Salsa will never be what it was in NYC in the 70s

Interesting information on the Taino/Siboney of Cuba, what a shame, as rich as Cuban music is I can't help to think that it would only have been richer by having the native contribution. Don't want to go backwards on this discussion, but I do wonder if maybe one of the reasons Puerto Ricans version of Cuban music sounds different is because of the large Taino presence in their blood? Because anyone can usually tell if most music is Cuban or Puerto Rican no matter if the same song is sung.

Maybe similar to how you can tell Salsa is from Colombia is different as soon as a song starts because of the racial makeup of the population making the music, where Colombia is black, white & the Natives were descendants of Incas.
 
S

SONido

Guest
I don't see the US salsa audience as being open to innovation anymore. Maybe like timberos lament the way things are moving towards timbaton in Cuba. The US had it's salsa heyday in the 70s and Cuba its timba heyday in the 90s.
Timbera, I can tell you Casino and Rumba have been growing and growing in NYC.Casino has even started to be taught in some of the same studios that teach Mambo. And both are performed and played in some of the high profile NYC Socials (Las Chicas Locas comes to mind), not to mention Rueda specific socials. This is very significant, considering NYC is the epicenter of Mambo. The Cuban influence should only get stronger as the Embargo weakens.

For example, this Saturday Chino Pons and Grupo Irek will be performing at Copa for a predominantly on2 crowd...notice he' is not dancing Mambo, but real Columbia steps:


By the way, for the record, this is the sort of music that I consider is true to an Afro-Cuban tradition...
 
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Loved that intro Sonido, and this definitely beats Romantica. This is a step in the right direction. And I agree the intro is Afro-Cuban, the rest I would say falls into modern Salsa but not Romantica. So overall I would not rate this a Cuban music, I would say it is more like Cubans playing their take on Salsa, with an Afro-Cuban intro.
 
S

SONido

Guest
Loved that intro Sonido, and this definitely beats Romantica. This is a step in the right direction. And I agree the intro is Afro-Cuban, the rest I would say falls into modern Salsa but not Romantica. So overall I would not rate this a Cuban music, I would say it is more like Cubans playing their take on Salsa, with an Afro-Cuban intro.
I agree with your assessment. Chino is Cuban and based in NYC. The sound certainly reflects a NYC musical sensibility. Instead of Salsa, I'd call it a Guaguanco with Son Montuno, but you already knew that ;)

Let's not start another debate. I wanted to share for his exquisite dance more than the music per say, not to classify the song. I can't wait to see it live tomorrow night!
 
I don't think you are racist actually, but the post itself was a bit muddy on this, so I wanted to expand especially in light of previous discussion of whether Cuban music is just African music, which it isn't.

Regarding why Cuban music hasn't had a resurgence via Miami, I'll be honest and the first to admit I don't really know. I can only share my assumptions:

First, Cubans in Miami came mostly for political reasons unlike PRicans and other Lations coming to NY. There's a lot of resentment back and forth within the Cuban community, even within families that got split for political reasons. Here's an anecdote, not necessarily representative of everyone, but worth sharing: My sister dated a Cuban-American for a while, and he referred to Casino as Communist salsa and refused to learn it.

Add to this tensions the embargo, and until recently the Cold War. Cuba was at the heart of it, and anything Cuban was non-grata persona in the United States and its allies (meaning most of Western Europe, the UK, Asia - excluding China and Vietnam, and Latin America). Keep in mind that to break in the International market it is crucial to first make it in the American market.

Lastly, even though there is a significant amount of Cubans in Miami, there's just not a critical mass as to create an independent Culture outside of Cuba, and they pretty much refused to support Cuban musicians from the island (even to this day anytime a Cuban band tours in Miami they get boycotted, which has become more and more lax recently). The result is not because of race or the absence of black Cubans, but because of geo-politics.

This situation I think might radically change if the Embargo falls.
Funny how Tampa ( which has Cubanos going back generations, and some don't even speak English to this day ), will pack into their local band venue, in the 100s no matter who is playing.. They also draw from all over Florida. It is of course, a mix of latin nationalities .
 
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Let me also address the question of Miami. As SONido has mentioned, Miami has been vehemently anti-post-revolutionary Cuba. The Cuban musicians there have adapted to US salsa. The music coming out of Miami is distinctly different from Cuban music. When I started the Yahoo group timba geeks in 2003, the Miami members reported how hard it was to get contemporary Cuban music played at a club. Also as SONido said, this has improved in the past few years. But Miami was for a good 50+ years and enclave of people who romanticized the 50s. Terence mentioned Albita doing son covers. Of course, this fits comfortably with the "everything was better before the revolution, and we reject everything that has come since". I don't know Albita, so I am not saying this is her personal attitude, just saying that is what was going on in Miami for 50 years. No surprise that people who are looking to stay in the past don't create a new movement. Celia was Fania, Willy Chirino...doesn't sound Cuban, Rey Ruiz does salsa romantica...I don't listen to Albita so I don't know what she does (other than the son covers Terence mentioned LOL).

At this point there are many younger Cubans in Florida and the attitude among them is quite different. They grew up listening to timba and like it. But imagine you're a new band trying to gain popularity in a country where most latinos have a predetermined idea of what salsa is "supposed" to sound like. When you add a drum kit a bunch of listeners reject it. It's outside the bounds of what salsa "is supposed to sound like". It's hard to innovate among a group of people who want things to sound like the 70s (or the 50s in Cuba). I don't see the US salsa audience as being open to innovation anymore. Maybe like timberos lament the way things are moving towards timbaton in Cuba. The US had it's salsa heyday in the 70s and Cuba its timba heyday in the 90s.
Her style, musically is VERY traditional Son, and most salseros would not take to that style of music. for dancing (or listening ) .Fab. voice !
 
Timbera, I can tell you Casino and Rumba have been growing and growing in NYC.Casino has even started to be taught in some of the same studios that teach Mambo. And both are performed and played in some of the high profile NYC Socials (Las Chicas Locas comes to mind), not to mention Rueda specific socials. This is very significant, considering NYC is the epicenter of Mambo. The Cuban influence should only get stronger as the Embargo weakens.

For example, this Saturday Chino Pons and Grupo Irek will be performing at Copa for a predominantly on2 crowd...notice he' is not dancing Mambo, but real Columbia steps:


By the way, for the record, this is the sort of music that I consider is true to an Afro-Cuban tradition...
I love the song and the way he dances is awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing :)
 
Latin Jazz (which is basically another word for Cubop or Cuban Jazz
In regards to the term Latin Jazz/Cubop/Cuban Jazz, I am not talking about where it was initially recorded, but the nomenclature:
Latin Jazz is the term given today. Initially it was called Cubop and Cuban Jazz, since Latin Jazz is basically Jazz on Son Clave.
This is only a minor point I suppose, but I do hate to see history rewritten. Cubop was indisputably a NY phenomenon. I could explain why - but it wouldn't do me any good with the only person who is in doubt, as he refuses to listen to facts or reason. Anyone else interested can investigate for themselves - there is literally zero dispute over this matter.

Also as I said earlier, Latin jazz (i.e. the genre as a whole) has never been referred to as 'Cuban jazz'.
 
S

SONido

Guest
This is only a minor point I suppose, but I do hate to see history rewritten. Cubop was indisputably a NY phenomenon. I could explain why - but it wouldn't do me any good with the only person who is in doubt, as he refuses to listen to facts or reason. Anyone else interested can investigate for themselves - there is literally zero dispute over this matter.

Also as I said earlier, Latin jazz (i.e. the genre as a whole) has never been referred to as 'Cuban jazz'.
DJ Yuca. just make your point, I don't take a discussion about music personally.

Latin Jazz is a term established after the music, not before. The first manifestation of what eventually became known as Latin Jazz, is Cuban Jazz (like the quote showed: Cuban Jazz is the earliest form of Latin Jazz). Cuban Jazz was also called Cuban Bebop, or Cubop for short.

Is there anything you'd liker to contradict? Or are you just adding more meat to those bones by expanding on the subject but not necessarily disagreeing?
 
I've made my points perfectly clearly above and I am most certainly disagreeing with you. The phrase 'history rewritten' does make it clear we are not in accord on these points.
 
"It seems to me that the Cubans in NY that you refer to were doing Afro-Cuban Jazz, whereas the bands in Cuba were doing more the original Cuban styles such as son and guaracha. But then I'm no historian".

Timbermayor, yes that is what I was referring to when I said that Salsa at it's beginnings when Johnny Pacheco started Fania, the music they used as a template was original Cuban music. Johnny Pacheco used this music because this is what he was familiar with.

The Cuban music being created in the states was never intended for a Cuban or a largely Latin audience, but for a mostly American or European white audience that were lovers of Jazz music. In fact this music was being manufactured long before the embargo and being heard at the Cabarets in Havana by Americans and other foreigners. At the time Cubans were not even allowed in these Cabarets unless they were working.

But the embargo or the discrimination wasn't what kept Cuban's from listening to this new Cuban Jazz. If was mostly because of the cultural difference. It wasn't only the Cubans that rejected this music, most Latinos at the time didn't care for this music. It was Cabaret type of music almost like a folkloric music for those who were hearing Cuban rhythms for the first time with a strong Jazz overtone. To this day not to many Latins particularly care for Latin Jazz, Afro-Cuban Jazz, especially those born in Latin American countries.

It has become popular in the Salsa crowds because it is a music designed for dancers in Cabaret type of settings as a formal dance style.

What Johnny Pacheco's target audience at the onset of Fania was the young people of the NYC ghettos, this audience of course expanded rather quickly. Today there are renements of both of these unique musical styles in music along with much more making the Salsa umbrella much bigger than it was back then.
 
Rick I know you were there at the end of that era and I wasn't there for any of it, but what you write as universal fact for the whole era seriously contradicts a lot of evidence. I think you're extrapolating your own experience of growing up at the end of the era with the experience of all latinos throughout the era.

I don't doubt that by the early 60s the mambo greats were losing a lot of their latin audience, but from the 40s to the end of the 50s, what music do you think your average working class, dance loving latino was listening to? Imo that would have been the likes of Machtio, TP, Tito Rodríguez etc etc.

Also your earlier claims that TP considered himself superior to most Puerto Ricans (forgive me if I've misquoted you but I don't have time to find your post) and your previous claims that mambo and Latin jazz were for whites are contradicted by the fact that the mambo greats made a point of playing free gigs in the NY barrios. Their aim was to make sure the inhabitants remained aware of mambo music.

Look at the audience at these gigs:





If the above clips are not your bag then obviously that's fine, but seriously - does this look like music made for a white audience?
 
Rick I know you were there at the end of that era and I wasn't there for any of it, but what you write as universal fact for the whole era seriously contradicts a lot of evidence. I think you're extrapolating your own experience of growing up at the end of the era with the experience of all latinos throughout the era.

I don't doubt that by the early 60s the mambo greats were losing a lot of their latin audience, but from the 40s to the end of the 50s, what music do you think your average working class, dance loving latino was listening to? Imo that would have been the likes of Machtio, TP, Tito Rodríguez etc etc.

Also your earlier claims that TP considered himself superior to most Puerto Ricans (forgive me if I've misquoted you but I don't have time to find your post) and your previous claims that mambo and Latin jazz were for whites are contradicted by the fact that the mambo greats made a point of playing free gigs in the NY barrios. Their aim was to make sure the inhabitants remained aware of mambo music.

Look at the audience at these gigs:





If the above clips are not your bag then obviously that's fine, but seriously - does this look like music made for a white audience?
Can please someone build a timemachine? I have to get back to this era :p:D
 
DJ Yuca a lot of what you say is true. I am jogging myself with personal experiences & experiences of others during the time period, doesn't make for great reading since it is not edited.. A lot of what I write you cannot find in Wilkipedia or in some cases anywhere else on the net. I did mention that I do speak in generalizations a lot too, meaning I don't deal with exceptions too much to make points, which there will always be. And by no means do I mean to have all the answers, because I wasn't everywhere. But I read things that are being accepted as the universal truths and I see big pieces of the puzzle being left out. Right off the bat Salsa was a ghetto music at it's beginning, and a lot of people do not seem to know that. By focusing on what happened before or after the birth of Salsa this seems to constantly be left out.

And by the way DJ Yuca, my first experience in music was Soul & Jazz, so I personally love a lot of the Tito Puente music, not all. And I didn't mean exactly that he thought he was better than other PR's, I meant he thought his music was, and he was right in a lot of cases. He was known to be hard to work with too. Those 4 videos you posted are exactly the type of music I love, and I also love a lot of the music of the 50's & 60's. And I am trying hard to keep race & politics out of this discussion, I should have probably said Americans but I felt that wasn't accurate. Even in the late 90's when I went to see The Conga Kings, (Patato, Candido & Hidalgo), Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Orquesta Aragon, Tito Puente & Cachao the audience was mostly white. Not sure if you ever attended any Latin Jazz or Cuban music concerts.

Before the civil rights bill passed and even for a while after that race was a big issue in this country & it did affect Latin music. I am more interested in putting out another point of view from a different experience, not being the ultimate truth. Some have mentioned there are members in here that lived thru the same period in NYC. Not sure if that meant they lived in the barrio, but if so I wish they would key in on some of my comments. I am no history buff, but there are definitely things being left out.

Where I do want this discussion to lead to is that Salsa did end up being the most inclusive Latin music of all and brings together not just all Latins but people around the world who love to dance. That is the part of the outcome even with todays Salsa that I am very happy about.

Hope this clears up some of your concerns.
 
DJ .
By focusing on what happened before or after the birth of Salsa this seems to constantly be left out.


.

Before Salsa ?.. I don't think for one second it has been left out. . I personally have posted numerous accounts ( as has Richie ), from mambo entering the culture in the 40/50s, thru to the paradigm shift in the 70s.

As to after, its pretty well documented
 
I am sure you have Terrance, I haven't been here that long. What I was referring to was the bickering back and forth I have been seeing here recently, that seems to be before or after the Salsa explosion. It is also important, but it never allows one to focus on the actual Salsa explosion. The subject always seems to wander away.
 

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