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domingo, 09 mayo 2010, 08:41 am

Manolito in SF

Pon clic en DEJA UN COMENTARIO para añadir tu propia reseña.

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Wow - I needed that - badly - I hadn't seen a real Cuban timba band from Cuba from a really good vantage point since ... since ... well ... this 2001 show comes to mind:

I won't pretend to be objective. Bill Wolfer and I weaseled our way to the very back of the stage and from our perspective the concert was completely dominated by the rhythm section. The electricity arcing off of those guys was ridiculous - especially Riverón and güiro-player Jorge Luis Guerra. It put me very clearly in touch with the reason I became so obsessed with timba in the first place - the full body rush. I can't tell you about the new singers or the new songs - check the comments section for that - I was like the guy who wanders around in the desert for years and finally discovers an oasis and all I could do was soak it up like a sponge.

<<== First of all this guy - Jorge Luis Guerra - is completely off the hook.

He catches every nuance of the arrangement and plays with a relentless intensity that I can't even begin to describe. He packs every sixteenth note with so much energy that it seems like he's driving the whole band single-handedly.

(The unlabeled photos are from my crappy point & shoot and the two good ones with watermarks are by Peter Maiden. There should be large galleries coming to from both Peter and Tom Ehrlich, so check back in a couple days.)

Drummer Roicel Riverón, now in his 12th year with the band, continues to be as exciting and creative a drummer as there is on this particular planet.

And if anyone doubts the veracity of that statement, here's another insane youtube clip to back it up:

The other major highlight from my vantage point was Miguel Angel "Pan con Salsa" de Armas (I think I got all those names in the right order).

Miguel Angel "Pan con Salsa" de Armas

"Pan", as everyone calls him, was the original timba tecladista. The 1989 incarnation of NG La Banda began the trend of using two keyboardists. Now nearly every band uses the synth, but it's very tricky to come up with parts that don't clash harmonically with everything else that's going on and this is where de Armas is the master. His contratumbaos with Manolito were a revelation and frankly even more interesting than what he was doing with NG back in the day. Some of his riffs were so funky and unexpected that Wolfer and I could only look at other and shake our heads. The experience made me realize that at some point I'm going to have to add a volume to Beyond Salsa Piano that covers the second keyboard.

So there you have it from my angle. If you were at the show, please give it to us from your perspective in the comments section. If you have trouble logging in, send me an email.

photo by Peter Maiden

great setlist


They did more classics (Mentiras) than the set people have recently heard in Cuba. My only regret was nothing from Hablando en serio

Posted by: Kevin Moore on lunes, 10 mayo 2010, 08:48 am

set list?


Did note the set list for the gig? Curious to know what songs they chose.

Posted by: Michael Lazarus on lunes, 10 mayo 2010, 05:20 am

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