Pop Music and Culture: CuBop, Up-Rock, Boogaloo and Banda. Latinos Making Music in the United States

Pop Music and Culture: CuBop, Up-Rock, Boogaloo and Banda. Latinos Making Music in the United States

CFA MH333/433 A1

MWF 12-1 CFA (855 Commonwealth) B36

Prof. Michael Birenbaum Quintero

Surveys the musical styles of Latinos in the US. Discusses the role of these musics in articulating race, class, gender and sexual identities for US Latinos, their circulation along migration routes, their role in identity politics and ethnic marketing, their commercial crossover to Anglo audiences, and Latin/o contributions to jazz, funk, doo-wop, disco and hip hop. Case studies may include Mexican-American/Chicano, Puerto Rican/Nuyorican and Cuban-American musics; Latin music in golden age Hollywood; Latin dance crazes from mambo to the Macarena; rock en español; the early 2000s boom of Latin artists like Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Jennifer López; reggaetón, race politics, and the creation of the “Hurban” market; and the transnational Latin music industries of Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Swing vs. Tumbao

Walking bass line (jazz):

Tumabo bass line (here, by Cachao, from 1957):

Friday, February 26, 2016

Afro-Modernism in Mambo and Cubop: Mario Bauzá, Machito and His Afro-Cubans, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chano Pozo

Music was not the only arena in which African and Afro-Caribbean artistic forms influenced modernist artists. It was central to the visual abstraction of Pablo Picasso at the beginning of the 20th century...
... and the modern dance of African-American choreographer and anthropologist Katherine Dunham.

Machito and the Afro-Cubans. Mario Bauzá is the second trumpeter from the left.

More Machito: "Carambola"

Now in the 1970s, an elderly Machito and Graciela (his sister and fellow Afro-Cubans vocalist), with Bauzá grooving out behind, perform the santería-themed song "Changó 'tá vení."

The Afro-Cubans with the legendary African-American saxophonist Charlie Parker. (Jazzheads can check out an analysis by Steve Coleman here).

Parker was a genius. A lot of Anglo jazz musicians had trouble keeping up. Here's a great live recording from about 1948 of Machito's group, playing a Bauzá composition called "Cubop City" with jazz saxophonist Brew Moore and trumpeter Howard McGhee. Machito's trumpet solo is the first, followed by Moore's tentaive sax, and McGhee's competent solo. Bauzá comes in along with McGhee toward the end of the latter's solo. 

Bauzá didn't only enrich jazz with Cuban rhythms - he also experimented boldly with Cuban music, innovating, for example, songs that switched clave from 2-3 to 3-2, such as "Que vengan los rumberos," pretty wild back then.
Chano  Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie.

George Russell's pioneering composition "Cubano Be Cubano Bop" was premiered by Gillespie and Pozo in 1947.

Pozo's composition "Manteca."
A third CuBop pioneer was the white, West Coast bandleader Stan Kenton, who in 1947 recorded a cover of the Cuban classic song "The Peanut Vendor" which included three percussionists from Machito's band and Machito himself on maracas.

By the way, here is the documentary I keep showing in class for this unit, Latin Music USA.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Puerto Ricans Life and Culture in NYC

New York City

Downtown, in places like the Waldorf Astoria, light Latin music (and light-skinned Latino musicians), like that of Xavier Cugat's band.

But even Cugat band made some almost-heavy dance music. This edgier, Cuban-based sound was also popular in the Latino communities uptown. Much of this music was what would become called mambo, which, through the genius of Cuban musicians Arsenio Rodríguez and Israel "Cachao" López, would combine different elements from rumba, son, and danzón to create this new form. 

This new music was hugely important for the Puerto Rican musicians uptown in El Barrio/Spanish Harlem and the South Bronx.

"From Mambo to Hip Hop" 

Puerto Rican Musicians of the Harlem Renaissance

All of the photos below are taken from Basilio Serrano's important article "Puerto Rican musicians of the Harlem Renaissance." Centro Journal 19:2 [2007], pp. 94-119, which is available here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cuban Music

Cuba is a major music hub, with many musical styles that would become important in the US. Many of these arise frome the particular kinds of Afro-Cuban musical forms that emerged in this country, which was demographically important in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The legal importation of slaves in Cuba did not end until 1867, and slavery as an institution continued on the island until 1886.  African cultural forms continue to be central, in one form or another, to Cuban culture and music.

Here is a link to a reading on Blackboard to help you understand Cuban music.

There are a number of Afro-Cuban religions, each associated with different African cultural groups. Palo is associated with Congo and Central African religions, and abakuá with the Cross-Rover region of Nigeria and Cameroon.

The most well-known of these is known as Santería (also called "Regla de Ocha). Here, the Yoruba (or lucumí) deities called orishas were disguised as Catholic saints that shared some of their attributes. So, for example, it makes sense that Babalú- Ayé, the Yoruba deity of sickness and healing would become fused with Saint Lazarus in Cuba.

Or that Yemayá, goddess of the seas...

... would become the Virgin of Regla, patroness of sailors:

Even though it seems odd that Changó, Yoruba King of Thunder, War, and the Drum, would be morphed into the female Saint Barbara certain elements of St. Barbara's iconography make sense for him.

Specifically, the crown, the cannons, the lightning, the castle, and the color red. 

In Santería, the orishas are worshipped through drumming and ritual trance, like this one for Yemayá. Notice how her dance style imitates the waves of the ocean of which she is the patron.
This is usually with the hourglass-shaped talking drums called batá.
Santería was brought to the US by Cubans in the 1940s, and has grown increasingly since then, and some of its musical tropes appear in modern salsa in the US and abroad.


Cuban non-religious music is also permeated by neo-African forms, some more and some less creolized. These too have become part of modern popular music and have influenced salsa in the US.
For non-religious drumming, the drum-dance-song tradition called rumba, played on conga drums, remains popular both in Cuban and in New York. There are three kinds, the archaic style called yambú (sometimes played on wooden boxes), the male solo dance called columbia (which overlaps in some of its dance moves with abakuá), and the couple dance called guaguancó, in which the man tries to "vaccinate" the woman.
The distinctive drum pattern of guaguancó shows up in lots of music, including the most modern salsa. Indeed, rumba is one important root for the musics that in New York would come to be called mambo and salsa. The other is a more creolized from called son.
It's all based on clave - a rhythm played by two little sticks that are also called clave. Sometimes it's not played at all but is implicit in the musicians' minds. Son clave is tresillo followed by two beats (3-2 clave) or preceded by them (2-3). (There is also rumba clave, which is slightly different).

"Échale salsita," an old school son music by the legendary Septeto Nacional, founded in 1929 by Ignacio Piñeiro (who died before this 1978 recording). Notice the instruments - trumpet, clave, maracas, güiro, guitar, tres, bass, and bongó/campana (bell).  Back in the 1920s, the real old school sextetos used to have a marímbula or even a botija instead of a bass. Notice that bongó drums are different from the conga drums traditionally used in rumba.

This rendition of the well-known son "Lágrimas negras" starts the montuno in at 1:49.

The amazing Arsenio Rodríguez's modern son. "Fuego en el 23"

Son was brought to the US by the Cuban bandleader Don Azpiazú, whose version of the classic son, "El Manicero" (El Peanut Vendor, written by Moisés Simón later covered by Stan Kenton and about 73,000 other people) premiered on Broadway in 1930.

An older form is danzón. "Isora," a gorgeous danzón composed in 1939 by the sister of bandleader and bassist Israel "Cachao" López. Listen for the different sections, including a mambo with a sick flute solo.

Danzón-mambo: Antonio Arcaño's group (featuring the López brothers, pianist Orestes and bassist "Cachao" as arrangers) do a piece called (significantly, for Waxer's argument): "Broadway." The mambo begins (with a timbal break) at about 2:20 but notice, even before that, the successive nods to classical composer Rachmaninoff (Prelude in C#m), Vincent Youmans' 1920's hit "Halleluyah", and Harry Warren's "Serenade in Blue."

A Cachao mambo that he peeled off from the danzón - "Chanchullo" from 1939. Puerto Rican mambo king Tito Puente would adapt the song as "Oye como va," which the Chicano rocker Carlos Santana would cover in the 1960s.

This would become the U.S. branch of mambo. Another would arrive in Mexico, in a more pop-friendly version, with the Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado in the 1950s.

So: mambo developed from injecting rumba and danzón into son. Arsenio Rodriguez brought the conga and his band popularized an expanded instrumentation including three trumpets and a piano as well. The timbales and the unison breaks of danzón would also be incorporated the mambo, which Cachao peeled off from the danzón to make it its own montuno-like jam session. Mambo would morph into both pop versions (Pérez Prado in Mexico, some of what pop bandleaders like Cugat did in the US), and grittier and more experimental versions in New York (Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, and Machito and his Afro-Cubans). 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican New York

Just because they're cute, and a national symbol of Puerto Rico, here's the native frog called a coquí:

Here are some folks in Ohio getting down at home to  Puerto Rican jíbaro music, the music of Puerto Rico's white peasantry from the mountain areas. The music features the cuatro, guitar, güiro and bongó.

The ten-line poetry form called the décima uses the rhyme scheme AABBAACCDDCC. In improvised competitions, called controversias, singers battle each other, often improvising around a final line given to them in advance, called the pié forzado. Here with the classic "Le lo lai" opener and some pretty virtuosic cuatro. 

New York City was a major center for the recording of nostalgic música jíbara musicng on the condition of the Puerto Rican peasant on the streets of New York. Some are funny, about people putting on airs or becoming creative in two languages, and  some nostalgic or melancholy

Bomba, the Afro Puerto-Rican drum-dance, here at a block party in the town of Loiza.

Plena is street and carnival music using small, medium, and large tambourine-like instruments called panderetas, güiro, and call-and response lyrics. Old-school plena often has a harmonica.

Here's how the different percussion instruments fit together to make the plena rhythm, here demonstrated by the great group Pleneros del 21.


A basic version of the funky march-like plena rhythm is here: 

"Matan a Bum Bum," (about the murder of a famous plenero) an urban, orchestrated plena, recorded by the great Puerto Rican bandleader Manuel Jiménez (1895-1975), aka "El Canario" (The Canary). You can here the panderetas marching along in the background.

Another early orchestrated plena recording, "Santurce," by César Concepción (1909-1974).

The great Afro-Puerto Rican bandleader, discussed in the Glasser reading, Augusto Coen (1895-1970), here with his song "Cambia el aguja"

Coen, who arrived in New York in 1919, was one of the first msuicians to bring big band arrangements into Puerto Rican music - he had already had experience with jazz, such as Lew Leslie's Blackbirds review:

The great Puerto Rican composer and musician Rafael Hernández (1895-1965). and his classic song, "Lamento Borincano," here in its original recording by El Canario's group.

Here are the lyrics in English and Spanish.

What's missing from this account of James Reese Europe's Hellfighters?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rhumba with an H - So near and so far

The great Nat King Cole "Quizás, Quizás, "Quizás" (1958)

Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth in the film You'll Never Get Rich sing and dance the English-language, Latin beat rhumba "So Near and So Far." (1941)

The deluge begins - the Cuban musician Don Azpiazú's Havana Casino Orquesta (Antonio Machín on vocals) brings a popular Cuban song based on a peanut vendor's sales pitch to Broadway in 1930, and the Latin floodgates open.
Other hits in the Latin deluge:
"La cucaracha (The Mexican Cockroach Song)," repurposed in 1934 from an old song from the Mexican Revolution for the 1943 film "Viva Villa." 
"Aquarela do Brasil" by Ary Barroso (a modified Brazilian samba from 1939)
Here's Desi Arnaz's signature tune "Babalú" (a vanilla version of  the great Cuban bandleader Miguelito Valdéz's santería themed song of the same name)

Disney's 1945 "Good Neighbor Polcy" era film, "The Three Caballeros":

Brazilian (but Portuguese-born) Carmen Miranda's exceedingly strange "Lady in the Tutti-Frutti" hat from the 1943 film "The Gang's All Here," directed by choreographer Busby Berkeley.
Miranda, whose costume was based on Afro-Brazilian fruit-sellers from the Bahía region, was incredibly popular.

Another Latin American movie star, Lupe Vélez (a.k.a. "The Mexican Spitfire") performed roles that "spectacularized" her ethnicity, in Shari Roberts' terms. She's also extremely funny.  She also occasionally sang, as in this "Latune" from 1939.

More Latin music in film - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in "Flying Down to Rio" (1933)

Downtown Latin music for an Anglo public
Spanish-Cuban Xavier Cugat (with Lina  Romay) doing "Bim Bam Bum."

Here he is again, with Anglo singer Dinah Shore, doing the "Latune" - "The Breeze and I" (originally composed as "Andalucía" by Cuban Ernesto Lecuona).
Sorry, one more Cugat/Romay number.

Another 1940's "Latune" - Bing Crosby's version of "You Belong to My Heart" (originally "Solamente una vez," here sung in Spanish by African-American crooner Nat King Cole)
African-American bandleader Cab Calloway's "Chili con conga" (rhyming it with "That's a new song-a")

1950's "Latunes"
Perry Como's "Papa Loves Mambo"
Rosemary Clooney's "Mambo Italiano"

Doris Day's "Be True to Me" (Originally "Sabor a mí").
Elvis Presley's bolero "It's Now or Never"

Friday, February 12, 2016

The tango craze

Famous (Italian) latin lover, "tango pirate," and dance world habitué Rudolf Valentino playing an Argentine cowboy in the famous tango scene from the silent film "The Four Horsemen."

Vernon & Irene Castle doing their thing.

Among other things, Irene Castle was responsible for a change in the standards of female beauty from the corseted vuluptuousness of the so-called "Gibson Girl"...

... to an  uncorseted, more lithe figure, bobbed (short) hair, more comfortable dress allowing for freer movement, and a look described as "boyish" or "spritely." Irene Castle:

The great James Reese Europe

One of the tangos recorded by Europe's "Society Band" in late 1913. Listen here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

From Africa to the Caribbean to New Orleans

The Caribbean

African-derived music in Cuba. Ritual drumming and Yoruba-language song in the Santería or Regla de Ochá religion. (This example is from New York, where the Cuban master drummers Román Díaz and Pedrito Martínez live). (Manuel pp. 7-8)

Neo-African secular (non-religious) music, with clear relation to African musics but created in the Caribbean. Here, the Afro-Puerto Rican music called bomba in the town of Loiza, PR.  (Manuel pp. 7-8)

These kinds of music circulated throughout the Caribbean, crossing national and linguistic lines. Compare the previous video of Puerto Rican bomba with gwoka from the French island territory of Guadeloupe.

Also compare with this 1800s artist's conception of dances in Congo Square in New Orleans, where, unlike in the rest if the US,  drumming was permitted until 1845 (Manuel 11).

This continues to be reflected in some New Orleans practices like Mardi Gras Indians and second line
 and jazz funerals.

Awesome polyrhythm - this is the Afro-Cuban religious music called güiro. The timeline, tapped on a metal implement has 12 beats, but the instrument in the middle plays 4 beats over it. You could just as easily clap it in 3. This is a good illustration of what Manuel talks about on page 9.

Here are some of the central rhythms in Afro-Caribbean music. They're all represented here repeated once.

Straight, un-syncopated 4/4 pulse
X . X . X . X .  / X . X . X . X .

X . . X . . X . / X . . X . . X .   

X . X X . X X ./  X . X X . X X .
(Note that this is basically the tresillo with two extra beats
X.xX.xX. / X.xX.xX.)

X . . X X . X . /  X . . X X . X .
(Note that this is basically the tresillo on top of the 1 and 3 of a straight 4/4.
X . . X . . X .
X . . . X. . .)

This will make sense when we do it in class!

Many of these rhythms are still important in music from the Spanish- and English-speaking Caribbean, as well as African-American music today.

It's worth noting that African-American music here in the US has long had some syncopated motifs
popular in the cakewalk, ragtime, charleston, and other genres, basically "short-long, short-long."
(1+2+1+4.  This is sometimes abbreviated to the Charleston syncopation, which closely resembles the tresillo (1+)3+4).

European-influenced music - a Puerto Rican danza, "Margarita" by Manuel Tavárez (1843-1883). It is creolized, though, notice the faint cinquillo rhythm in the background. (Manuel pp. 12-14)

Even more creolized was the Cuban danzón. This piece was the first recorded danzón, "Las alturas de Simpson" by Manuel Failde, from 1879 - pretty much a cinquillo-fest. (Manuel pp. 13-14)

More creolization, here between neo-African music and neo-European dance in the Haitian-influenced "Tumba Francesa" of eastern Cuba. Again, note the persistent cinquillo being tapped out with drumsticks on a wooden surface.

There were important links between St. Domingue (Haiti), Cuba, and New Orleans. Take for instance, the formulation of brass bands. Here, New Orleans stalwart Kid Ory's band:

Compare with the Cuban danzón bands of the time.

The habanera rhythm became popular worldwide, particularly in Spain, Argentina (tango), Brazil (maxixe), and Mexico. For his 1875 opera Carmen, set in Spain, French composer Georges Bizet composed perhaps the most enduringly famous habanera, "Love is a rebellious bird," here sung by the great María Callas.

Bizet's habanera was borrowed from a composition by the Spaniard Sebastián Yradier called "La paloma." Yradier himself borrowed the habanera from the music he had heard while stationed in Cuba (then under Spanish rule) in the late 1850s. Yradier's 1859 composition "La Paloma"
was brought to New Orleans to great acclaim by the band of the Eigth Regiment of Cavalry of the Mexican Army, a large military band which held a long residency in the Crescent City during the World's Fair of 1884-85. They also sold a good deal of sheet music including their repertoire of habaneras, danzas, contradanzas, danzones, and other Cuban and Caribbean pieces. "La Paloma" remains popular today. Here's one recording from 1928 by the soprano Amelita Galli-Curci.

The habanera and its underlying tresillo remained an important resource for New Orleans musicians, as explained here by the pianist Jim Hession. (He's a little confused in his terminology, and he tends to mix up tresillo, which he calls "charleston," and "habanera," but in his playing you get the idea).

Or, better yet, the seminal New Orleans pianist and bandleader Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1941) illustrating the “Spanish tinge” himself:

By the turn of the 20th century, the habanera was all over the African-American popular music called ragtime. (Ragtime explained here). The most famous ragtime today is probably Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag,” made famous again by the 1970a movie The Sting and ice cream trucks across the nation. Joplin likley picked up ragtime at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Chicago was connected by river and rail trade with New Orleans. Notice how the melody shifts from the rag syncopation to the  habanera at the end of the line.

Scott Joplin’s “Solace (Mexican Serenade)” – notice the habanera rhythm

Here's “The Dream” by Jesse Pickett (a roving pianist active in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York), played by Eubie Blake,  (who was born in 1887 in Baltimore) - neither were New Orleanians or Missourians, but from the East COast, which shows how fast the rhythm became popular.

St, Louis composer W.C. Handy starting incorporating the habanera in his music as a deliberate effect. His famous St. Louis Blues (1911) is a "tango-blues" – find which section is the tango (that is, using the habanera) and which is the blues:

W.H. Tyers’ “Maori (A Samoan Dance)” (1908)  – find the habanera: