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Latin Bassists?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Scott Cutrer, Apr 19, 2001.


  1. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    I need some opinions on which latin jazz bassist I need to check out, and some recording suggestions too please!
     
  2. Try some Cachao...He basically started the whole latin bass in motion...Or, I least I am almost certain of that...but Cachao is the man as far as Cuban bass goes...Poncho Sanchez's bass player is also a favorite of mine...Also, there is this album by a pianist, I believe his name is Michael Camillo, and it has some very Nice latin bass stylings from pattitucci and anthony jackson, with a definant jazz slant. Basically, wherever there is good Cuban music, there is an awesome bassist laying down a mean tumbao...Oh yeah, and the kid in Cubanismo is off the hook...
     
  3. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Andy Gonzalez of Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band; these guys are *great* at both kinds of music...Latin & Jazz! ;)
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I just got a copy of the new Sher book "The Latin Bass Book" by Oscar Stagnaro, who is a professor at Berklee and anything by him might be well worth looking at. The book has 3 CDs with it and although I haven't had much time to go though it yet - looks like a good buy for anyone interested in the role of the bass in Latin music.

    In the book there is also mention and study of who Oscar thinks are some of the "greats" in this field - like Carlos Del Puerto, Andy Gonzalez, Pedro Perez etc.
     
  5. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    thanks guys, that is great stuff
     
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    If you want to hear a truly amazing latin bassist, check out Omar Hernández from the now defunct Cuban band "Cuarto Espacio". In a compilation called "El jazz cubano", there's a track by this band called "Clave en bajo bien temperado" in which this guy shows his amazing arsenal of tapping, slapping and fingerstyle techniques, aside from his composition skills. BTW, the whole album is great. You can find info here:

    http://www.getmusic.com/artists/amg/Album/786/A169786.html

    Another great bassist is Lincoln Goines, who has played, among others, with saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera. There are two records with D'Rivera that i specially like: "Explosion" (1.985) and "Why not!" (1.984). In these recordings also plays the great pianist Michel Camilo. ("Why not!" is a song composed by him which is played only by piano and clarinet. Camilo rearranged the song for full band in his solo album of the same name.)

    There are two bassists credited on these records: Lincoln Goines and Sergio Brandao. I guess Brandao plays the Brazilian stuff.

    Goines also has an excellent book with CD (there's also a video): "Funkifying the clave: Afro-cuban grooves for drums and bass" that you can find here:

    http://www.bassplace.com/ST006.html

    If you get to listen to "Why not!", check out his superb tone and groove in the track "Waltz for Sonny", a venezuelan-type composition from Toots Thielemans in which he (Thielemans), as a guest artist, also whistles and plays guitar.

    Finally, another great latin bassist that worth checking out is Oscar Cartaya, who has played with Spyro Gyra.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  7. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks Alvaro, that is what I was looking for. I am familiar with Lincoln and Oscar, but will check the others out asap!
     
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I was looking in the major online music stores and i see that currently "El jazz cubano" is not available (i was lucky), but i've found another sites that offer the record:

    http://www.descarga.com/cgi-bin/db/12276.10?eAbegBre;;38

    http://www.jpc.de/jpcdb/frames/jpcs...=pdm&maktion=artikel&msparte=jazz&language=en

    Anybody should listen to this record, even those who are not interested in latin bass. Omar Hernández's technique is as impressive as Stuart Hamm's (at least on the recording). Don't miss it! :)
     
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Diego Valdés!. How could i forget this guy? He is an amazing Cuban bassist who lives in Colombia. He taught a clinic in my university some years ago and i almost fainted! He's the best bassist i've had in front of me. He plays fingerstyle and slap. His slapping technique is awesome, but what impressed me the most is his fingers' speed. He plays very fast runs and you can hear all the notes clearly. He's very influenced by Jaco and Stanley Clarke. Plays fretted and fretless basses and has incredible improvisational skills. He used to play (and lead) in a colombian band called "Moisés y la gente del camino", which fusions colombian dancing rhythms with rock and/or funk. He recorded with them, but although he plays some cool stuff here, this music doesn't let him show his full potential. I don't know about jazz recordings with him, so i can't recommend any, but when you look for latin jazz recordings or gigs, look for this credit: DIEGO VALDES ON BASS. :)
     
  10. Bruce, I have that book, and its wonderful.
    Check out Cachaoito (son of Cachao) on the album Buena Vista Social Club, or anything by Los Van Van, or Ray Barretto, or Tito Puente, or the albums "Cuba! Cuba!", or "The Mambo Kings", or "Salsa Picante", or "Mi Rumba" by Celeste Mendoza, etc, etc.
     
  11. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks again to Alvaro and Marty, I would like to get a top five list of Latin Jazz album going on a thread. I'll see what I can do. I am going to Tower Records today and would like to pick up some good stufff.

    scott
     
  12. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Well I got an older Tito Puente album and a Michel Camilo album "One More Once". Bobby Rodriguez is on the Tito Albuma dn Anthony Jackson is on Michel Camilo's. Although Anthony is not Latin, he does very well as I would expect he would, a real groove and feel miester! As for Bobby Rodriguez, he is wonderfull and his sound is so full for a 1959 recording. I would love to know what kind of bass he is using on the recording. I saw him on Bass Day 98 with an old black P Bass?

    Do any of you Latin gurus know anything about Oscar De Leon. I saw a couple of his CD's too but did not know what to expect. I have searched for the Sher book "The Latin Bass Book" and no one in Richmond VA has it yet, nor can they even order it at this time. I found it on Chuck Sher's web page, but they want $8 to ship it! I can wait I guess.


    I did get a book called "Afro-Cuban Bass Grooves" by Many Patino and Joge Moreno, and it is very good. I want to get the Lincoln Goines book, but this one seemed a little more elementary and more for bassists. Thanks for all the replys too.
    scott
     
  13. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Oscar D'León is one of the most influential south american musicians (from Venezuela) in the Salsa genre. He used to play Baby bass and sing in a trombones salsa band called "La Dimensión Latina", which produced hits like "Llorarás". This was back in the seventies. Later he formed his solo band (adding trumpets this time), recording many successful albums. He recorded a song called "Mi bajo y yo" in which he sings to his best friend, his bass. Oscar does a cool show with this tune live: His bass comes from the sky, he picks it up and starts singing to it. He has another bassist playing, but in the middle of the song he starts to play. At the end, Oscar put the bass on the floor, puts himself down on his knees, kiss his friend and honors it. This is captured in the "Festival de salsa en Nueva York" video from the early 90's. It was recorded at the Madison Square Garden and Oscar's band is the best sounding to me.

    Oscar can't be considered as a virtuoso, but he plays with so much taste and authority. Besides, he's a master singing, playing and dancing at the same time. Recently, he released a two record set containing a live recording from the Copacabana in N.Y., but he stopped playing bass several years ago (plays some tune here and there) and centered on his vocals. He's also a nice guy. You always see a smile in his face.

    You won't find a latin jazz band in his records. Instead, you'll hear a cool and tasty salsa band. :)
     
  14. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks for the info Alvaro, who plays bass on Oscar's CD's? Do you recomend any of his newer stuff, or the older stuff. Also, what about the Fania Allstars, can you recomend anything by them. I am also trying to find some good recordings of Andy Gonzales playing a Baby Bass.
    Scott
     
  15. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Of course, Oscar played for a long time, but i don't know exactly when he gave the bass duties to others. In 1.991 he released an excellent record called "Auténtico", which features Daniel Silva on baby bass. Daniel is an stupendous bassist who later played with colombian Grupo Niche. "Auténtico" includes a great, great song called "Detalles". Daniel's playing in this one is hard to replicate note for note by memory. He makes a really tasteful use of different registers of the instrument. The other reason because this song is so good is its lyrics. The tune is an ode to women. It encourages men not forget our boyfriend behavior after we get married. Besides, the brass arrangement is great (as on many of his tunes). Another cool song in this album is a medley of three Beny Moré (famous cuban singer from the 50's) songs: "Bonito y sabroso", "Francisco Guayabal" and "Qué bueno baila usted". The new live album is a trip through his career. The bassist's name is Gustavo Carmona. I don't know if anybody else has played bass with Oscar.

    I don't have much of his discography, just compilations, so i don't know too much about album titles, but i can recommend you many songs: "Llorarás" (his signature song), "Taboga", "Matasigüaraya", "Sigue tu camino", "Mi bajo y yo", "Melao de caña", "Comuniquémonos", "Siéntate ahí" (another trademark song), "El manisero", "Contéstame" (one of my favorites) and the aforementioned "Detalles" and Beny Moré medley, among many others.

    Your Fania question is really hard to answer because there is too much stuff, not only by the band, but by most of its members as band leaders. The most prominent bassists in this ensemble are Bobby Valentín and Salvador "Sal" Cuevas. (i don't know if there has been others.) One of the Fania All Stars works that i really like is the two (separated) discs recording of their 1.975 concert at Yankee Stadium (supposedly). There's an interesting story here: When the band got the YS gig, the only condition was no access to people to the playing field. The attendants would be only where the seats are (how's this in english?). After band members' introduction, the concert started with the song "Congo Bongo". When the song finished, the crowd invaded the field and the security personnel announced: "The concert is over!", so the YS gig was a one song gig. Later, the band recorded a concert at Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan de Puerto Rico and labeled the record as "Fania All Stars live at Yankee Stadium". There's a movie that documents both gigs and the YS performance of "Congo Bongo" is on another record which title i don't remember. In the movie you can see Jorge Santana (Carlos' brother) playing guitar on Cheo Feliciano's "El ratón".
    The version of "Mi Gente" by Héctor Lavoe is terrific! Even has a coda in 5/4 time. The only bad thing of the "Yankee" records is that they fit perfectly on a single CD (vol. 1 is 29:38 and vol. 2 is 41:59), but were released separately, like the LPs.

    Band members' solo releases is a big world. Please let me know if you're interested about this. Indeed, most of Fania performances are made of tunes made famous by its members as soloists.

    If you want to hear great salsa bands, i recommend you the fabulous Sonora Ponceña, a four trumpet ensemble from Ponce, Puerto Rico, directed by pianist extraordinarie Enrique "Papo" Lucca. This year they released a live 2 record set celebrating their 45th anniversary. "Fuego en el 23" is their signature tune.
    Also, don't miss Vocal Sampling. This is a cuban salsa band with a little feature: All the instruments are played by the human voice and hands. VS is a vocal sextet that replicates the sound of a salsa band by singing. You won't believe your ears. (Aren't you curious about the bass playing?) They only have three records: "Una forma más" (your introduction to them-amazing), "De vacaciones" and "Live in Berlin" (which includes a bass solo). Great stuff. :)
     
  16. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    I like Rock-Soul-Jazz by The Fania All-Stars; Billy Cobham & Jan Hammer make guest appearances...kinda/sorta similiar to early Santana or Malo grooves.

    As far as Andy Gonzalez-
    ...check out Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band; releases such as Crossroads, Moliendo Cafe, Rhumba Para Monk, etc. Very cool band(IMO). Andy also has a "band" called Rhumba Club...I have 2 of their cds, not sure if they ever put out more.

    BTW, at a different site, someone mentioned that Brasilian bassist Nico Assumpcao recently passed(lung cancer). Anybody famaliar with Nico's playing? After reading about his death, I pulled out a couple of my Ricardo Siveira records...Nico's bad!
     
  17. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    these are straight from Cuba (land that i love, may it be free again soon):
    there is a band called Klimax-- you can get their stuff from Descarga.com, the bassist floors me!!! His name is Roberto Riveron. I grew up around Cachao. i mean really around Cachao, he and my father were long time friends and co workers. Too bad i was so little and didn't know what a gold mine he is!! I would've picked his brain. This guy R. riveron is like Cachao on steroids, incredible rhythmic and melodic ideas without EVER compromising the groove. And the band SMOKES!!! more like modern timba but you hear the jazz influence everywhere. My favorite cd of theirs is " Juegos de Mano" , but they have three, all great. "Mira si te Gusta", and " Oye Como Va". And how did we forget Oscar de' Puerto from Irakere? That whole band is on FIRE!! of course, Arturo Sandoval and Paquit D'Rivera are gone , but I recently saw them live in NYC, and the horn section looked about 19 yeras old average, and let me tell you, i don't hear ANYBODY around here doing anything like that on horns. These kids are scary. If you're diggin latin music, though, get the Klimax stuff. you won't regret it. Happy Tumbao-ing!!!- peace, Adrian
     
  18. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    thanks for that info guys, can anyone tell me arround what year Andy Gonzales switched to the acoustic bass, I would really like to hear him play a Baby Bass!