, Jack Montrose, Art Pepper and Bill Trujillo.

Since Los Angeles became home to so many composers and arrangers there was much experimentation with latin rhythms on many recording sessions. Luckily there were three important latin percussionists in town that were called in for many such sessions. They also all worked regularly at the Lighthouse.

First was Carlos Vidal. Carlos was one of the original members of Machito’s Afro Cubans. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1940s and became in high demand. Second was Jack Costanzo who left the Stan Kenton Orchestra he ended up in Los Angeles and became very famous as “Mr. Bongo” In addition to leading his own sessions, he appears on countless west coast dates and became a favorite of the Hollywood crowd. He appeared in many motion pictures as well as television.

Third was Mike Pacheco who was another important west coast artist that came to prominence with Stan Kenton and became of mainstay of the west coast scene. Shorty Rogers continued his latin explorations including a collaboration with Perez Prado called the Voodo Suite as well as The Afro Cuban Influence which is one of Shorty’s finest albums. Many other west coast artists incorporated latin themes into their recordings including Frank Morgan, Pete Rugolo, Bud Shank, Victor Feldman, Art Pepper, Bill Holman and many more.

Bud Shank and Laurindo Almeida did a series of samba based recordings in the early 50s which pre-dated the Bossa Nova craze by ten years. In addition to the american west coast artists who worked in a latin idiom there were a number of important latin bands in Los Angeles most notably Rene Bloch and Rene Touzet.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Mambo

September 30, 2021- Today's Topic: Mambo

Mambo is a Cuban musical style that comes from the danzon tradition and referred to as danzon-mambo. Traditional mambo makes heavy use of the guajeos used in son-Cubano.
Guajeos also known as a montuno is a syncopated ostinato that repeats throughout the song usually with a clave pattern.

Mambo first appeared in Cuba in the late 30s and became a popular dance style. Orestes Lopez and his brother Cachao made some key innovations that helped define the genre.

In 1949 Damaso Perez Prado brought the style to international prominence, first in Mexico then in New York. Prado expanded on the earlier concept by adding a bigger American jazz influence with an enlarged big band instrumentation.

The impact in New York was immediate and soon spread to the rest of the country.

American record companies lined up to cash in on the music’s popularity. It was a cultural phenomenon in popular music and Perez Prado was the undisputed King of the Mambo.

In New York The Palladium became the most well known ballroom for the Mambo and attracted the city’s best dancers. In addition to Prado, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez were major stars. Machito and Mario Bauza incorporated the style into their band as well. Popular music jumped on the band wagon and the word Mambo was used with many artists on many records.

Mambo uses a similar instrumental ensemble to other Afro-Cuban musical genres. A rhythm section may consist of percussion instruments like bongos, congas, timbales, cowbell, claves, guiro, and a drum set.

The Mambo remained the most popular latin dance style in the United States until it was replaced in the mid 50s by the Cha Cha Cha.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Chico O'Farrill

September 29, 2021- Today's Topic: Chico O'Farrill

Chico O’ Farrill was one of the prime creators of Afro-Cuban Jazz and one of the most successful in marrying American and Latin music together.

He was born Arturo O’ Farrill in Havana Cuba in 1921. His father was of Irish decent. As a young man he was sent to Military School in Georgia and learned to play the trumpet. He 
also heard American Big Band Jazz for the first time. It had an enormous influence on his musical direction.

Back in Havana he studied with Cuban composer Felix Guerrero and played trumpet in several Havana based dance bands.

He came to New York in 1948 and began to realize the possibilities of bringing Latin elements into American jazz. He was preceded in New York by Machito, Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo 
but it was Chico who set the standard as a composer/arranger.

His first significant work came as an arranger for Benny Goodman’s short-lived Bop Band. Chico’s original Undercurrent Blues was the most important piece to come out of Goodman’s 
band at the time. It was Goodman who gave him the nickname Chico which stuck from that point forward.

When Norman Granz was planning the Machito Afro Cuban Jazz Suite, Mario Bauza suggested Chico to write it. The Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite is one of the masterpieces of the genre.
This led to an association with Norman Granz that enabled Chico to begin recording as a leader. He followed up with The Afro Cuban Suite #2 as well as numerous sides in the early to 
mid 1950s.

In 1955 he returned to Cuba before going on to Mexico City. He stayed in Mexico City until 1965 and was involved in many, now obscure, recordings as well as the classic Aztec Suite for 
Art Farmer.

He returned to New York in 1965 and became in demand as an arranger working with many artists including Cal Tjader, Count Basie, Gato Barbieri, Clark Terry and was once again 
reunited with Dizzy Gillespie and Norman Granz. He also did a tremendous amount of studio work at the time writing for many television commercials.

In 1995 he began recording again as a leader with the brilliant album Pure Emotion. Others followed like Heart of a Legend and Carambola. He continued to lead his big band until shortly 
before his death in 2001.

His son Arturo took over the band at that time and has continued to carry his father’s legacy as well as establishing himself as a major jazz artist.

Concerning the mixture of Jazz and Afro-Cuban music, Mr. O'Farrill once said, that it’s ''a very delicate marriage. You can't go too much one way or the other. It has to be a blend. But you 
have to be careful with how different styles come together. Otherwise music labeled Latin jazz could end up being like Glenn Miller with maracas, or Benny Goodman with congas. Latin jazz 
is much deeper than that."

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021- Cubop

September 28, 2021- Today's Topic: Cubop

Cubop is the marriage of Afro-Cuban rhythms with bebop harmony and improvisation.

It emerged during the bop era when Dizzy Gillespie added Chano Pozo to his big band in 1947.

We featured a number of Cubop recordings last week on days that spotlighted Machito, Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo.

But there were a number of other bop era musicians who began experimenting with the style.

Charlie Parker recorded with Machito at two recording sessions as well as some live performances.

The sessions produced several titles for Norman Granz including No Noise, Mango Mangue and Chico O’ Farrill’s masterpiece The Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite.

They were released under Machito’s name plus a Charlie Parker album titled "Charlie Parker South of the Border."

In 1948 Howard McGhee worked with Machito and performed and recorded the tune Cubop City.

A number of notable congueros came to the US at that time as well including Mongo Santamaría, Armando Peraza, Francisco Aguabella, Carlos Vidal and Modesto Durán.