Jan 17, 2019

RhoDeo 1902 Roots

Hello, .well Mrs May survived the confidence vote, despite her autistic behavior, the Tories just have nobody else and the Northern Irish Taliban (DUP) keep supporting her, meanwhile Boris Johnson rubs his hands with glee seeing victory looming for his minority fraction no deal Brexiteers plan of turning the UK into little USA and give the EU a big middlefinger. Only should no deal brexit come to pass, very soon it will become abundantly clear that the UK government can't coop, chaos ensues, and this will tip the scale for companies thinking of leaving the UK. And in all this mess Mr Corbyn will be asked to redistribute the UK wealth....

Today's artist is one of Cuba’s most influential bands. Founded in 1973, they created a sound that mixed jazz, European traditional music, rock, funk with the rhythmic Cuban tradition, enriched with Afro-Cuban and electronic influences. Many of the best Cuban musicians have played in the band during the past decades. .......N'Joy

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Irakere (faux-Yoruba for 'forest' is a Cuban band founded by pianist Chucho Valdés (son of Bebo Valdés) in 1973. They won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Recording in 1980 with their album Irakere  They were a seminal musical laboratory, where historic innovations in both Afro-Cuban jazz and Cuban popular dance music were created. The group used a wide array of percussion instruments like batá, abakuá and arará drums, chequerés, erikundis, maracas, claves, cencerros, bongó, tumbadoras (congas), and güiro.

"Jazz bands" began forming in Cuba as early as the 1920s. These bands often included both Cuban popular music and popular North American jazz, and show tunes in their repertoires. Despite this musical versatility, the movement of blending Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz was not strong in Cuba itself for decades. As Leonardo Acosta observes: "Afro-Cuban jazz developed simultaneously in New York and Havana, with the difference that in Cuba it was a silent and almost natural process, practically imperceptible" (2003: 59). Cuba's significant contribution to the genre came relatively late. However, when it did come, the Cubans exhibited a level of Cuban-jazz integration that went far beyond most of what had come before. The first Cuban band of this new wave was Irakere.

With Irakere, a new era in Cuban jazz begins in 1973, one that will extend all the way to the present. At the same time, this period represents the culmination of a series of individual and collective efforts from our so-called transition period, which will end with the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna. Irakere was in part a product of the Moderna, as its founding members completed their musical training in that orchestra and also played jazz in the different quartets and quintets that were created with the OCMM. Among the founders of Irakere were pianist Chucho Valdés, its director since the beginning; saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, who acted as assistant director; trumpet player Jorge Varona; guitarist Carlos Emilio Morales; bassist Carlos del Puerto; drummer Bernardo García; and percussionist Oscar Valdés II, also a singer—Acosta.

That was a time where jazz music was a four-letter word in Cuba – literally! After many years of that thought, in 1967, they decided to create the Orquesta [Cubana de Música Moderna]. There were a lot of left wing people going to Cuba, attending congresses and visiting. So the government decided to create an image that jazz was not forbidden and that nothing was forbidden there. So they created the Orquesta to play American music – that is incredible. It was to create a different image than what they had created all those years. So they created the Orquesta. I directed the band for two years. . . . When I decided that I wanted to play only jazz in the Orquesta, then I got fired . . . . and after a while, the Orquesta ceased to achieve the function that it was created for and it disappeared—D'Rivera

Irakere, which was founded by members of the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna, has always been an eclectic band. From the beginning, the group showcased the scope of their uniquely Cuban music education: Afro-Cuban folkloric music, Cuban popular dance music, funk, jazz, and even classical music. The early years saw a lot of experimenting, with the mixing these different genres in original ways. From the vantage point of today, some of Irakere's early experiments sound awkward and don't mesh. On the other hand, some early experiments by the group were musical landmarks, that began entirely new traditions.
"Cubanized" bebop-flavored horn lines

"Chékere-son" (1976) for example, introduced a style of "Cubanized" bebop-flavored lines, that departed from the more "angular" guajeo-based lines typical of Cuban popular music. The horn line style introduced in "Chékere-son" is heard today in Afro-Cuban jazz, and the contemporary popular dance genre known as timba.

Another important Irakere contribution is their use of batá and other Afro-Cuban folkloric drums. "Bacalao con pan" is the first song recorded by Irakere to use batá. The tune combines the folkloric drums, jazzy dance music, and distorted electric guitar with wah-wah pedal. According to UC Irvine musicologist and Irakere expert Raúl A. Fernández, the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna members would not have been allowed by the orquesta to record the unconventional song. The musicians travelled to Santiago to record it. "somehow the tune made it from Santiago to radio stations in Havana where it became a hit; Irakere was formally organized a little bit later"

Ironically, several of the founding members did not always appreciate Irakere's fusion of jazz and Afro-Cuban elements. They saw the Cuban folk elements as a type of nationalistic "fig leaf," cover for their true love—jazz. They were obsessed with jazz. The fusing of Afro-Cuban elements with jazz in Irakere is a direct consequence of the poor relations between the Cuban and United States governments. Cuba's Ministry of Culture is said to have viewed jazz as the music of "imperialist America." Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval states: "We wanted to play bebop, but we were told that our drummer couldn’t even use cymbals, because they sounded 'too jazzy.' We eventually used congas and cowbells instead, and in the end, it helped us to come up with something new and creative" (2007: web).[8] Pablo Menéndez, founder of Mezcla, recalls: "Irakere were jazz musicians who played stuff like 'Bacalao con pan' with a bit of a tongue in cheek attitude—'for the masses.' I remember Paquito d'Rivera thought it was pretty funny stuff (as opposed to 'serious' stuff)" (2011: web).[9] In spite of the ambivalence by some members towards Irakere's Afro-Cuban folkloric/jazz fusion, their experiments forever changed Cuban popular music, Latin jazz, and salsa. As D'Rivera states: "We didn’t know that we were going to have such an impact in jazz and Latin music around the world. We were just working to do something good" (2011: web).[10]

In 1977 Irakere performed at two jazz festivals held in the "Eastern Bloc"—the Belgrade Jazz Festival and the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. The group had the opportunity to play along with jazz artists Betty Carter, Mel Lewis and Thad Jones. That same year several jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and Earl Hines travelled to Cuba on a "jazz cruise." This was the first time since the break in relations between Cuba and the United States that a group of jazz musicians from each country were able to play together. In Havana, members of Irakere had the good fortune to jam with Gillespie and Getz. Gillespie later told the press that he had fulfilled a long-standing wish to visit the island, homeland of his close friend and partner Chano Pozo. In 1980 Irakere appeared at both the Newport Jazz Festival in New York City and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Columbia Records edited an album of five tracks recorded at the two festivals. The LP was titled Irakere, and was released by both CBS Records and EGREM. The album had two sets of liner notes, one by the North American John Storm Roberts and the other by Cuban Leonardo Acosta. Irakere won a Grammy in 1979 for the best "Latin" music recording in the United States. Following this success, the band participated in the most important international jazz festivals. At the 1995 Afrocubanismo Festival at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, Irakere performed their piece "Xiomara" live on stage with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Changuito (!Afrocubanismo Live!).

In the 1980s Irakere recorded dance music, rhythmically akin to the contemporaneous style known as songo. This body of material can be seen as a type of bridge, connecting the songo era with the timba era which began in the early 1990s. One of the more popular Irakere dance tunes is "Rucu rucu a Santa Clara" (1985), written by José Luis Cortés "El Tosco," who would later found NG La Banda, and launch the timba movement. Trumpeter José Crego "El Greco," and saxophonists Carlos Averhoff and Germán Velazco, are heard playing the bop-like horn lines in this dance music. The three wind players would later go on to become part of NG La Banda's "metales de terror" horn section, the basic template for timba horns. Irakere continued recording dance pieces into the 1990s.

With Babalú Ayé (1997), the band fully embraced timba, the new genre which had directly resulted in part, from Irakere's innovations two decades earlier. The CD, which was nominated for a Grammy, features singer and timbales player José Miguel. In contrast to the impeccably executed dance music on the CD, Babalú Ayé also contains a long "bonus track"—"Babalú Ayé'," a loose folkloric/jazz experiment featuring the legendary lead vocalist Lazaro Ros. In 1997 Chucho Valdés left the group, and Chucho's son Chuchito took over the piano chair and the role of director between 1997 and 1999.

Irakere's jazz legacy

Paquito D'Rivera defected to the United States in 1980. Arturo Sandoval left the group a year later, and then defected to the United States in 1990. Both musicians have commented on the joy they felt, at being able to finally pursue jazz careers in the United States, and the honor of playing alongside their jazz heroes. As is typical of Cuban jazz musicians who defect to the U.S., their jazz playing fully matured when they moved to the country where jazz was born. As time went on, D'Rivera began looking back, and gained a deeper appreciation for the music of his first home. In 1994 he stated that he fell in love with Cuban music again on the shores of the Hudson River. Since he left Cuba, D'Rivera has recorded several albums with Cuban themes, including La Habana-Rio Conexión (1992), 40 Years of Cuban Jam Session (1994), Habanera Absolute Ensemble (1999), and Tropicana Nights (1999). Sandoval, who was once threatened with imprisonment by the Cuban government for listening to American jazz on the radio, has recorded albums of both straight-ahead jazz, and jazz with a strong Cuban influence. Chucho Valdés has also pursued a successful jazz career, recording for the prestigious Blue Note jazz label.

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In the 1980s Irakere recorded dance music, rhythmically akin to the contemporaneous style known as songo. This body of material can be seen as a type of bridge, connecting the songo era with the timba era which began in the early 1990s. One of the more popular Irakere dance tunes is "Rucu rucu a Santa Clara" (1985), written by José Luis Cortés "El Tosco," who would later found NG La Banda, and launch the timba movement. Trumpeter José Crego "El Greco," and saxophonists Carlos Averhoff and Germán Velazco, are heard playing the bop-like horn lines in this dance music. The three wind players would later go on to become part of NG La Banda's "metales de terror" horn section, the basic template for timba horns. Irakere continued recording dance pieces into the 1990sl

Irakere - Bailando Asi & Calzada Del Cerro    (flac  466mb)

01 Rucu Rucu A Santa Clara 7:50
02 Boliviana 7:02
03 Bailando Así 6:09
04 Homenaje Al Benny 8:43
05 Te Tocó Perder 5:30
06 Por Culpa Del Guao 5:53
07 12 Y 23 6:27
08 Calzada Del Cerro 6:56
09 El Tata 8:37
10 De Una Manera Espantosa 5:41
11 La Vida Es Un Sueño 4:36
12 Dile A Catalina 6:12

Irakere - Bailando Asi & Calzada Del Cerro  (ogg  193mb)

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The premiere Cuban music group Irakere has played Ronnie Scott's club in London regularly since 1985. Their Jazz House album starts out with a throwaway salsa vocal piece, then has two impressive showcases for German Velazco (one apiece on alto and soprano). "Stella By Stalight" (which in Spanish is "Estella Va A Estallar") is swung hard and the closing, nearly 17-minute rendition of Dave Brubeck's "The Duke" has explosive yet lyrical piano playing by Chucho Valdes and some shouting choruses worthy of the Count Basie Orchestra. Overall this is one of Irakere's jazz recordings that is easily recommended.

Irakere - The Legendary ''Irakere'' in London    (flac  336mb)

01 Bilando Asi 5:46
02 Johana 9:50
03 Estela Va A Estallar (Stella By Starlight) 9:29
04 Las Margaritas 7:45
05 Lo Que Va A Pasar 7:12
06 The Duke 16:54

Irakere - The Legendary ''Irakere'' in London  (ogg    138mb)

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Irakere has been heralded as one of the best big bands in the world. Propelled by a driving rhythm section and potent horn section, this Cuban band won the Latin Grammy Awards in 1979 and 1980. On this 1986 recording, the band sinks its collective teeth into a few originals, including the 17-minute, four-part title track, as well as a cover of Dave Brubeck's "El Duke." In his liner notes, Luis Tamargo states: "The vigor of Irakere lies within each individual performer, and there are no weak loops in the band's musical chain."

Irakere - Misa Negra    (flac  237mb)

01 Concierto para Metales 8:47
02 Misa Negra 17:05
     Part I - Rezo
     Part II - Acercamiento
     Part III - Llegada Y Desarrollo
     Part IV - Despedid
03 Samba para Enrique 6:08
04 El Duke 8:54

Irakere - Misa Negra  (ogg  94mb)

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In Irakere's earlier days, this premiere Cuban group often had to disguise the fact that they were playing imperalistic music from the West (i.e. jazz). Maybe now the masquerade is no longer necessary for the music on this definitive CD would never be mistaken for anything else. Heavily influenced both by Dizzy Gillespie and the rhythms of Cuba and South America, the 11-piece group is in top form interpreting the compositions of its pianist/leader Chuco Valdes (who has a memorable workout on "Mr. Bruce"). Five of the six selections are primaily features for individual players. Throughout this memorable set, the ensemble work is clean and loose, the percussionists keep the proceedings fiery and the soloists are excellent.

Irakere - Live At Ronnie Scott's    (flac  355mb)

01 Neurosis 12:27
02 Cuando Canta El Corazon (When My Heart Sings) 8:00
03 Mirando Arriba (Looking Up) 7:20
04 Flute Notes 12:58
05 Mr. Bruce 11:40
06 Claudia 8:51

Irakere - Live At Ronnie Scott's  (ogg  100mb)

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Anonymous said...

Your opinions on politics are irrelevant – why not stick to posting about music, and get a Twitter account for releasing your semantic flatulence?

C said...

Errr...T.M is definitely NOT autistic. Contrary to the popular but erroneous stereotype, Autistics have TOO MUCH empathy...May has NONE WHATSOEVER...It's about senses and sensory perceptions - 'extra' to that which neurotypicals experience. Divergent, to a huge (and sometimes painful) degree...

I cannot decide whether you are poorly informed regarding Autism - or if you have simply used that term in a derogatory (ergo, inappropriate) manner. The third possibility is that you are victim of Media misinformation. I would urge you to research Autism in order to open your mind a little more regarding the subject and not fall prey to such disinformation. Disinformation is a dangerous entity stirred by those who work to cause division, distraction and distrust.

[And to Anon, above : This is Rho's blog - read the description thereof - and he has the right to opine on whatever the fuck he wants to on this site. Whether you (or I) feel that opinion is right or wrong is another matter entirely...However, his opinion cannot be 'irrelevant']

Rho, I would be interested to know if a little understanding regarding the neurological differences between neurotypical and neurodivergent brains will serve to change your mind. I shall drop by this post sometime and hope you will have been moved to discuss the topic with me here.

P.S. (Tories are also a breed apart and often hold and portray the most bizarre and insane ideologies & attributes...This does not make them 'autistic' it makes them complete and utter 'assholes'...IMHO...LOL)

To help get you started, here is what could be (highly) dangerous:

And here is what might be much more enlightening:

Be excellent

Anonymous said...


Go Greta!

Show the world how many Autistics are far more evolved than your average *typical* mind and soul.

Take a look at the hatred being poured upon this beautiful being and surely you will not fail to understand why Autistics are feared as a threat to the present status quo.

Currently, conscientious young people of both neurological patterns are a rising force in this world and there is a powerful energy in action that will serve to sustain them.