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Researched, historical, educational and first class. A moving collection of how the music of the Congo has survived in Cuba.
CINQUE "In 1807, the U.S. Congress joined with Great Britain in abolishing the African slave trade. Despite the international ban, Cuba continued transporting captive Africans to its sugar plantations until the 1860s." It was 1814 when Joseph Cinque, formerly known as Sengbe Pieh, a West African man of the Mende people, was born as a free man in the country of Sierra Leone. That bit of bozal (African-born) Spanish is known to every palero. That is, to every practitioner of palo monte, as the Kongo-descended Afro-Cuban religion is called. Abre: Spanish for open. Kuto: Kikongo for ear. Güiri: an African way of saying oir: hear. Mambo. In a rare surviving radio interview months before his death in 1970, Arsenio Rodríguez, the great re-Africanizer of Afro-Cuban music, glosses the phrase as Open up your ear and hear this. But what it says is: Open up your ear and hear the mambo. So what’s the mambo? Mambo is a Kikongo word, almost certainly heard in Cuba since the arrival of the Bakongo in the 16th century. It has a cluster of meanings: word, song, law (where laws are proverbs and are remembered by singing them), important matter. The songs the palero sings when he does his ritual work are called mambo -- a word heard in Cuba for centuries before the dance of that name exploded across the globe in the 1940s." Ned Sublette. Elio Villafranca: piano + coros; Vincent Herring: flute + alto sax; Greg Tardy: clarinet + tenor saxophone; Todd Marcus: bass clarinet; Freddie Hendrix: trumpet; Steve Turre trombone + bass trombone; Ricky Rodriguez: acoustic bass; Lewis Nash: drum set; Arturo Stable: batá drum-Okónkolo + palo drum or atabales + coros; Jonathan Troncoso: palo drum or atabales + coros; Miguel Valdes: batá drum-Iyá + batá drum-Itótele + coros.
El Rey del Congo – The King of the Congo; Narration 1; Cinque + Narration 2 (Part 1); The Capture (Part II); Canto Ganga de Despedida; Narration 3; Troubled Waters (Part III); Rezo Congo; Maluagda (part I); La Burla De Los Congos (Part II); Tambor Yuka – Saludo Ganga; Madre Agua (Part III); Indigo + Narration 4 (Part I); New Sky (Part II); Narration 5; The First Colony (Part II); 17 Kongo.
The Night At Bwa Kay Man; Palo De Muerto – Llore; Kafou Ceremony; Narration 6; The Night Of Fire; Medley of Congo Songs; Mesy Bondye; Paseo (Part 1); Conga Y Comparsa (Part 1); Live Conga; Canto Ganga a Yegbe de Despedida; Congo Story; Canto Congo A Capella – Maluagda; Palo de Muerto.
Elio Villafranca: piano; Vincent Herring: alto & soprano sax, flute; Greg Tardy: tenor sax, clarinet; Todd Marcus: bass clarinet; Freddie Hendrix: trumpet; Steve Turre: trombone, bass trombone, Conch shells; Ricky Rodriguez: acoustic bass; Lewis Nash: drum set; Arturo Stable: bata drums, congas, palo drums or atabales; Miguel Valdes: bata drums, congas, bombo; Jonathan Troncoso: palo drums or atabales, valsié, barril drum; Nelson Mateo Gonzales: barril, palo drums or atabales; Alexander Lasalle: vocals; Alexander Waterman: cello; NARRATION: Terrance McKnight; GUESTS: Wynton Marsalis: trumpet; Leyla McCalla: vocals; Don Vappie: banjo.
May 15, 2018
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