As promised in a previous issue, here's more about Annette A. Aguilar & Stringbeans' new CD, The Day Waits for Nobody. This third production utilizes more vocals and includes two classics, Tito Puente's Ran-Kan-Kán and Ray Barretto's Indestructible.
"The arrangements of these two compositions," explains Aguilar, "are more improvisational, but they stay in the ballpark of their respective styles. Indestructible is faster and moves toward a rumba featuring violin, along with percussion and piano. And Luisito Ayala offers up some killin' soneos!" She adds that Sofia Rei Koutsovitis' vocal intro "puts more of a South American vibe to the melody of the tune."
Percussionist/leader/arranger Aguilar recorded this album--a combination of Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, and Brazilian--in two live sessions, the first concentrating on six Brazilian numbers plus an Afro-Cuban jazz piece, and the second devoted to four straight Latin works.
And Stringbeans incorporates trombone for the first time. "Lewis Kahn, our longtime member, added some beautiful riffs, as did Eddie Venegas," says Aguilar. "Both double on violin and trombone. The doubling of some of our musicians works in our favor; each person brings a certain quality to the bandstand, picking up more than one instrument and being versed in several styles."
Stating that she'd like to see more people embrace the music of all Latin America and not categorize so much, Aguilar adds, "Stringbeans is not a Brazilian band--we're a Latin jazz/Brazilian group. We do piay jazz, we do improvise, but people can dance to our music. Just because it has a more harmonic structure, one that's real jazzy, doesn't mean you can't dance to it!"
DJ Jeff's "Hot Pick of the Month": Foreclosure, from Jimmy Bosch's ¡A Millón!
The Latin music world has lost another giant, the master percussionist and leader of Libre, José Manuel "Manny" Oquendo, who in 1946, at the age of fifteen, found himself performing with some of Latin New York's most famous bands. In 1962 (already a veteran of the big band led by Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez, and of Johnny Pacheco's charanga), Oquendo joined Eddie Palmieri's La Perfecta. While there, the young timbalero/bongocero adapted the mozambique--a popular Cuban rhythm--to the timbal, injecting it into La Perfecta's repertoire.
In 1974, Oquendo (along with bassist Andy González) formed Conjunto Libre, an iconic group many luminaries have passed through...