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Interview:
Willy Torres: A Dream Come True?


by John Child
The multitalented Willy Torres has clocked-up an impressive CV during his first 20 years in the Latin music industry. Mr. Torres spoke to John Child about his career as a singer, working with the likes of Larry Harlow, Victor Manuelle and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra; his activity as a producer and recording engineer, including the Grammy-nominated Back on the Streets: A Taste of Spanish Harlem, Vol. 2 (Fania / Universal, 2008); and his solo debut Lo Que Traigo Yo - Willy's NYC Salsa Project (Latin Street Music, 2008) [read]







Interview:
Mario Ortiz, Jr.: Mario Ortiz and his All Star Band Revival


by John Child
As the 10th anniversary of the passing of the revered Puerto Rican bandleader, trumpeter, arranger and producer Mario Ortiz approaches, his son, the accomplished trumpeter Mario Ortiz Jr., has produced Mario Ortiz All Star Band Tributo 45 Aniversario (Zamora/Sony) dedicated to the early recordings of his father's band, a musical sensation of the 1960s. A hard swinging salsa big band album, it features an all-star lineup, including Gilberto Santa Rosa, Cheo Feliciano, Tito Allen, Richie Ray, Bobby Cruz, Roberto Roena, Adalberto Santiago, Elías Lopés, Primi Cruz, Anthony Cruz, Ismael Miranda, Papo Lucca, Tony Vega, Bobby Valentín, Ismael Rivera Jr., Pedro Brull and Andy Montañez, among others. Here Mario Jr. speaks to John Child about the project, his dad's exceptional career and his own activity on the salsa and jazz scenes. The interview is accompanied by a discographic profile of Mario Ortiz. [read]





Interview:
Meñique: The Correct Biography


by John Child
Panama has produced a number of world class Latin singers, including Azuquita, Rubén Blades, Carlos El Grande and Gabino Pampini. In 1968 Miguel Ángel Barcasnegras "Meñique" became one of the first panameño vocalists to break onto the international scene when he journeyed with Kako's band to New York, then the headquarters of the world Latin music industry. There he went on to work with such luminaries as Arsenio Rodríguez, Tito Puente, Willie Rosario, Santos Colón and Charlie Palmieri, among others. Although he's a dyed-in-the-wool exponent of classic salsa, in 1983/4 Meñique contributed vocals and compositions to the Noche Caliente albums that spawned the salsa romántica craze. Here he speaks to John Child about his notable career, which began in Panama City at the beginning of the 1950s. The piece is followed by a selective discography of Meñique's solo albums and recordings featuring him as a lead vocalist. [read]





Interview:
Henry Fiol ...I Am What I Am

by John Child

Although a child prodigy in the visual arts, the multitalented artist Henry Fiol explains to John Child why he has dedicated his life to creating "Corazón Music", a unique blend of Cuban, New York, jazz, Brazilian, doo-wop and American pop elements and flavours, and why he has made his 11th solo album De Cachete (Corazón CD 116, 2008) available as a free download. In addition to discussing De Cachete, Henry talks in depth and with candour about his career and artistic development, sharing with comparable zeal his loves and hates in relation to such topics as charanga flute, rumba, the conjunto sound, timbales, trap drums, timba, bachata and reggaetón, and issues a warning about the danger of the latter musical genre. A thread running through the conversation is the story of Henry's exploration of his dual Latino and Italian-American heritage, and the ultimate realisation of his true identity. After the interview, Henry told John: "I have no doubt that this interview will become the best interview I've ever done in English, 'the quintessential Henry Fiol interview', if you will." The piece is accompanied by a discographic profile. [read]





Profile:
Juanito Márquez: JUANITO, sencillamente


by Raul Fernández
When you meet and talk with Juanito Márquez you are impressed by his humility, his gentle demeanor, his sencillez. Most people would not guess that they are in the presence of a true musical giant. His significant contributions to the development of Cuban popular music have been largely unnoticed by music fans, even Cuban music writers, though not so by his fellow professional musicians. Juanito Márquez represents an exception among Cuban popular musicians of the 20th century in that he excelled in three separate branches of Cuban music. He composed some Latin jazz tunes that became standards of the style; wrote the music and lyrics of several notable boleros including one of the classics, “Alma con Alma”; and contributed significantly to the evolution of Cuban dance rhythms (pilón, Mozambique, pa’ cá) in the 1960s. The story of Cuban music from 1950 to 2008 is inseparable from the musical labors of Juanito Márquez... [read]





Interview:
Gilberto "Pulpo" Colón: Salsa's Unsung Pianist


by John Child

During the 1970s, pianist, arranger and musical director Gilberto "Pulpo" Colón was at the epicentre of salsa's Golden Age, recording and performing with some of the biggest bands in the business, including Rafi Val's La Diferente, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Kako's All Stars and Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez. In 1975, he received his big break when Fania All Star vocalist Héctor Lavoe invited him to become his pianist and musical director, a position he occupied for 16 years... [read]





Interview:
Lewis Kahn:
The Zen and Art of Violin and Trombone Playing


by John Child

Gifted trombonist and violinist Lewis Kahn has a dream CV, which includes membership in Orchestra Harlow, the Fania All Stars and the Tito Puente orchestra. During the last five decades he has clocked-up a prodigious quantity of recording sessions and live performances, including dates with Eddie Palmieri, Pupi Legarreta, Willie Colón, Mon Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Santiago Ceron, Charanga America, Héctor Lavoe, Charlie Palmieri, David Byrne, Marc Anthony, Pucho & his Latin Soul Brothers, Kirsty MacColl and many others. Association with stellar names often creates sizeable egos and a habit of name-dropping, but not in Lewis's case. He is reticent by nature, so it took some perseverance on John Child's part to jog his memory and encourage Lewis to speak about his career. However, the effort paid off and the resulting interview reveals a fascinating and deeply spiritual individual. The piece is followed by a selected discography of the albums on which Lewis has performed.
Continues here.





Interview:
Conversing with Cachao, Part 1


by Abel Delgado

Cachao leaves behind a legacy few can touch... Not only was he literally part of the beginnings of modern Cuban dance music, he played a huge role in its ongoing creation... In 2006 I conducted a wide-ranging interview with Cachao (by the way, this is not his nickname, it’s actually the last name of his mother), covering his life and career from the beginnings. What follows is the first part, in which he discusses not only the first band he played in, but also his years with Arcaño and what the mambo actually is, in musical terms. He also offers fascinating insights into lesser-known Afro-Cuban musical subgenres, such as the rhythms played on the yuka and mula drums. Overall, the venerable bassist clearly indicates that he was not only a witness to remarkable developments in Cuban cultural history, he played a role in them. More to come later, covering not only his legendary descarga sessions in the 1950s, but also his career in the United States, with a number of revelations along the way about Latin music history.
Continues here.



Also...
Obituary & discographic profile:

Israel "Cachao"López, 1918 - 2008


by John Child

Virtuoso bassist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer and bandleader Cachao (1918-2008) was one of the most influential of all Latin musicians, closely associated with the genesis of the mambo and a master proponent of descarga. In tribute, John Child offers a revised and updated version of a discographic profile first published in 1998. Continues here.





Obituary:
Laba Sosseh, 1943-2007
Master of Salsa Africana


by John Child

In tribute to the recently deceased Laba Sosseh, John Child offers this discographic profile of the Gambian-born singer and composer who was an early pioneer of the tradition of Africans journeying to New York to record with Latin musicians. "This monument of African music was amongst the first Africans to make an incursion into the international stage," said the Gambian newspaper The Point. Continues here.





Obituary:
Carlos "Patato" Valdés, 1926-2007


by John Child

Master conguero, percussionist and composer Carlos "Patato" Valdés died in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. In tribute, John Child offers a revised and updated version of a discographic profile first published in 1998...

Carlos "Patato" Valdés (b 4 Nov. '26, Los Sitios district, Havana, Cuba; d 4 Dec. '07, Cleveland, Ohio)
Master conguero, percussionist, composer. Father played tres guitar with son group Los Apaches; initially learnt marímbula (African-derived bass instrument: wooden box with metal prongs sounding different bass notes when plucked); graduated to playing cajones (wooden box drums typical to rumba) at age 12; played conga in parading comparsa carnival groups. Joined La Sonora Matancera '46 for a brief stint; switched to influential Conjunto Kubavana de Alberto Ruiz '47; Kubavana recordings featuring Patato ...continues here.





Interview:
Nicky Marrero
Rhythm Travels A Thousand Ways With Ample Assumptions


A conversation with John Child and Ray Rosado

Master timbalero and percussionist Nicky Marrero was ubiquitous during the 1970s New York salsa boom, playing and recording with Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Típica Novel, Louie Cruz, Fania All Stars, Machito, and on, and on - not to mention Típica 73! One of the tightest rhythm guys ever, his style is a hybrid of the greats: Manny Oquendo, Tito Puente and Orestes Vilató. He is still mesmerising on stage, whether playing Latin or straight jazz. His place in salsa history is secure and truly deserved. John Child and Ray Rosado speak to Nicky about his extensive career, stylistic contributions and innovations. The interview is followed by a selected discography of the Latin and jazz albums on which Nicky has performed.
Continues here.


Interview:
Sergio George
We Will Never Return To The Horse And Buggy


A conversation with John Child

For nearly 20 years, Sergio George has been in the vanguard of salsa-pop. His production wizardry launched the careers of Marc Anthony, Tito Nieves, DLG, Frankie Negrón and Charlie Cruz, among others, and boosted those of La India and Victor Manuelle. He talks to John Child about his 30 years in the business, beginning on the New York típico and Latin jazz scene to becoming one of the most influential people in the mainstream Latin music industry. Sergio speaks candidly and with conviction, and does not shrink from admitting his uncertainties and limitations. Among the topics he discusses are his groundbreaking albums with Marc Anthony, La India, Victor Manuelle and DLG, Tito Puente's 100th LP, Celia Cruz's final recording, the soundtrack CD of the Jennifer López/Marc Anthony movie El Cantante and his trademark sound.
Continues here.



Obituary: Tito Gómez 1948 - 2007
by John Child

In tribute to the recently deceased Tito Gómez, we repost an updated version of John Child's discographic profile of the matchless Puerto Rican sonero. A somewhat nomadic artist, before he began his solo career in earnest, Tito recorded with key bands in Puerto Rico, New York, Venezuela and Colombia, including Sonora Ponceña, Ray Barretto and Grupo Niche. "Tito was a man of much character, had the magic of a great singer and was very jovial…(his passing) is a great blow for us," said Jairo Varela, leader of Grupo Niche, with whom Gómez was touring at the time of his death. Continues here.


Interview: Mario Grillo
The Machito Orchestra:
Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow


A conversation with John Child

Percussionist and bandleader Mario Grillo, aka Machito Jr., made his stage debut at the age of five at New York's legendary Palladium ballroom and became the musical director of his father's even more legendary Afro-Cuban band in 1975. His recording debut with the orchestra,1975's Dizzy Gillespie y Machito: Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods (Pablo), and the 1977 follow-up Fireworks (Coco), were both nominated for Grammy Awards. Then Machito and his Salsa Big Band 1982 (Timeless) took them all the way to Grammy land. He has led the Machito Orchestra since his father's death in 1984. As the title of the piece suggests, Mario talks to John Child about the past, present and future of the Machito Orchestra as well as his work with the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, which he co-leads with Tito Rodríguez Jr. and Tito Puente Jr..
Continues here.



Interview:
Elías Lopés
Remembranzas y Anectodas (Remembrances and Anecdotes)

by John Child, February 07, 2007
Maybe he is not a household name, but trumpeter, arranger, composer, producer and bandleader Elías Lopés is an important figure in the Puerto Rican salsa and merengue industry, having been a member of the Mario Ortiz band and El Gran Combo in the 1960s, co-leader, musical director and arranger of Roberto Roena's Apollo Sound and leader of his own band and director of Combo de Ayer. He acted as a mentor to the young Gilberto Santa Rosa and has worked with the Puerto Rico All Stars, Fania All Stars, CBS Jazz All Stars, MP All Stars, Puerto Rican Masters and directed the exciting Viva La Salsa - A Tribute To Latin Music, Live From The Tito Puente Amphitheatre In San Juan, PR 2-CD and Bonus DVD set released before Christmas 2004. A prolific arranger and session musician, Elías says that he has participated in a staggering 1,766 productions to date. Here he willingly and candidly shares memories and stories about his 48-year career with John Child and Ray Rosado: Continues here.

Obituary:
Richard Egües, 1924-2006

by Luis De Quesada, December 20, 2006
Richard Egües passed away this past September 1st. Richard was, in my opinion, Cuba's greatest charanga flutist of all time. His greatest career accomplishment was his long tenure with Orquesta Aragón from the spring of 1955 through the fall of 1984.
Eduardo Richard Egües was born in the town of Cruces, in the central Cuban province of Las Villas. As a child he also lived in the Las Villas town of Sancti Spiritus and then moved with his parents to the Las Villas Province capital city of Santa Clara (now known as Villa Clara). In Santa Clara Richard learned how to read music and soon became skilled in several musical instruments, such as the piano, clarinet and saxophone. He was also somewhat of a percussionist since versatility was a must in the world of music and the other arts at the time. At Santa Clara he joined his dad as a cymbal player in that city's Municipal Band and later also joined him in Orquesta "Monterrey." These musical experiences and his skills led him to choose the semi-glossy 5 key wooden flute. The flute became his favorite instrument and flute players were in demand at the time, due to the popularity of successful charanga groups such as Arcaño, Melodias del 40 and others. Continues here.

Obituary:
Tommy Olivencia, 1938-2006

by John Child, November 21, 2006
John Child offers this discographic profile of Tommy Olivencia, in tribute to the renowned Puerto Rican bandleader who passed away on September 22, 2006. This is followed by a selected discography.
For nearly half a century, Olivencia's band acted as an incubator for various notable salsa singers, including Chamaco Ramírez, Paquito Guzmán, Lalo Rodríguez, Marvin Santiago, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Frankie Ruiz and Héctor Tricoche. Olivencia began as a singer, but preferred the role of trumpeter and musical director. After recording with a frontline of three trumpets and two saxes (alto and tenor) in the mid-'60s, he opted for trumpets and trombones in the mid-'70s, and used a combination of three or four trumpets and two trombones on most of his albums after 1978. Continues...here.

Article:
Making Salsa Dura Harder

by Abel Delgado, October 09, 2006
The past few years have seen a focus on a “harder” salsa sound from several bands in the business, an alternative to mainstream romantic salsa. The name given to this approach is “salsa dura,” and in many ways it harks back to the days of yesteryear (read: the 1970s). ...While this harder focus is encouraging, seeing as how it moves the music back to a time when the sound was both traditional and progressive, I’ve found that for me, salsa dura generally doesn’t have the same power as the music of the bands whose sounds are being evoked. ...After spending some loot and thinking about it, I believe I now know why I’m not so jazzed. Here’s what I think would significantly improve salsa dura so that it not only goes back to yesteryear, but takes the music into the future.
Continues...here.

Interview:
Andy Harlow
: Interview with a Salsa Brother
by John Child, August 08, 2006
On the occasion of the reissue of Andy and Larry Harlow's 1988 album Salsa Brothers / The Miami Sessions (Primo Discos), reeds and vibes player, composer and arranger Andy Harlow speaks to John Child about the project and his diverse musical career as a sideman, bandleader, artist / talent agent and broadcaster. Andy talks about the heady days of the '70s New York salsa boom, during which he had a major hit with "La Lotería", and his experience of the Miami salsa scene, which he joined in 1977. He provides some fascinating insights into some popular bandleaders of the 1960s with whom he played, such as Payo Alicea (of La Playa Sextet) and Randy Carlos, and the tragic life of the brilliantly gifted pianist Mark "Markolino" Dimond, whose last recording was The Miami Sessions. At the outset, Andy told John: "I have plenty of stories and anecdotes for you about the music biz, etc. I promise to be straightforward with my answers and lay off the bullshit." He kept to his pledge, and provided a no holds barred interview, which continues here.

Interview:
Louie Cruz
: To The Best of His Knowledge
by John Child, June 22, 2006
Louie Cruz was one of the most prolific arrangers for the Fania label during its heyday. In this in-depth interview conducted by John Child, Louie shares his memories of arranging for Willie Rosario, Ray Barretto, La Lupe, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez, Ismael Miranda, Ismael Quintana, Angel Canales, Willie Colón, Rubén Blades, Adalberto Santiago, Tito Puente, Héctor Lavoe, Típica 73, Conjunto Clásico, Libre and La Sonora Matancera, among others. He also talks intimately about his stints as a pianist with Willie Rosario (1963 to 1967), Ray Barretto (1967 to 1974), Libre (circa 1980) and La Sonora Matancera (1987 to the present day) and his experiences as a leader of four bands accompanying the likes of Ismael Miranda, Raúl Marrero, Vitín Avilés and Ismael Quintana. Particularly poignant are Louie's reflections about Ray Barretto, who fell ill and died during the period when the interview was in progress. He is still very active and itching to receive commissions to write charts...
Continues here.

Profile:
Obituary: Monguito "El Unico"

by John Child, June 17, 2006
In tribute to the recently deceased Monguito "El Unico", we re-post John Child's discographic profile of the distinctive Afro-Cuban sonero, composer, bandleader, producer and mainstay of Aboudou Lassissi's legendary Sacodis label. In addition, Ken Abrams pays respect with his paintings entitled Yo Soy Congo - Homage To Monguito El Unico.
Continues here.

Profile:
Obituary: Ray Barretto

by John Child, April 18, 2006
Ray Barretto, the hard-hitting conga player, bandleader, songwriter and arranger, sadly passed away on February 17th 2006. "Ray was like the quintessential Nuyorican," said percussionist and educator Bobby Sanabria. "For us in our community, he was a shining example of how somebody from humble beginnings can rise and achieve greatness." In tribute, John Child offers a revised version of a discographic profile he originally prepared in the early 1990s, followed by an extensive selection of albums Ray made as a leader, sideman and session musician.
Continues here.

Profile:
Obituary: Héctor Rivera

by John Child, March 11, 2006
Héctor Rivera, pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader and producer, sadly passed away on Saturday January 8th 2006. "Héctor was an unsung musician who was underrated and deserved more acclaim as one of the solid contributors to our music. I met him a few times and he was always gracious and a true gentleman. God bless him. Rest in peace," comments Oscar Hernández, leader of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, who covered Héctor's "Tambori" on their Grammy-nominated debut CD Un Gran Dia En El Barrio (2002 on Ryko / Ropeadope Records). In tribute, John Child offers a revised version of a discographic profile he originally prepared in the late 1990s. This is followed by reflections from José Madera, Louie Cruz and Ray Rosado.
Continues here.

Interview:
At Home With: Ray Pérez

by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant, February 28, 2006
A gunslinger. That’s what Ray Pérez looks like. Tall, thin and trigueño*, with a narrow waist, all the better for holding six shooters. Squinty eyes and the sideways smile of the confident marksman - one who can sight-read music. On some of his roughly 35 album covers he even wears a cowboy hat typical of the Venezuelan llaneros. Then you hear his nickname is “El Loco Ray.”
His bands – he conceived of, composed, arranged, played piano and sang for Los Dementes, Los Calvos and Los Kenya, among others – were the voice of the youth of Caracas in 1967, Caracas en la Cuarentona, the year of the Cuatricentennial (400 years) of its founding. The same youth that Richie Ray (“Las Caraqueñas”), Ray Barretto (“A Maracaibo” and “No Olvida a Caracas”) and Pete Rodriguez (“Arranca en Fa”) celebrated in songs from the same period...
Continues here.

Interview:
George Delgado:
You can take the boy out of New York, but you can't take New York out of the boy

by John Child, November 22, 2005
In the second of two Spanish Harlem Orchestra Spin-offs interviews, percussionist and bandleader George Delgado talks to John Child about his debut CD Mi Ritmo Llegó (2004 on Rumba Jams) and his 20 years plus in the business. Oscillating between Puerto Rico and New York, he has worked with star names like Tito Rojas, Santiago Cerón, Manny Oquendo & Libre, Tony Vega, Jimmy Bosch, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. His transition from sideman to bandleader has thrown-up new challenges which George openly discusses.
Continues here

Interview:
Spanish Harlem Spin-offs Part 1...
Chino Nuñez: "Four and a bari"

by John Child, November 06, 2005
In the first of two Spanish Harlem Orchestra spin-off interviews, percussionist, arranger, pianist, bassist and producer Chino Nuñez tells John Child about his first solo album, It's SHO Time: Strictly Hardcore On 1 Or 2 - Tribute To The Dancers (Cookita Records 002), and his 30 year career. This has included working with Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Héctor Lavoe, Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Adalberto Santiago, José Alberto, Africando, Marc Anthony, and of course, the 2005 Grammy winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra. In addition to explaining the title of this piece, Chino speaks candidly about the highs and lows of the Latin music business and the challenges of leadership...
Continues here

Obituary:
Alfredo Rodríguez

A conversation with John Child November 06, 2005
Cuban pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer, singer and percussionist Alfredo Rodríguez died in Paris on Monday October 3rd. "He had such a special charisma and presence and dedication to his craft," said UK Latin club DJ and promoter Dominique Roome. "I'm particularly sad because the concerts we organised at London's Bass Clef, HQ and Bar Rumba with him were so memorable in terms of atmosphere. He was a great character!" In tribute, I offer a revised version of a discographic profile I originally wrote in 1990, including an updated selection of his albums. The quotes are from an un-broadcast Aracataca interview Tomek and I conducted with Alfredo in 1990...
Continues here

Interview:
Leni Prieto: The Man Who Gets The Weird Songs

A conversation with John Child October 05, 2005
Leni Prieto, a.k.a. José A. Prieto, is maybe not the most immediately recognisable name in salsa, but this accomplished pianist, arranger and composer has been an integral part of the Puerto Rican salsa industry for over three decades, recording with star names like Roberto Angleró, Marvin Santiago, Roberto Roena, Rafael Cortijo, Frankie Ruiz, Andy Montañez, El Gran Combo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Ismael Miranda, Cheo Feliciano, and many more. At the time of this conversation with John Child, Leni's composition "Asi Gordito Me Quieren" sung by Tito Nieves and Pedro Brull for Pedro's solo debut Pronósticos on Caminaldo Discos was enjoying considerable airplay. His eloquent and comprehensive account gives an invaluable insight into an important period in the history of Puerto Rican salsa...
Continues here

Interview:
Papo's Got A Brand New Bag

by Roberta Singer, August 21 1979.
Prepared by David Barton and Roberta, August 03, 2005
exclusively for Descarga.com

Papo Vázquez is one of Latin music’s most prominent trombonists and talented composers. He’s played with innumerable major bands in jazz, Latin jazz, and straight-ahead salsa; formed his own groups; and traveled the world. Twenty-five years ago, when this interview was done, he was 21 years old and was already playing professionally and had a substantial reputation. Recently arrived in New York from North Philadelphia where he was born (1958) and raised, Papo was young, street, sometimes belligerent and aggressive, restless, and impatient as he sought to make his place in and mark on the New York music scene. Time and again he surprised me with the complexity of his thoughts about the music and his place in it as he grappled with issues of musical control versus freedom, tradition and innovation, and integration of his still-evolving personal and musical identities into a coherent whole. This is a snapshot of Papo Vázquez at that time. He was playing primarily with Libre and, thus, much of the interview was about his role in that group and in comparison with others with which he had played. Continues here

Profile: Monguito El Unico
by John Child July 18, 2005
Ramón Quian, Manguito, Matanzas Province, Cuba) Afro-Cuban sonero (extemporising salsa singer) with distinctive nasal voice, composer, bandleader, producer; dubbed "El Unico" (The Unique). Performed with Orquesta Ito and Orquesta Mazzuet in his native town before relocating to Havana, there sang with Orquesta Modernista and Conjunto Modelo; moved to Mexico '50s, there worked with Conjunto de Alejandro Sosa, Orquesta Los Brillantes, Pepé Arévalo y sus Mulatos and appeared in three movies; moved to NYC '62, began with Orquesta Broadway, made first album with Arsenio Rodríguez...
Continues here.

Interview:
Cano Estremera: The Last Sonero

by John Child and Tomek April 24, 2005
John Child and Tomek, respectively the producer and presenter of Aracataca on totallyradio.com, speak to Cano Estremera, the self-proclaimed outlaw of the Puerto Rican and US salsa industry. A giant among today's soneros - he controversially says he is "the last sonero" - Cano worked with Los Pleneros del Quinto Olivo, Mulenze and Bobby Valentín before unwillingly beginning a solo career in the mid-1980s. To say that Cano is outspoken and opinionated would be an understatement! Conducting the interview was like trying to ride a bucking bronco, but what this piece essentially reveals is a thoughtful man dedicated to his chosen vocation. You can read the unexpurgated Cano here

Interview:
Oscar Hernández: Doing it From The Heart

by John Child March 06, 2005
John Child spoke to Oscar Hernández, musical director and co-producer of the Grammy Award winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra, on the eve of the band's sellout concert featuring Rubén Blades at London's Royal Festival Hall on July 26th 2004. Oscar gave generously of his time to discuss his milestone studded career, which has included stints with Ismael Miranda, Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez, Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino, Libre, Ray Barretto, Rubén Blades and Seis del Solar, Luis "Perico" Ortiz, Johnny Pacheco and Paul Simon, among others. He talks frankly about the fulfillment and challenges of leading the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and sets those critics who have put down the band for sounding dated and playing unoriginal material straight on his vision. He also shares his heartfelt views about the pitfalls of producing music for the wrong reasons...
Continues here.

Profile: Marvin Santiago
by John Child January 10, 2005
John Child offers this discographic profile of Marvin Santiago in tribute to the Sonero of the People who passed away on October 6, 2004, after many years of ill health...Regarded as a son of the school of the grand soneros Ismael Rivera, Tito Rodríguez, Cheo Feliciano and Héctor Lavoe, he possessed a distinctive fiery style, punctuating his vocals with catchphrases like "O-fi-cial" and "Linda melodia". He is idolised in Colombia and Panamá...
Continues here.

Interview: Dorancé Lorza: Ambassador From The City of Musical Memory
by John Child November 25, 2004
Dorancé Lorza may not be a readily recognisable name, but if you check the credits on many Colombian productions released in the 1990s, you'll see his name as a performer, arranger or producer, or all three, on albums by such key names as Kike Harvey, Santiago Ceron, Los Niches, Los Del Caney, Conjunto Son del Barrio, Proyecto Omega and Cali Aleman, among others. He also worked un-credited on albums by Los Titanes, Los Nemus del Pacifico and Fruko y sus Tesos. Between 1983 and 1989 he led his own highly successful group Renacer Antillano. The year after relocating to London in 1995, Dorancé organised Sexteto Café with a line-up inspired by the great vibes-led Latin combos of the '50s and '60s, such as the Joe Cuba Sextet and New Swing Sextet. He was one of the sources used by the late Lise Waxer for her outstanding book The City of Musical Memory about "salsa, record grooves and popular culture in Cali, Colombia."
Here, John Child takes the opportunity of talking extensively with Dorancé about not only Sexteto Café's new album Salsa Pa' Ti, but also about his career and the salsa music scene in Cali. Dorancé shares his experience and views with a remarkable frankness and intimacy...
Continues here.

Interview: José Madera: "Who is that guy?"
by John Child September 23, 2004
Well, that guy of the title suggested by José Madera, was born in New York City September 30th, 1950 to José "Pin" Madera (1911-2001), who was the first arranger for the Machito orchestra. The multitalented José Madera started playing timbales with Machito as a teenager and went on to become Tito Puente's conguero for 30 years. He was also Tito's musical director for 14 years and became a staff arranger with Fania Records in the 1970s. Here José speaks with John Child about his remarkable career with New York's legendary Mambo Kings; his involvement in the salsa industry and his latest project, The Latin Giants Play The Music of the Palladium... Continues here.

Interview: The Making of Across 110th Street
by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra
June 07, 2004
John Child talks with the producers Oscar Hernández and Aaron Luis Levinson about Across 110th Street, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra's much-anticipated follow-up to their Grammy nominated debut CD Un Gran Dia En El Barrio.
This time round, the production features multi-talented superstar Rubén Blades guesting on four tracks. Continues here.

Interview: Hangin' with Andy:
Interviews With Andy González

by by Roberta Singer
Edited by David Barton June 3, 2004
October 2004 will be the 30th anniversary of the debut of Manny Oquendo's Libre. To mark this occasion we travel back to their fifth year (1979) when co-leader and bassist Andy González met several times and in many different locations with Roberta Singer, then preparing a PhD thesis which has led her into a career of documenting New York's rich cultural history through its music. Descarga.com is thrilled to share this in-depth snapshot of one of our most creative music groups, never-before revealed details of Andy's musical coming-of-age with his brother Jerry, his creation of a group with Manny, and the role of other local icons crucial to Libre's legacy as the acknowledged "University of Latin Music."
Continues here.

Interview: José Mangual Jr.
by John Child March 21, 2004
John Child talks to José Mangual Jr. about his major new project, Dancing With The Gods / Bailando Con Los Santos (Chola Musical Productions Inc. CMP-155). But before that, José speaks in detail with John about his accomplished career as a solo artist, producer and musical director over the last 26 years. His fascinating story is studded with such key names as Junior González, Melcochita, Isidro Infante, Sarabanda, Rey Reyes, Cuco Valoy, Mario Bauzá, Jimmy Sabater and Son Boricua.
Continues here.

Interview: Andrea Brachfield
by John Child November 19, 2003
Acclaimed flautist, bandleader, composer and arranger Andrea Brachdfeld took time out to speak to John Child about Back With Sweet Passion. But before she did, John asks her about her experience of the 1970s New York charanga explosion, which included performing with Charanga 76, Típica Ideal and Charanga America, among others, as well as leading her own band, Conjunto Andrea...
Continues here.

Interview: Ray De La Paz
by John Child October 08, 2003
John Child spoke to Ray de la Paz backstage at London's Royal Festival Hall on Saturday April 26th 2003 immediately after the distinguished sonero, composer and bandleader had taken part in the Spanish Harlem Orchestra's acclaimed UK debut performance. Ray missed out on the post show party to tell John about his accomplished career in Latin music, which has included stints with Chino y su Conjunto Melao, Ray Barretto, Guararé and Jorge Dalto, as well as co-leading the Louie Ramírez - Ray de la Paz Orchestra and his own band...
Continues here.

Profile: Forever Celia
by John Child September 23, 2003
A number of the excellent obituaries that appeared in the days immediately following Celia Cruz's passing on July 16th, 2003, highlighted her role as a cultural, political and gender symbol, as doubtless she was. However, those familiar with my work for Descarga.com will not be surprised that I offer a piece spotlighting her incredible body of recorded work, which spanned over five decades...
Continues here.

Interview: Humberto Ramirez Returns to His First Love
by John Child August 08, 2003, 2003
John Child talks in depth to the multitalented Humberto Ramírez about his accomplished career and most recent CD, Mi Primer Amor (Latin World 313), which, after nine Latin jazz albums, marks not only his debut as a salsa bandleader, but a return to his first musical love: salsa. Best known as a Latin jazz artist, the interview spotlights Humberto's longstanding and impressive track record as a salsa musician, arranger and producer.
Continues here.

Interview: A Conversation With Grupo Caribe's Sergio Rivera
by John Child May 19, 2003, 2003
John Child talks in his customary depth to leader, pianist, composer, arranger and producer Sergio Rivera about Grupo Caribe's Un Congo Me Dio La Letra (CMS Records/Walboomers CMS 0055) - arguably the hottest salsa album released at the beginning of 2003 - and delves into Sergio's distinguished career. Concerning the latter, Sergio provides a fascinating insight into the life of a young musician during the '70s New York salsa boom, working on the thriving club scene with the likes of Ernie Agosto y La Conspiración, Kako y sus Estrellas, Chino y su Conjunto Melao and Vilató y Los Kimbos. In addition, he speaks about his stint with the legendary Rafael Cortijo and participation in the nascent revival of "traditional classic salsa music" (later called salsa dura) as co-founder of Cruz Control during the height of the salsa romántica explosion.
Continues here.

Profile: Bobby Rodriguez "Compañia": 1950 - 2003
by John Child April 06, 2003
John Child offers his discographic profile of the salsa bandleader, saxophonist, flautist, clarinetist, pianist, vocalist, percussionist, arranger, composer and producer who passed away on March 12 in New York City.
Continues here.

Profile: Mongo Santamaría: 1922 - 2003
by John Child February 06, 2003
Mongo Santamaría was responsible for a style of music that could be described as a combo of mambo, salsafunk and jazz latino. His sound was as unique as they come... After a third stroke, Mongo was disconnected from life support in Miami's Baptist Hospital and passed away at 3:00 am Saturday 1 Feb. '03. John Child offers his notes from a recent Mongo compilation, as well as a complete discography of this important percussionist, composer and band-leader.
Continues here.

Interview: I just plug in and play: A Conversation With Bassist Rubén Rodríguez
by David Barton and John Child January 09, 2003
Descarga.com's transatlantic twosome speak with the innovative bass player Rubén Rodríguez, the heartbeat of many recent hit recordings by the likes of Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, Victor Manuelle, DLG, Tito Nieves, India and Africando. Along with his producer/friend, Sergio George, he has revolutionised the sound of contemporary popular salsa. The conversation begins with Rubén talking about his musical evolution and his influences, which include Tito Puente's long-standing bassist, Bobby Rodríguez, Sal Cuevas, the bassist of choice on many Fania sessions, and his teacher Victor Venegas. A more detailed, though not exhaustive, discography of Rubén's Latin work is provided at the end of the piece.
Continues here.

Interview: El Barrio's Turn: A Conversation With Producer Aaron Luis Levinson
by John Child November 22, 2002
John Child talks in depth with Aaron Luis Levinson, producer of Un Gran Dia En El Barrio on Ryko/Ropeadope Records by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, one of the more significant salsa releases so far in 2002. In addition to providing an intimate insight into the making of the album, Aaron cogently argues that Spanish Harlem's rich musical heritage merits the same international recognition as Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club.
Continues here.

Interview: Issac Delgado
by Abel Delgado October 24, 2002
Issac Delgado is one of the best contemporary Cuban singers out there. Getting his start with Pacho Alonso and later NG la Banda, he represents a curious bridge between hard-core Cuban dance music and the smoother salsa played in the United States, Puerto Rico and Latin America. We called him at his house in Cuba to learn more about his career, breakout CD La fórmula and future plans. Abel Delgado (no relation) did the interview and translation into English and Orlando Fiol did the hard part: transcribing Issac's words that had come through a Cuban phone line with more snap, crackle and pop than Rice Krispies to make sure we got the man's words right. So here it is.
If you want to read the English version, click here.
For the Spanish version, click here.

Interview: Locked in With Hermán Olivera
by John Child October 08, 2002
Issac Delgado is one of the best contemporary Cuban singers out there. Getting his start with Pacho Alonso and later NG la Banda, he represents a curious bridge between hard-core Cuban dance music and the smoother salsa played in the United States, Puerto Rico and Latin America. We called him at his house in Cuba to learn more about his career, breakout CD La fórmula and future plans. Abel Delgado (no relation) did the interview and translation into English and Orlando Fiol did the hard part: transcribing Issac's words that had come through a Cuban phone line with more snap, crackle and pop than Rice Krispies to make sure we got the man's words right. So here it is.
Continues here.

Discographic Profile: Hermán Olivera
by John Child October 08, 2002
After reading the above interview, be sure to also read this discographic profile of Mr. Olivera's career.

Discographic Profile: Orquesta America de Ninon Mondejar
by Luis De Quesada August 23, 2002
The Orquesta America was founded in the spring of 1942 by singer/songwriter Ninon Mondejar. Ninon was born in the province of Mantanzas and, as an adolescent during the early 30s, he relocated to the Havana province town of Bauta (aka "Hoyo Colorao"). In Bauta he started showing interest in music and joined a town choral group. He also joined the Young Communist League and became a political activist.
In the early 40s he moved to the capital city of Havana and, after brief stints as a singer with several local groups, he decided to form his own "charanga," perhaps influenced by the successes of the charanga orchestras of Antonio Arcaño, Melodias del 40, Belisario Lopez, Antonio Maria Romeu and others... (continues)

Discographic Profile: Rudy Calzado
by John Child August 23, 2002
Pedro Calzado, 27 Nov. '29, Santiago de Cuba, Oriente province, Cuba; d 11 May '02, NYC) Versatile singer, percussionist, prolific composer, arranger, bandleader. He was one of the rare breed of singers, who was also an accomplished composer and arranger, and could ably apply himself in any Latin format or idiom. Rudy was born into a family of professional musicians and grew up listening to Pedro Vargas and Toña La Negra. He played guitar and started singing in school with a guitar trio. He made his professional debut in '47 with Pancho Portuondo's orchestra, featuring his cousin, the singer Fernando Alvarez (b 4 Nov. '28, Santiago de Cuba), who later worked with Beny Moré and Conjunto Casino... (continues)

In Memoriam: Rudy Calzado
by Luis De Quesada August 23, 2002
I first heard and saw Rudy Calzado right after he joined Fajardo Y Sus Estrellas as lead singer in Havana, around the fall of 1953. At that time, Rudy was featured in this great orchestra as the main vocalist and soloist. A bit later, in 1954, brother Sergio also joined him in the orchestra. Later still, around the end of that year, fellow "Santiaguero" Rafael "Felo" Bacallao also joined Fajardo's chorus. Felo, Rudy and Sergio were not only great singers, but also great dancers, Felo being the most skilled. Their on-stage dancing during the orchestra's performances captured the delirious applause of audiences and fans in Havana and throughout the island... (continues)

Discographic Profile: Enrique Jorrín & His Orchestra: The Creator of the Cha cha chá
by Luis De Quesada May 13, 2002
Violinist/songwriter Enrique Jorrin, creator of the cha cha chá, was born in 1926 in the town of Candelaria, Pinar del Rio province, in Cuba. At age 12 Enrique Jorrin started showing an interest in music and chose to learn the violin. After he graduated from music school at the Municipal Conservatory of the City of Havana, Jorrin joined several musical groups as a violinist, including a famed charanga group named Hermanos Contreras. Around 1943, Jorrin joined Antonio Arcaño & his Orchestra...(continues)

Discographic Profile: José Fajardo: The Charanga Flute King Dies
by John Child April 15, 2002
Described as "one of the best flautists of this music of all time" by famed pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, Fajardo organised his first charanga band in September 1949. After initially struggling, his career really took-off with the advent of the cha cha chá craze in Cuba in 1953. He went on to play a prominent role in the early '60s charanga/pachanga craze and '70s charanga revival...(continues)

Profile: Joe Bataan
by John Child March 16, 2002
Some notes on Gypsy Woman and Subway Joe, his first two releases. Joe Bataan is rightfully esteemed as the King of Latin Soul. Born in New York's El Barrio, his masterful songs about everyday ghetto life are forever embedded in the hearts of generations of Latinos.

Discographic Profile: Miguelito Valdés
by John Child November 28, 2001
Internationally famous sonero (improvising Latin singer), composer; nicknamed "Mr. Babalú".

Interview: Miguelito Valdés and Anselmo Sacasas Speak
by John Child November 28, 2001
At the age of 64, the great Miguelito Valdés gave possibly his first in-depth radio interview in English to Dr. Ken "Leo" Rosa and the distinguished pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader and producer Héctor Rivera in 1975, which was broadcast on March 8th that year. The interview provides a priceless insight into Miguelito's illustrious career; plus his observations about the Latin music industry 26 years ago merit consideration today.
The following year, Dr. Ken "Leo" Rosa briefly interviewed Miguelito's former colleague from the Casino de la Playa Orchestra, Anselmo Sacasas, who many credited as the originator of the Latin piano solo. A transcription of this interview, which was broadcast in New York on April 24th 1976, immediately follows the Miguelito Valdés piece...continues

Discographic Profile: Chico O'Farrill
by John Child August 16, 2001
Legendary Cuban composer, arranger, instrumentalist and bandleader who passed away on June 27 in New York City.

Discographic Profile: Grupo Niche
by John Child July 14, 2001
Distinctive salsa band based in Cali, Colombia whose leader is musical director, arranger and producer, Jairo Varela.

Discographic Profile: Orquesta Guayacan
by John Child July 14, 2001
Colombian salsa band which in the '90s began to rival the success of Jairo Varela's Grupo Niche.

Discographic Profile: Gabino Pampini
by John Child July 14, 2001
Soulful Panamanian-born sonero, now residing in Cali, Colombia.

Interview: Hanging with Cuba's Bad Boy: A Chat With Carlos Manuel
by John Child April 12, 2001
The day after witnessing the relentless fury of Carlos Manuel y su Clan's UK debut performance at Ronnie Scott's in February, John Child spent four hours battling through London traffic, reduced to a snail's pace by an Underground (subway) strike, to hook-up with Cuba's Bad Boy before he flew out of the country. John's ordeal was well worth it, as Carlos provided an interesting insight into the youthful melange of salsa, timba, soca, calypso, ragga and rap featured in his current Palm Pictures CD Malo Cantidad.

Interview: From Weybridge To Bogotá: A Conversation with Sidestepper's Richard Blair
by John Child March 11, 2001
Since its release, Sidestepper's album More Grip has divided London's Latin music aficionados. They either seem to love or loathe it. Descarga.com's London contributor John Child is a member of the former camp...John met up with the mastermind behind the ground-breaking Sidestepper: producer, engineer, musician and deejay Richard Blair, in the Notting Hill offices of Palm Pictures. During the hour they spent talking, Richard unfolded the fascinating story of his musical journey from Weybridge in south-east England to Bogotá, Colombia, where he has become a celebrated producer of rock español, modern folkloric music, and now a pioneer of the drum 'n' bass clave...

Discographic Profile: Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez
by John Child February 10, 2001
Profile and discography of Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, notable improvising salsa singer, maraca player and bandleader nicknamed El Conde (The Count), who passed away on December 1. This profile is immediately followed by a complete "El Conde" discography.

Discographic Profile: Tito Puente
by John Child November 08, 2000
Here is a discographic profile of the legendary bandleader, composer and musician, Ernesto "Tito" Puente, who passed away on May 31, 2000.

Discographic Profile: Wayne Gorbea
by John Child November 08, 2000
A discographic profile of the salsa bandleader, pianist, percussionist, composer and arranger.

Interview: An Uptempo Talk with José Alberto "El Canario"
by John Child November 08, 2000
A conversation with respected salsero José Alberto. Talking at a pace that seemed faster than the merengue he had just performed on stage, José spoke to John about his career and his recent live reunion recording with Típica 73 at New York City's Copacabana.

Interview: Plenty of Latitude: In Conversation with Alfredo De La Fé
by John Child October 17, 2000
John Child caught up with Alfredo de la Fé during his visit to London in June to promote his new album Latitudes and the Salsa 2000 festival on July 16th. A discussion about Latitudes acted as a launching pad for a free-ranging conversation about Alfredo's career, which he began at the age of 12 (with Orquesta Broadway). With the tone of typical PR hyperbole, his press kit states: "Alfredo's history is the history of salsa itself: born in Cuba, raised in New York and an international phenomenon ever since." In this instance, however, the statement definitely has the ring of truth.

Learn more about his fascinating life in this candid interview: De La Fé

Discographic Profile: Alfredo De La Fé
by John Child October 17, 2000
To supplement the above interview, here is a discographic profile of the experimental salsa violinist and composer, Alfredo De La Fé.

Interview: Bamboleo: Lo que se baila, lo que se usa
by Abel Delgado August 29, 2000
"At first glance Bamboleo may strike you as a gimmick band—two hot chicks with Ming the Merciless-style fades and a meneo that would break Britney Spears' clavicle should she be foolhardy enough to attempt it. But unlike the churned-out pop princesses dominating today's charts, who might as well have Mattel's logo stamped on the back of their skulls, these women, especially Vannia Borges, can sing. It doesn't matter whether she's dismissing an ex-boyfriend or declaring eternal love, in every tune Vannia demonstrates a jet-powered voice, well-honed interpretive skill and plain old cheqendeque...As for the rest of the band, they quite simply rock the house. The conguero, timbalero and drummer attack the skins like the mid 80's edition of Mike Tyson attacked opponents... "
Descarga's Abel Delgado recently sat down with bandleader Lázaro Valdés and singer Vannia Borges to find out more about the band and their approach to music. This interview is available in both English and Spanish.
For the English text, click here
Para leer las entrevistas con Lázaro Valdés y Vannia Borges en
español haga clic aquí

Interview: Alfredo Valdés Jr: The Son of Buena Vista
by John Child July 16, 2000
In another transatlantic collaboration, John Child in London and David Barton in New York interview pianist, arranger, composer and musical director Alfredo Valdés Jr., who speaks with passion and candour. A Cuban-American resident in the US for the last 44 years, Alfredito can claim a direct line of descent from the heyday of Havana's now internationally famous Buena Vista Social Club into the new millennium. For instance, not only did he witness Arsenio Rodríguez's legendary conjunto perform there when he was a youngster, but also played and recorded with this giant of Cuban music years later. continues...

Profile: Alfredo Valdés Jr.
by John Child July 16, 2000
A discographic profile of the much respected pianist, arranger, composer and musical director.

Profile: Papaito
by John Child July 16, 2000
A discographic profile of the Afro-Cuban singer, percussionist and composer who recently passed away.

Review: Abel's Picks, Classic Salsa, Part III
by Abel Delgado May 14, 2000
Once again Descarga's own Connoisseur of Salsa gets down to the real nitty gritty and distills the recorded history of salsa into its essential parts. As usual, Abel's arrow sometimes smarts, and we should add that his views are not necessarily those of Descarga. Consider this a disclaimer. Abel is simply exercising his first amendment rights. You gotta problem with that?

Profile: Mauricio Smith
by John Child April 23, 2000
A discographic profile of the much respected flautist, reeds player, musical director, composer, arranger, guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist and chorus singer.

Interview: Making Things Plena: Gary Nuñez of Plena Libre
by John Child April 23, 2000
John Child spoke to Plena Libre's leader, bassist, composer, arranger and producer, Gary Nuñez, after the band's high energy UK debut gig at London's Jazz Café in March. John found Gary to be an impressive advocate of the promotion and development of Puerto Rican musical traditions, a cause he has dedicated himself to for the last 28 years...continues

Interview: Pabo Batista: Funky Drummer and Flamekeeper
by Abel Delgado April 07, 2000
I first saw Pablo playing for this local band in Philly, opening up for El Gran Combo in 1990. When it came time for his solo, he attacked the congas like they had said something about his mother. My friend Chris asked me if my brother, Tony Rumba, an accomplished self-taught conguero, could get with Pablo. As bad as Tony was, I had to say no. We chatted after the concert and later became friends. My brother went on to become his student and play some gigs with him. Since I have no musical ability whatsoever, I just hung out with Pablo, drank beer and listened to Irakere and Muñequitos records with him. But don't think nepotism drove me to sit down with Pablo and do this interview. It's more about who he is as a musician...continues

Profile: Tito Rodriguez
by John Child March 19, 2000
A discographic profile of the popular Puerto Rican-born sonero and bolero singer, bandleader, percussionist, composer, producer, label boss.

Profile: Tito Gomez
by John Child March 19, 2000
A discographic profile of the popular Puerto Rican-born sonero with a haunting, melancholic timbre.

Article: Frankly Frankie, The Reluctant Sonero Del Barrio
by John Child and David Barton December 29, 1999
By the miracle of modern communications, David Barton in New York and John Child in London have collaborated to prepare this piece on singer Frankie Vázquez and his current album with Martin Arroyo: Los Soneros del Barrio (Rumbero RRCD 1765)...Frankie unfolds a tale of someone who has travelled the traditional route of a sonero, gradually honing his skills and paying his dues in numerous bands, including those of Wayne Gorbea, Javier Vázquez and Manny Oquendo. This is in marked contrast to today's pretty boy (and girl) singers of salsa monga, who seem to appear out of nowhere...

Interview: Cheo Feliciano
by Abel Delgado February 24, 2000
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1935, the sonero Cheo Feliciano is a living legend. In his song "El Cantante," another great sonero, Héctor Lavoe improvised the following lyrics: "Mis saludos a Celia, Rivera, Feliciano, esos sí son grandes cantores...escucha bien su cantar, aprende de los mejores." He paid homage to Cheo while putting him in some pretty fast company, namely Celia Cruz and Ismael Rivera. He's known as one of the greats for various reasons. Take your pick: an ability to improvise that ranks him with some of the nimblest vocalists in Afro-Latin music history; a streetwise flavor that put edges on many numbers, a poetic lyricism few romantic singers can match, a versatility unique even among soneros that enabled him to sing many different rhythms in many different formats; a creativity that spawned at least two classics written by him: "El Ratón" and "Como Ríen." Descarga's Abel Delgado recently caught up to Cheo recently and talked to him about his life, his career and his latest project, "Una voz... mil recuerdos."

Profile: Frankie Vazquez
by John Child December 27, 1999
A discographic profile of the talented Puerto Rican-born sonero and percussionist.

Profile: Martin Arroyo
by John Child December 27, 1999
A discographic profile of the talented Bronx-born Pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger.

Profile: Machito
by John Child November 18, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Cuban bandleader, singer and composer.

Profile: Tito Allen
by John Child November 18, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Puerto Rican improvising salsa singer and composer.

Article: The Death of Salsa
by Abel Delgado October 25, 1999
So what's with the dramatic declaration? The following: I argue that this music has certain aesthetics established over the years that are its lifeblood, its essence. And while this music has certainly changed over the years, it has maintained those aesthetics. But now those aesthetics are being lost as the commercialization of the music transforms its character to make it more mainstream, more pop. Much in the way Dracula drained Lucy of blood in Bram Stoker's novel, this has drained it slowly, leaving a pretty, walking, talking, but undead creature.

Profile: Papo Lucca
by John Child September 30, 1999
A discographic profile of the talented Puerto Rican pianist, arranger, producer and veteran musical director of Sonora Ponceña.

Profile: Eddie Cano
by John Child September 30, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular pianist, band-leader, composer and arranger.

Profile: Típica 73
by John Child September 11, 1999
A discographic profile of the highly acclaimed salsa band that defected from Ray Barretto's lineup in 1972.

Profile: José Alberto "El Canario"
by John Child September 11, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Dominican salsero.

Profile: Charlie Palmieri
by John Child August 15, 1999
A discographic profile of the pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer, A&R man, producer and fine soloist with emphasis on the melodic in improvisation.

Profile: Andy Montañez
by John Child August 15, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Puerto Rican sonero who fronted El Gran Combo for 15 years before going solo.

Article: Barry Rogers
by David Carp July 12, 1999
A profile of the much respected, highly innovative and dearly missed trombone player.

In 1990, trumpeter Ray Vega made trombonist/ethnomusicologist Christopher Washburne aware of Eddie Palmieri's "Páginas de Mujer," introducing it with the words, "This is your bible, study it hard." The specific bit of chapter and verse referred to was a 24 measure trombone solo played by Barry Rogers...continues

Article: Descarga Associate In Havana
by Raúl Fernández June 30, 1999
Historian Raúl Fernández tells of his recent trip to interview some of the living treasures of Cuban music for the Smithsonian Institution Latino Music Oral History Program

Profile: Willie Rosario
by John Child June 30, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Puerto Rican bandleader, composer, producer and timbales player.

Profile: Tommy Olivencia
by John Child June 30, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Puerto Rican bandleader, trumpeter, musical director and producer.

Article: Yoruba Sacred Music, Old World and New
by John Gray May 23, 1999
A well-rounded primer about Santeria related material and its resources. In Yoruba religion, whether practiced in Ile Ife, Salvador, Bahia, La Habana or the Bronx, music and dance have always been central. They are the mediums which connect the physical world (aiye) of the living with the supernatural world (orun) of the gods (orisha) and ancestors (egun)...continues

interview: A Conversation with Rebeca Mauleón-Santana
by Robert Kaye April 29, 1999
Rebeca Mauleon might very well be Latin music's Renaissance woman. A much sought-after pianist, she is also an arranger, composer and author of the best selling instructional books The Salsa Guidebook and 101 Montunos. Writer Robert Kaye caught up with her after a recent concert.

Profile: Meet Joe Cain
by David Carp April 29, 1999
A profile of the very talented trumpeter, arranger and producer, Joe Cain, who has worked with many legendary figures in Latin music like Marcelino Guerra, Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente and Charlie Palmieri.

Review: Abel's Picks, Part II
by Abel Delgado March 31, 1999
Abel is back with his sharpened pencil, sharpened wit, and plain old good taste when it comes to picking the best salsa of the last three decades. See if you agree.

Article: Charanga
by John Child March 29, 1999
A discographic overview of the popular Cuban dance music noted for its use of the flute and/or strings.

Profile: Louie Ramirez
by John Child March 29, 1999
A discographic profile of the multi-talented band-leader, composer, timbale and vibes player.

Profile: Oscar D'Leon
by John Child March 29, 1999
A discographic profile of the popular Venezuelan Sonero.

Profile: Al Santiago
by John Child February 23, 1999
A tribute to our friend, the late Al Santiago, on his birthday. Here is a discographic profile of the infamous producer, arranger, composer and bandleader.

Interview: Jimmy Bosch: Salsa's Subversive Superchef
by John Child January 17, 1999
Who do todays top salsa singers and producers call to add fiery creole flavouring to their concoctions? Jimmy Bosch, the head cook of the salsa dura or hard salsa movement and subverter of the soft salsa romántica style, that's who!

Profile: Orquesta Novel
by John Child January 17, 1999
A discographic profile of the charanga band.

Profile: Kako: Francisco Angel Bastar
by John Child January 17, 1999
A discographic profile of the Francisco Angel Bastar, Puerto Rican percussionist known as Kako.

Profile: José Mangual, Jr.: A Family Affair
by David Carp December 26, 1998
In depth interview with a member of Latin music's most accomplished families. Mr. Mangual talks about his early career, his respect for Chano Pozo, his work with Wiilie Colón and Héctor Lavoe, his most recent project, "Son Boricua," and, of course, the recent loss of his father, famed percussionist José Mangual, Sr. "Buyú."

Profile: José Mangual, Jr.: A Musical Profile
by John Child December 26, 1998
After reading the interview, José Mangual, Jr.: A Family Affair, be sure to read the definitive musical profile and discography of this prolific percussionist.

Interview: Eddie Palmieri: Form and Substance
by David Carp with Bruce Polin October 10, 1998
With a career spanning over four decades, Mr. Palmieri embodies much of the history of contemporary Latin music. It is virtually impossible to fully appreciate salsa and Latin jazz without understanding his enormous contribution. With a new CD just out, and a new record label on the horizon, Eddie Palmieri recently took a few hours off from his busy schedule to talk with us about his life. This in-depth interview with one of Latin music's legendary figures should not be missed.

Review: Abel's Favorites, Vol. 1
by Abel Delgado 09/18/98
Abel Delgado shares his appreciation for some salsa classics from the 1960s and 70s, as well as a few recent items worth looking into. Of Justo Betancourt's Lo Sabemos, Abel says "To be a diehard salsero, especially if you want to be considered a 70's salsa connoisseur, you must have this album. If not, this could arouse suspicions that you are in fact a fraud that secretly harbors Air Supply and Duran Duran albums."

Profile: Frankie Ruiz: Another Salsa Casualty
by John Child 08/30/98
Obituary of Puerto Rican salsa star Frankie Ruiz. On August 9, 1998, a life-long struggle with addictive drugs ended tragically for this hitmaker who, at least on the surface, seemed to have everything going his way. This article originally appeared in the publication, Latin London.

Profile: Larry Harlow, Salsero Maravilloso
by David Carp 08/15/98
Veteran salsa bandleader, composer and Fania All Star Larry Harlow is profiled, in detail, in this candid interview. Here's one guy who can truly say "been there, done that." In this interview he talks frankly about his colorful past and offers his views of the current salsa scene.

Article: Soneros: A Dying Breed?
by Abel Delgado 08/08/98
Salsa's roots in the sonero tradition has been, for the last decade, somewhat fuzzied by commercial efforts to attract the youth market. Abel Delgado provides a primer for those of us who seek "the real thing."

Interview: A Talk With Johnny Almendra
by David M. Carp 05/25/98
David Carp has an extended conversation with this Brooklyn-born timbalero who went on to play with Orquesta Dicupe, Charanga 76, TambÛ and now leads Los JÛvenes Del Barrio.

Review: CDs In Review
by Vicki Sol· 05/25/98
Johnny Almendra y Los Jovenes Del Barrio, "Reconfirmando" CD
Cruz Control, "Cruz Control" CD
Carmen JimÈnez, "Carmen JimÈnez" CD
Ray Barretto, "Contact" CD

Article: Remembering Chano Pozo: Fifty Years Of "Manteca"
by Bobby Sanabria 05/25/98
December 30th, 1997 marked the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most important compositions in Latin music of this century. Percussionist and teacher Bobby Sanabria talks about it's relevance to today's music and it's place in history.

Article: So You Wanna Be A Latin Musician: The Music Biz 101
by Ana Araiz 05/25/98
Let promoter Ana Araiz help you to make the right choices.

Interview: A Talk With Marty Sheller: Arranger, Composer, Musician
by David Carp 05/25/98
A conversational interview with one of Latin music's most creative arrangers.

Profile: Ray Maldonado
by David Carp 05/25/98
A profile of the too short life of trumpeter Ray Maldonado (1946 - 1982)

Article: Jerry Masucci, 62, International Salsa Promoter
by Peter Watrous 12/24/97
Obituary

Interview: A Visit with Maestro Johnny Pacheco
by David Carp 10/01/97
The legendary musician and bandleader, Johnny Pacheco, co-founder of Fania Records.

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 10/01/97
Recommended new material

Interview: A Visit with Martin Cohen Of LP Music Group
by David Carp 04/01/97
Founder of Latin Percussion Music Group, the foremost manufacturer of Latin percussion instruments.

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 04/01/97
Recommended titles

Article: Eye of the Storm: The Artist and Cuba's Music Industry
by Peter Watrous 04/01/97
The Cuban music industry and its developing relationship with the capitalist world.

Profile: Stephen Berrios Gelly
by David Carp 04/01/97
Obituary of Steve Berrios, Sr. (1925-1996), percussionist

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 04/01/97
Al remembers Machito and Tito Rodriguez

Review: Instructional Video Review
by Michael Wall 04/01/97
Kim Atkinson, "Mozambique, Vol. 1," Video, TL-15640.30

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 01/01/97
Recommended titles

Interview: A Visit with Ruben Blades, Part 1
by Bruce Polin 12/01/96
The multi-talented Ruben Bladesócomposer, singer, actor, politician....

Interview: A Visit with Ruben Blades, Part 2
by Bruce Polin 12/01/96
The multi-talented Ruben Bladesócomposer, singer, actor, politician....

Profile: Alberto Santiago Alvarez
by David Carp 12/01/96
Obituary of Al Santiago (1932-1996)

Profile: Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers
by David Carp 12/01/96
Bandleader Pucho (Henry Lee Brown) and his unique hybrid of Afro-American and Afro-Cuban musical styles.

Review: Instructional Videos In Review
by David PeÒalosa 12/01/96
Bobby Sanabria, "Getting Started on Congas: Fundamento 1 & 2," Video, TL-15064.30 & TL-15065.30
Giovanni Hidalgo, "In the Tradition," Video, TL-15220.30
Manny Oquendo, "Manny Oquendo on Timbales & Bongoes," Video, TL-15359.30
Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana, "The History of the Songo," Video, TL-15221.30
Lincoln Goines & Robby Ameen, "Funkifying the Clave: Afro-Cuban Grooves for Bass & Drums," Video, TL-11538.30

Interview: Between Gigs with Trombonist Jimmy Bosch
by David Carp 09/01/96
Popular sideman and emerging bandleader, Jimmy Bosch.

Column: The Other Side of the CD
by Al Santiago 09/01/96
Al discusses El Gran combo and other matters

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 09/01/96
Recommended titles

Profile: Double Bass Hits: Two Great Reissues by Two Legendary Bassists
by Chico Alvarez 09/01/96
Israel "Cachao" Lopez and Charles Mingus

Review: Four from Vicky Sola
by Vicky Sola 09/01/96
Ismael Miranda, "Cantar O no Cantar," CD, TL-14057.10
Descarga Boricua II, "Abrazate," CD, TL-15225.10
Al DeLory, "Floreando," CD, TL-15296.10
Ray Barretto & New World Spirit, "My Summertime," CD, TL-15031.10

Review: Three Cuban Videos Revisited
by Abel Delgado 09/01/96
NG La Banda, "La Banda Que Manda," Video, TL-15130.30
NG La Banda, "La Banda Que Manda En Concierto," Video, TL-15131.30
Varios Artists, "Varios Artistas de Cuba: NG La Banda, Los Van Van, Paulito y su Elite, El Medico de la Salsa, Charanga Habanera, Issac Delgado, etc." Video, TL-15133.30

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 07/01/96
Recommended titles

Profile: 35th Anniversay Of The Alegre All-Stars
by David Carp 06/01/96
A celebration of Al Santiago's all-star group.

Column: The Other Side of the CD
by Al Santiago 06/01/96
Al talks about record company executives Morris Levy, Art Talmadge and George Goldner.

Review: De Alla Pa'ca
by George Rivera 06/01/96
Various Artists, "De Alla Pa'ca: Cuba Le Canta a Puerto Rico," CD, TL-15070.10

Review: Portraits of Cuba
by George Rivera 06/01/96
Paquito D'Rivera, "Portraits of Cuba," CD, TL-15013.10

Review: Portraits Of Cuba
by Luis Moreno 06/01/96
Paquito D'Rivera, "Portraits of Cuba," CD, TL-15013.10

Review: Dark Latin Groove
by George Rivera 06/01/96
Dark Latin Groove, "DLG," CD, TL-15037.10

Review: Pa'que Nadie Me Olvide
by Chico Alvarez 06/01/96
Ray Santiago, "Pa'que nadie me olvide," CD, TL-13826.10

Review: Madera
by Chico Alvarez 06/01/96
Mauricio Smith, "Madera," CD, TL-14986.10

Review: Sabrosito
by Chico Alvarez 06/01/96
La Gran Banda de Venezuela, "Sabrosito," CD, TL-13925.10

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 04/01/96
Recommended titles.

Article: The Five-Key Charanga Flute
by David A. Pérez 04/01/96
Article that focuses on the Cuban wooden charanga flute and its masters.

Interview: The Return of Izzy Sanabria, or A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Rumba
by David Carp with Bruce Polin 04/01/96
Interview with Izzy Sanabria, album cover designer, cartoonist, emcee, televison host, magazine publisher, journalist, stand-up comedian.

Profile: Frank M. Figueroa
by David Carp 04/01/96
Profile of Puerto Rican radio show host, musicologist and author, Frank M. Figueroa.

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 04/01/96
Al talks about Ray Barretto.

Profile: Who Is Moncho Leña?
by David Carp 01/01/96
1950s timbalero/drummer/bandleader

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 01/01/96
Recommended titles

Review: Roots and Folklore: New Releases
by David Peñalosa 01/01/96
Patato, Changuito, & Orestes Vilato, "Ritmo y Candela: Rhythm at the Crossroads," CD, TL-14415.10
Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana and Giovanni Hidalgo, "Conga Masters Duets," Video, TL-14188.30
Francisco Aguabella, "Sworn to the Drum," Video, TL-14764.30
Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, "Musica Yoruba," CD, TL-14732.10
Regino Jimenez & Amelia Pedrosa,etc. "Ilu Aña: Sacred Rhythms," CD, TL-14699.10
Various Artists, "Sacred Rhythms of Cuban Santeria," CD, TL-14480.10
Various Artists, "Fiesta Santera Lucumi: Tambores Batá," CD, TL-14424.10
Arturo Rene Rodriguez, "Bembe Conversations, Vol. 1," CD, TL-14663.10

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 01/01/96
What's in a Name? Al names his kids.

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 09/01/95
Recommended titles.

Profile: Our Man in Stockholm...Bebo Valdés Rides Again
by Antero Laiho 09/01/95
The legendary Cuban orchestra leader, arranger, composer, pianist. He's also the father of Chucho Valdés.

Interview: My Music Is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities 1917-1940
by David Carp 09/01/95
Ruth Glasser discusses her new book

Review: Voice and Drum: Afro-Cuban Folklore Releases
by David Peñalosa 09/01/95
Milton Cardona, "Bembe," CD, TL-1142010
Grupo Folklorico Afrocuba de Matanzas, "Rituales Afrocubanos," CD, TL-13274.10
Various Artists, "Real Rumba from Cuba," CD, TL-13036.10
Los Muñequitos de Matanza, Folklorico Mantancero (Grupo Folklorico Afrocuba de Matanzas), "Oyelos de Nuevos," CD, TL-13445.10
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, "Congo Yambumba," CD, TL-13329.10
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, "Vacunao," CD, TL-14015.10
Conjunto Clave y Guaguanco, "Songs & Dances," CD, TL-13693.10
Los Papines, "Tambores Cubanos," CD, TL-13210.10
Los Papines, "Guaguancó," CD, TL-12065.10
Carlos Embale, "Rumbero Mayor," CD, TL-13222.10
Mongo Santamaria, "Drums and Chants," CD, TL-13494.10
Various Artists, "Afro-Cuba: A Musical Anthology," CD, TL-12892.10

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 09/01/95
Chombo, Vicentico Valdés, Tito Puente's restaurant

Review: Videos Just Out...
by Ruben Roderick 09/01/95
Various Artists, "Ache Moyuba Orisha," Video, TL-14356.30
Various Artists, "En El Pais De Los Orichas," Video, TL-14358.30
Various Artists, "La Ultima Rumba De Papá Montero," Video, TL-14359.30
Various Artists, "Los Dioses del Futuro," Video, TL-14360.30
Various Artists, "Nganga Kiyangala," Video, TL-14357.30
Various Artists, "Oggun," Video, TL-14361.30

Interview: A Life In Music: One On One With "Little Ray" Romero
by Henry Medina 06/01/95
Bongo player, percussionist Hernan Ray "Little Ray" Romero

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 06/01/95
Recommended titles

Review: Instructional Material, Part 3
by David Peñalosa 06/01/95
Jerry Gonzalez, "Conga Mania: In the Tradition," Video, TL-13661.30
David Garibaldi, Michael Spiro & Jesus Diaz, "Talking Drums," Video, TL-13537.30
Giovanni Hidalgo, "Conga Virtuoso," Video, TL-13827.30
Ignacio Berroa, "Mastering the Art of Afro-Cuban Drumming," Video, TL-13828.30
Alan Dworsky and Betsy Sansby, "Conga Drumming," Book, TL-13919.50

Review: First Look: Eddie Torres Teaches Salsa Nightclub Style
by Mary Kent 06/01/95
Eddie Torres and His Mambo Kings Orchestra, "Eddie Torres Teaches Salsa Nightclub Style, Vol. 1 & 2," Video, TL-13829.30

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 06/01/95
Al talks about Bobby Escoto, Joe Bataan

Review: Spotlight On: The Estrada Brothers
by Alfredo Cruz 06/01/95
The Estrada Brothers, "About Time," CD, TL-14139.30

Review: The Cuban All-Stars...Tata Güines Meets Angá
by Bobby Sanabria 04/01/95
The Cuban All-Stars, "Pasaporte: Tata Güines & Miguel Angá," CD, 14010.10

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 04/01/95
Recommended titles

Article: Gilberto Santa Rosa and his Orchestra: The Man and His Music
by George De Stefano 04/01/95
Performance review

Profile: Natalio Tirado Ruiz "Junior" Master Drum-Maker
by Eddie Bobé 04/01/95
The "Stradivarius" of conga makers

Profile: Steve Berrios Breaks Loose With Son Bachéche
by Eddie Bobé 04/01/95
Drumset percussionist Steve Berrios, Jr.

Review: John Santos & The Machete Ensemble
by Steven Seftel 04/01/95
John Santos & the Machete Ensemble, "Machete," CD, TL-13832.10

Review: Cal Tjader, Willie Bobo
by Alfredo Cruz 04/01/95
Cal Tjader, "Soul Sauce," CD, TL-13660.10
Willie Bobo, "Spanish Grease/Uno, Dos, Tres," CD, TL-13607.10

Profile: Introducing Vocal Sampling
by Rachel Faro 04/01/95
Cuban a cappella vocal group

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 04/01/95
Al's faux pas

Review: 1995 Is Here...Reviews of Recent Releases and Reissues
by George De Stefano 02/01/95
Gilberto Santa Rosa, "De Cara Al Viento," CD, 13694.10
Lucrecia y Su Orquesta, "Me Debes Un Beso," CD, TL-13662.10
Orchestra Pueblo, "Ponce," CD, TL-13719.10
Manny Oquendo y Libre, "Increible," CD, TL-13713.10
Saoco, "Siempre Seré Guajiro," CD, TL-13712.10

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 02/01/95
Recommended titles

Review: Cachao Documented, and a Book on Bass Playing
by David Peñalosa 02/01/95
Israel "Cachao" Lopez, "Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos (His Rhythm Is Like No Other)" Video, TL-13442.30
Israel "Cachao" Lopez, "Master Sessions, Vol.1," CD, TL-13328.10
Carlos Del Puerto & Silvio Vergara, "The True Cuban Bass," Book, TL-13591..70

Article: Notes From the West
by Alfredo Cruz 02/01/95
Latin music scene in California

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 02/01/95
Al remembers Ponce, Puerto Rico

Profile: Angel Canales: El Diferente
by Felipito Palacios 09/01/94
Vocalist and bandleader with a difference

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 09/01/94
Recommended titles

Profile: Farewell, Vernon Boggs (1939-1994)
by Mary Kent 09/01/94
Tribute to sociologist and Latin music lover, Vernon Boggs

Profile: "Thanks For Calling, Doc!"
by Alfredo Cruz 09/01/94
Tribute to Vernon Boggs

Review: New Cuban Releases
by David Peñalosa 09/01/94
NG La Banda, "La Que Manda," CD, TL-13325.10
Los Papines, "Rumba Sin Alarde," CD, TL-13326.10
Los Van Van, "Lo Ultimo En Vivo," CD, TL-13324.10
Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini, "Yo Siempre Tengo Lo Que Tú Necesitas!" CD, TL-13392.10
Various Artists, "Guantanamera: 16 Versiones Originales," CD, TL-13394.10
Orquesta Neno Gonzalez, "Danzones," CD, TL-13393.10
Grupo Raison, "Sexteto Raison," CD, TL-13391.10
Orquesta Reve, "El Ritmo Changüi," CD, TL-13396.10
Orquesta Maravilla de Florida, "El Agua Su Nivel," CD, TL-13395.10
Orquesta Aliamen, "Orquesta Aliamen," CD, TL-13392

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 09/01/94
Al remembers his friend Kako

Interview: From Cuba With Rhythm: A Talk With...José Luis Quintana "Changuito" & Bobby Carcasses
by Bobby Sanabria 11/01/94
Master Cuban percussionist "Changuito" and Cuban jazz vocalist and musician Roberto Carcasses

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 11/01/94
Recommended titles

Profile: Vernon Boggs, A Personal Hero
by Sarah Streng 11/01/94
Personal tribute to salsiologist Vernon Boggs

Profile: Chivirico Davila 1924-1994
by Al Santiago 11/01/94
Chivirico Davila obituary

Review: Instructional Material, Part 2: Audio & Video Tapes
by David Peñalosa 11/01/94
Birger Sulsbrück, "Latin-American Percussion: Rhythms and Rhythm Instruments From Cuba: Video Session," Video, TL-11583.30
Jerry Gonzalez, "Conga Drumming & Afro-Caribbean Rhythms," Video, TL-11624.30
Richie Gajate Garcia, "Adventures in Rhythm, Close-Up on Congas, Vol. 1," Video, TL-12035.30
Richie Gajate Garcia, "Adventures in Rhythm, Close-Up On Bongos and Timbales, Vol. 2," Video, TL-12837.30
Latin Percussion, "Understanding Latin Rhythms," CS, TL-11748.70
Latin Percussion, "Drum Solos, Vols. 1,2 & 3," CS, TL-12817,12818,12819
Steve Berrios, "Latin Rhythms Applied to the Drum Set," Video, TL-12253
Chuck Silverman, "Practical Applications of Afro-Caribbean Rhythms to the Drumset," Video, TL-12251.30
Alex Acuña, "Drums & Percussion," Video, TL-11746.30
Alex Acuña, "South American, Caribbean, African and American Jazz," Video, TL-13134.30
David Weckl and Walfredo Reyes, Sr., "Working it Out, Part 1," Video, TL-12128.30
David Weckl and Walfredo Reyes, Sr., "Working it Out, Part 2," Video, TL-12363.30
Frank Malabe and Bob Weiner, "Afro-Cuban Rhythms for the Drumset," Book/Cassette, TL-11536.70
Lincoln Goines and Robby Ameen, "Funkifying the Clave: Afro-Cuban Grooves for Bass and Drums," Book/Cassette, TL-11538.70

Article: Why Is It Called Rumba and Is it What it Seems?
by Oliver Berliner 11/01/94
Origin of the rumba and other terms

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 11/01/94
Al's ruminates on CD reissues, Rafael Muñoz y su Orquesta, the Fox brothers and other "memorable memories."

Review: The Return Of Africando: Tierra Tradicional -- Also Reviewed: Cheito Quiñones: Cheito
by George De Stefano 07/01/94
Africando, "Vol. 2 — Tierra Tradicional," CD, TL-13018.10
Ivan "Cheito" Quiñones, "Cheito," CD, TL-13018

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 07/01/94
Recommended titles

Article: Fania 30th Anniversary All-Star Concert, June 18, 1994
by George De Stefano 07/01/94
Performance review

Review: Learning the Rhythms: An Overview Of Instructional Material, Part 1: Books
by David Peñalosa 07/01/94
Fernando Ortiz Fernandez, "The Xylophonic Clave of Cuban Music: An Ethnographic Essay," Book, TL-12695.50
John Amira & Steven Cornelius, "The Music of Santeria: the Traditional Rhythms of the Batá Drums," Book, TL-11544.50 (accompanying CD TL-11544.10)
Birger Sulsbrück, "Latin American Percussion," Book, TL-12202.50
Frank Malabe & Bob Weiner, "Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset," Book, TL-11536.50
Victor Rendon, "Rhythms and Techniques for Latin Timbales," Book,TL-12163.50
Victor Rendon, "Timbale Solo Transcriptions," Book, TL-12162.50
Chuck Silverman, "Practical Applications: Using Afro-Caribbean Rhythms on the Drumset, Parts 1,2, & 3," Books, TL-12927.50, 12928.50, 12929.50
Lincoln Goines & Robbie Ameen, "Funkifying the Clave: Afro-Cuban Grooves for Bass and Drums," Book/CD, TL-11538.60
Charlie Gerard with Marty Sheller, "Salsa: the Rhythm of Latin Music," Book, TL-11541
Rebeca Mauleon, "Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble," Book, TL-12066.50
Birger Sulsbrück, Henrik Beck, Karsten Simonsen, "Salsa Sessions," Book, TL-12019.50

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 07/01/94
Bobby Rodriguez and Bobby Rodriguez

Review: Short Cuts: Latin Jazz
by Alfredo Cruz 07/01/94
Ronnie Cuber, "The Scene is Clean," CD, TL-13254.10

Review: Short Cuts: Salsa/Merengue
by Bosco El Gitano 07/01/94
Tito Rojas, "A MI Estilo," CD, TL-12834.10
Hector Tricoche, "Ese Soy Yo," CD, TL-12953.10
Hector Tricoche, "A Corazon Abierto," CD, TL-12125.10
Antony Santos, "Corazon Bonito," CD, TL-12911.10

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 05/01/94
Recommended titles

Profile: Rest In Peace: Frank Malabe (November 28, 1940 - April 21, 1994)
by Bobby Sanabria 05/01/94
Tribute to Frankie Malabe

Review: Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music, Part 2: Rumba
by David Peñalosa 05/01/94
Conjunto Guaguancó Matancero/Papin y sus Rumberos, "Guaguanco," CD, TL-11150.10
Grupo Guaguancó Matancero/Papin y Otros, "Guaguancó, Vol. 2," CD, TL-11896.10
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, "Guaguancó/Columbia/Yambú," CD, TL-4642
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, "Cantar Maravilloso-the Rumba Originals," CD, TL-2228.10
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, "Rumba Caliente 77/88," CD, TL-11773.10
Los Papines, "Bolero, Rumba, Guaguancó, Salsa"
Los Papines, "Guaguancó"
Los Papines, "Homenaje a Ms Colegas," CD, TL-4792.10
Mongo Santamaria, "Afro-Roots," CD, TL-1346.10
Totico y sus Rumberos, "Montuno," CD, TL-11430

Article: Reader's Forum
by Oliver Berliner 05/01/94
Punto guajira

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 05/01/94
Al talks about the Alegre All-Stars

Profile: Oscar Emilio Leon Somoza: The Lion Of Salsa
by George De Stefano 05/01/94
The charismatic Venezuelan sonero

Article: From Havana To Harlem: Tumbao Melao
by Vernon W. Boggs 03/01/94
Latin doo-wop

Review: Miguelito Valdes ó Mambo Dance Session, Historic 1949 Recordings
by Al Santiago 03/01/94
Miguelito Valdes, "Mambo Dance Session, Historical 1949 Recordings," CD, TL-12963.10

Review: You Listen to the Music, Now Taste the Cuisine
by Four Walls, Eight Windows 03/01/94
Oswald Rivera, "Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes," book, TL-12957.50

Column: Editor's Picks
by Bruce Polin 03/01/94
Recommended titles

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 03/01/94
Al talks about Ray Santos, Mon Rivera and Aldemaro Romero

Interview: One On One with Bobby Sanabria
by Alfredo Cruz 01/01/94
Master drummer/percussionist and defender of Afro-Latin musical traditions

Review: The San Francisco Bay Area Scene
by David PeÒalosa 01/01/94
Orquesta Batachanga, "MaÒana Para Los NiÒos" CD
Machete Ensemble, "Africa Volume One" CD
Conjunto Cespedes, "Una Sola Casa" CD

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 01/01/94
Al talks about Willie Rosario, Frankie Figueroa and others

Profile: The Tragedy of HÈctor Lavoe
by George De Stefano 11/01/93
In memory of El Cantante de los Cantantes, Hector Lavoe.

Review: In Review: The Many Shades Of Tito Puente
by Alfredo Cruz 11/01/93
Tito Puente, "Royal T" CD
Tito Puente, "Night Beat & Mucho Puente, Plus" CD

Review: Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music, Part One: LucumÌ Music
by David PeÒalosa 11/01/93
John Amira & Steven Cornelius, "The Music of Santeria: Traditional rhythms of the Bat· Drums" CD
Candita Batista y sus Tambores, "Candita Batista y Sus Tambores Bat·" CD
Celia Cruz y La Sonora Matancera, "Musica Santeria" CD
Mongo Santamaria, "Our Man in Havana" CD
Mongo Santamaria, "Afro Roots/Yambú" CD
Francisco Aguabella w/Lazaro Galarraga, "Oriza" CD
Bill Summers w/Lazaro Galarraga, "Iroko" CD
Florencio Baro & Eri Okan, "Afro Cuban Percussion" CD

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 11/01/93
Al remembers Charlie Palmieri

Article: Salsa Festival '93 ó Madison Square Garden, NYC
by George De Stefano 11/01/93
Performance review

Profile: The Legacy of Mario Bauz·
by Bobby Sanabria 09/01/93
A tribute to the great composer, arranger and bandleader, Mario Bauza (1911-1993)

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 09/01/93
Al reminisces about more of his record compilations.

Profile: Louie Ramirez
by Al Santiago 07/01/93
Al remembers musician, composer and arranger Louie Ramirez (1938-1993)

Review: In Review: Grupo Guaguanco Matancero And Los Papines
by David PeÒalosa 07/01/93
Grupo Guaguanco Matancero and Los Papines, "Guaguanco Volumes 1 & 2" CDs

Review: Two Books On Santeria
by Diane Gordon 07/01/93
Raul Canizares, "Walking in the Night" Book
John Amira & Steve Cornelius, "The Music of SanterÌa" Book

Review: In Review: Jane Bunnet ó Spirits Of Havana
by David PeÒalosa 06/01/93
Jane Bunnet, "Spirits of Havana" CD

Review: Review: Two Examples Of The Internationalization Of Salsa
by George De Stefano 06/01/93
Perfume de Salsa, "Solo Ella" CD
Africando, "Trovador" CD

Review: Latin Jazz Perspective
by Alfredo Cruz 06/01/93
Karen Briggs, "Karen" CD
Irakere, "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD
Various Artists, "El Jazz Cubano" CD

Column: The Other Side Of The CD
by Al Santiago 06/01/93
Al discusses records he produced or compiled.

Article: Gonzalo Rubalcaba at Lincoln Center, May 14
by Diane Gordon 06/01/93
Performance review

Article: Alfredo Cruz On The Making Of The Latin Playerz: Under The Influence
by Alfredo Cruz 04/01/93
Producing an independent record

Review: Ray Barretto & New World Spirit: Ancestral Messages
by Bobby Sanabria 04/01/93
Ray Barretto, "Ancestral Messages" CD

Review: In Review: Conjunto Folklorico Nacional De Cuba
by David PeÒalosa 04/01/93
Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, "Toques y Cantos de Santos Volumes 1 & 2" CDs

Profile: Profile: Henry Fiol...Sonero
by George De Stefano 03/01/93
Italo-Rican urban guajiro

Review: Lazaro Ros & Mezcla, "Cantos"
by David PeÒalosa 03/01/93
Lazaro Ros con Mezcla, "Cantos" CD

Review: Short Cuts
by Bosco El Gitano 03/01/93
Machito, "Greatest Hits" CD
Machito, "Cuban Rhythms" CD
Machito, "Fireworks" CD

Review: Salsa Guidebook
by Diane Gordon 03/01/93
Rebeca MauleÛn, "Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble" Book

Review: °Diablo Al Infierno! (Devil, Go To Hell!)
by Bobby Sanabria 01/01/93
Various Artists, "°Diablo Al Infierno! Cuba Classics III, New Directions in Cuban Music" CD

Review: Classic In Review: Tito Puente's Top Percussion
by David PeÒalosa 01/01/93
Tito Puente, "Top Percussion" CD

Review: Short Cuts
by Bosco El Gitano 01/01/93
Orquesta RevÈ, "Suave Suave + 3" CD
Larry Harlow, "My Time Is Now, Mi tiempo Llego" CD

Review: Puerto Rico's Funk: Cortijo/Kako/Rivera
by Bobby Sanabria 12/01/92
Cortijo Y Kako y sus Tambores, "Ritmos Y Cantos Callejeros" CD

Review: Short Cuts: Rafael Cortijo & Ismael Rivera
by Bosco El Gitano 12/01/92
Cortijo Y Rivera, "Fiesta Boricua" CD
Cortijo y Rivera, "Bueno, Y Que...? CD
Cortijo y Rivera, "Quitate de la Via Perico" CD
Cortijo y Rivera, "Danger No Trespass (w/Rolando LaSerie)" CD
Cortijo y Rivera, "Lo Mejor y Lo Ultimo" CD

Profile: The Lebron Brothers
by J.J. Rassler 12/01/92
The New York City Latin boogaloo group.

Profile: Homenaje a La Lupe
by John Ramos 12/01/92
The legendarily intense, immensely talented Cuban singer.

Review: Orquesta Gitano Swings with "Como Suena Mi Rumba"
by Marty Sheller 12/01/92
Orquesta Gitano, "Como Sueno Mi Rumba" CD

Profile: El Original Cuarteto D'Aida
by Luis Lichtman with Bruce Polin 11/01/92
Cuba's famous female vocal group.

Review: Roberto Faz ó El Cantante Idolo Cubano Y Su Orquesta
by Bobby Sanabria 11/01/92
Roberto Faz, "Saludos a Roberto Faz:" CD

Review: Manhattan Mambo
by J.J. Rassler 11/01/92
Hilton Ruiz, "Manhattan Mambo" CD

Review: Choice Cuts
by J.J. Rassler 11/01/92
Yves Billon, "Salsa in New York: Opus 1" Video

Review: Choice Cuts
by Diane Gordon 11/01/92
Arsenio Rodriguez, "Los Exitos" and "A Todos Los Barrios" CDs

Profile: Los MuÒequitos De Matanzas
by Armando Valladares Pombo, Artistic Director of the Group 10/01/92
Cuba's foremost folkloric rumba band.

Review: Salsa: The Rhythm Of Latin Music
by Bosco El Gitano 10/01/92
Charley Gerard and Marty Sheller, "Salsa: The Rhythm of Latin Music" Book

Review: Poncho Sanchez -- A Night At Kimball's East
by Diane Gordon 10/01/92
Poncho Sanchez, "A Night at Kimball's East" Video

Review: Choice Cuts
by Bobby Sanabria 10/01/92
Alfredo Rodriguez, Totico, Carlos "Patato" Valdez, "Sonido Solido - Alfredo, Patato, Totico" CD

Review: Choice Cuts
by J.J. Rassler 10/01/92
John Storm Roberts, "The Latin Tinge: The Impact Of Latin Music on the United States" Book

Review: Choice Cuts
by Angel Cruz 10/01/92
Sheila E., Pete Escovedo, Tito Puente, "Latina Familia" Video

Profile: Cal Tjader: West Side Story
by J.J. Rassler 09/01/92
Vibist Cal Tjader

Review: Orchestra Baobab ó Pirate's Choice: The Legendary 1982 Session
by J.J. Rassler 09/01/92
Orchestra Baobab, "Pirate's Choice: The Legendary 1982 Session" CD

Review: Short Cuts: Some Brief Reviews Of Catalog Items
by Bosco El Gitano 09/01/92
Pello El Afrokan, "Un Sabor Que Canta" CD
Chihuahua All Stars, "Descarga Cubana" CD

Review: Mario Bauza "Tanga"
by Diane Gordon 08/01/92
Mario Bauza, "Tanga" CD

Review: Crossover Dreams/Boogaloo Blues
by J.J. Rassler 08/01/92
Joe Cuba, "Joe Cuba Sextette" CD
Joe Cuba, "Estamos Haciendo Algo Bien!" CD
Ricardo Ray, "Jala Jala Boogaloo, Vol. 2" CD
Johnny ColÛn, "Boogaloo Blues" CD

Review: Cuban Counterpoint: History Of Son Montuno
by Diane Gordon 08/01/92
Various Artists, "Cuban Counterpoint: History of Son Montuno" CD

Review: Short Cuts: Some Brief Reviews Of Catalog Items
by Bosco El Gitano 08/01/92
Willie Rosario, "Lo Mejor De Willie Rosario" CS
Willie Rosario, "From the Depth of My Brain" CS
Tito Puente, "No Hay Mejor" CD

Profile: Willie Colon & Ruben Blades -- The Dream Time
by Lisa Vincent 08/01/92
Willie Colon and Ruben Baldes profile



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