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Tropicology

The Second Case of the Cuban Cache

12:00pm, 2-7-2016
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We are back in the Latin groove this week, listeners, with another chance to hear some of my own travel tales from the original home of these global sounds.

I often reflect that it is somewhat odd for Cuban music to be lumped into my own show (alongside music from Brazil and Africa) as material that is under-exposed in the US. After all, there have been many moments in US musical history when those sounds from Cuba have had broad success in this market. Unlike my other genres, many of the records I play in these sets were released in the US. 

But somehow the masses have lost touch with that knowledge (political isolation has played a major role since the revolution, of course). Even though we still frequently groove to the core rhythms created in Cuba, many Americans cannot name a single musical giant from the island. We are all impressed by the amazing musical success of neighboring Caribbean island Jamaica... but how that success pales in comparison to the musical influence of Cuba! Cuban rhythms are the foundation for almost all popular music throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America, including the salsa music that has been played throughout the world over the past 40 years. American popular music routinely borrows motifs from the Cuban musical library, and this music reached back across the Atlantic to play a huge role in shaping the popular music culture of countries ranging from Spain and France to a huge range of countries in Africa.

Today my set moves firmly away from the rootsy sounds I often favor... we are going full "uptown" for this set. The first hour focuses on cosmopolitan sounds from the Cuban scene in the 50s and 60s. The second hour follows that groove north into the barrios of Nueva Yorica... hear how the bands got bigger and the sound brought in elements of soul and funk. 

We end the show today with 3 tracks from a contemporary group based in New York:  Los Hacheros. I just discovered this gem on vinyl, and I admit that I first mistook this for a band from Cuba that had somehow navigated the incredibly complicated path from the island to an international music contract involving vinyl pressings!! Very rootsy deliciousness indeed.

  • 12:03pm Bonito y Sabroso by Beny More on Magia Antillana (RCA Victor)
  • 12:06pm Ahora Vendo Otra Cosa by Bebo Valdes on La Gran Orquesta de Bebo Valdes (West Side Latino Records)
  • 12:09pm Gueita Caiman by Fantasmita with Carlos Barberia & Orquesta Kubavana on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 12:11pm Soy Del Monte by Beny More on El Inigualable (Discuba)
  • 12:14pm Mambo de Cuco by Mongo Santamaria on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 12:16pm Las Bobitas by Roberto Faz & his Conjunto on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 12:18pm Canto a la Habana by Bebo Valdes on La Gran Orquesta de Bebo Valdes (West Side Latino Recordings)
  • 12:22pm Cogele el Golpe by Cachao y su Ritmo Caliente on Descargas Vol. 1 (Vampisoul)
  • 12:25pm Guajira y Tambo by Ray Barreto on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 12:28pm Descarga Cubana by Cachao y su Ritmo Caliente on Descargas Vol. 1 (Vampisoul)
  • 12:31pm Como Esta Mi Conuco by Beny More on El Inigualable (Discuba)
  • 12:34pm Que Bueno Seria by Belisario Lopez y su Orquesta on Belisario Lopez y su Orquesta Vol. 5 (Ansonia)
  • 12:36pm Malanga Amarilla by Cachao y su Ritmo Caliente on Descargas Vol. 1 (Vampisoul)
  • 12:39pm Tu No Estas En Na by Belisario Lopez y su Orquesta on Belisario Lopez y su Orquesta Vol. 5 (Ansonia)
  • 12:43pm Almendra by Fajardo on Al Santiago's The Best of Cuba (Funny)
  • 12:48pm Yo Vine P'a Ve by Cheo Belin on Son Con Charanga (Occidente)
  • 12:52pm Guajeo de Saxos by Cachao y su Ritmo Caliente on Descargas Vol. 1 (Vampisoul)
  • 12:55pm Cana y Coco by Belisario Lopez y su Orquesta on A Bailar la Pachanga (Ansonia)
  • 12:58pm Coco May May by Jack Costanzo & His Afro-Cuban Band on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 1:02pm Maracaibo Oriental by Beny More on Music that Inspired Buena Vista Social Club (Not Now Music)
  • 1:05pm Guarare by Miguelito Valdes on Latin Disco Salsa's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (Salsoul)
  • 1:08pm Pachanga Bum Bum by Belisario Lopez y su Orquesta on A Bailar la Pachanga (Ansonia)
  • 1:11pm Coco de Agua by Chihuahua on Latin Cuban Session (Tuff City Records)
  • 1:16pm La Malanga by Eddie Palmieri on Superimposition (Tico)
  • 1:20pm A Bailar Pachanga by Bobby Montez on Pachanga Cha-Cha-Cha (World-Pacific Records)
  • 1:23pm Titoro by Bobby Montez on Pachanga Cha-Cha-Cha (World-Pacific Records)
  • 1:26pm Conmigo by Eddie Palmieri & La Perfecta on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 1:29pm Guaguanco Margarito by Tito Puente on Coco May May (Grosso Recordings)
  • 1:32pm Pamparana by Cachao y su Ritmo Caliente on Descargas Vol. 1 (Vampisoul)
  • 1:36pm 110th St. & 5th Ave by Tito Puente on Tito Puente and his Concert Orchestra (Tico)
  • 1:40pm Ko-Wo, Ko-Wo by Cachao on Dos (Salsoul)
  • 1:47pm Los Hacheros by Azucar on Pilon (Chulo Records)
  • 1:52pm Chano by Los Hacheros on Pilon (Chulo Records)
  • 1:56pm Pilon by Los Hacheros on Pilon (Chulo Records)
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