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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Phunky, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Could someone explain what latin-music is? Any typical band and groovy latin basslines that i should look into? Thanks
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I have a few latin songs for you...
    They're not pure latin, but they're latinish

    Children of Sanchez
    Tiger of San Pedro
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Latin music, as you state it, implies an extremely broad range of genres and styles. Almost any central and south american country has its own type of music, but some of the most widely recognized are:

    -Bossanova and samba from Brazil

    -Salsa, which comes mainly from Puerto Rico (some also credit New York since many famous names made their career there i.e. members of the Fania All Star).

    -Cuban music, which includes genres like the Son ("Not your offspring", as Gloria Estefan clarified) and the Timba, which is dubbed as the "Latin funk". There are many great cuban musicians who have helped to develop what we know nowadays as "Latin jazz". Names like Chano Pozo (who highly influenced Dizzy Gillespie. "Manteca" is an essential listening for this), Paquito D'Rivera, Arturo Sandoval and Chucho Valdés are so prominent in the genre.

    For great bassists in the salsa and cuban music styles, check names like Bobby Valentín, Salvador "Sal" Cuevas, Carlos Del Puerto, Feliciano Arango, Omar Hernández, Diego Valdés, Anthony Jackson, Lincoln Goines, Israel López "Cachao" on double bass, Pedro Pérez on electric upright and (last but not least) TalkBasser Rubén Rodríguez :cool:.

    Artists to look for if you want to browse some discographies: Any Fania All Star-related name like Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Ray Barreto, Larry Harlow, Sonora Ponceña and Rubén Blades. Many recordings by these artists feature Salvador Cuevas and Bobby Valentín on bass. Bobby (who is a trumpeter turned bassist) also has his own band and recordings. He plays an original Ampeg Scroll bass guitar.

    For cuban music and latin jazz: Irakere (Carlos Del Puerto on bass), NG La Banda (Feliciano Arango), Paquito D'Rivera (Lincoln Goines among others), Michel Camilo (awesome pianist who has Anthony Jackson playing bass with him), Cuarto Espacio (Omar Hernández). "Buena Vista Social Club" is a great movie-CD about a research on cuban music made by guitarist Ry Cooder, who plays with big old cuban musicians like the late pianist Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo and many others. Another EXCELLENT movie is "Calle 54" ("54th street") made by Spanish director Fernando Trueba.

    The link below will allow you to download an mp3 of a song by NG La Banda called "La Bruja" ("The Witch"). This is one of my favorite cuban bands (Feliciano Arango on bass). The brass section is known as the "Terror brass" and they are considered as the originators of the "Timba" genre. The only thing I dislike from them is that their music is very good because the monstruously good players and the impressive arrangements, but without those factors, the songs are very silly IMO.

    Of course, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many great brazilian artists also like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Astrud Gilberto, Vinicius de Moraes... Have fun with your research! Please don't hesitate to ask if you need further recommendations.

    Link to "La Bruja":

  4. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I suggest you learn a few of the basic latin basslines.
    Most important (in my opinion) is the tumbao. Also learn the clave forward and back. Alvaro Martín Gómez A. gets an A+ for thoroughness!
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    :hyper: Thanks, man! It's my pleasure to help whenever I can!
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Senor Gomez A. is "the man" when it comes to knowledge of all things musica latina. His answer was complete and highly informative. I would like to add, I should say "presume" to add, the very important Latino genres of merengue and bachata, both from the Dominican Republic. Some might argue about the exact origin, but many of merengue's top artists today do hail from the Dominican Republic.

    I personally prefer salsa myself, but merengue is so popular as music, especially for dancing, that I wanted to bring it up. If you were to listen to radio stations that play musica latina, you will hear both salsa and merengue. It would be good, if you are interested in the music of South American and the Caribbean, to learn to identify mernegue and salsa when you hear them and know the difference.

    Some top stars of merengue are Juan Luis Guerra (Grupo 440), Olga Tanon, Elvis Crespo, Las Chicas del Can (who were popular when I lived in Venezuela), Gisselle, and groups such as Proyetco Uno and La Makina. These are just a very few of the best known merengue performers. A good start might be to purchase a merengue collection that features various artists. For just one song that stands out, check out Crespo's "Suavemente." But that is really unfair. Merengue has a huge catalog of music, artists and bands.

    Another genre not mentioned is the one closely identified with Argentina, that of tango. I'm not a big tango fanatic, so I cannot recommend names. However one should not ignore this style of music when exploring musica latina.

    Allow me to add, too, there is a very rich field of Latin American popular music. Some top names include Thalia (Mexican), Shakira (Colombian), Carlos Vives (Colombian, Juanes (Colombia), and so many more I cannot list them here.

    Also, importantly, all the countries of the Caribbean, Latin America, Central America and Mexico have their own folkloric music which is very interesting, too.

    My personal favorite music is Brazilian. I could say that is because I lived in Brazil, but actually I have loved the music since I first heard Chralie Byrd and Stan Getz playing togther on the album "Jazz Samba" years before I ever knew I would live in Brazil. While I am a fan of bossa nova, do not forget that samba, the music closely associated with Carnival, is also very much typically Brazilian.
  7. just thought i'd add that a great book that will really help with latin playing is "The Latin Bass Book - a practical guide" by Oscar Stagnaro and Chuck Sher. covers everything; the tumbao, brazilian, afro-cuban, latin jazz etc.

    very thorough book with recordings of every example..
  8. groove100


    Jan 22, 2005
    i suggest on top of great artist that are mentioned from above is "horacio hernandez" he is a drummer, but check out and study the rhythmic patterns together with giovani hidalgo a great master percusionist.

    hope this helps you>

    markus huber
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Thank you for your comments, Mr. Boplicity. You're right about merengue, but I didn't want to mention it because that music is crap to me nowadays. Juan Luis Guerra is still a top performer and composer, but most merengue bands are awful to me right now. I'm not talking about the musicians or the live performances. It's about the music. Rikarena, for example, was a BIG success when first appeared in 1995 and it's a great live band! (I always saw their bassist playing a Ken Smith 6-string) but more than 90% of their tunes revolve around the same chord progression: I-VI-II-V or I-VI-IV-V. I hate them for that! When Elvis Crespo appeared, he was a big impact. I liked his first hit "Suavemente" ("Softly"). The arranger is known here as a "trumpetmen killer" because the extremely high register of the first voice in the brass section. Apparently, he/she doesn't worry about it since they hire an excellent trumpet player called Luis Aquino (I haven't seen Yanni's "Live At The Acropolis" concert, but I was told that Mr. Aquino plays there). But same as Rikarena: Most of Elvis Crespo's tunes sound the same. Even worse: Most of his hits are in C minor!

    Again, the bands are great (Elvis Crespo's bassist is excellent), but they found the key for commercial success and their music became crap because of that. Good merengue to hear: OLD Wilfrido Vargas, Juan Luis Guerra, Cocoband, Johnny Ventura, Carlos Alfredo, Bonny Cepeda, OLD Chicas Del Can (Wilfrido Vargas is the owner of this band) Kinito Méndez's first record, which set a landmark because the novel approach to merengue playing: Very different rhytmic patterns, busier basslines... Those are the merengue standards right now. "Cachamba", from his first solo album, is an essential listening. Kinito also produced Rikarena and is the composer of most of their hits 36_1_2. .

    This stuff reminds me of something I've always tought (since I have my own criteria about music, of course): There's no bad music if it's made with total honesty. Following the muse. But when music is made just for the sake of selling records, it HAS to be really bad. Sorry for my fellow countryman Juanes, because he was a METAL guy. His work with his former band Ekhymosis was good. Do you think he shows at least a little bit of metal in his current music? Nope. He sold his soul to the Grammys :spit:.

    And BTW, I like Shakira's compositions, but I HATE her voice. It offends me. I understand when she's given awards for her music, but for singing? No way! And she dares to record AC/DC's Back In Black and made Steven Tyler sing "Dude Looks Like A Lady" along with her! She doesn't deserve that honour IMO.
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Horacio "El Negro" Hernández is an awesome drummer! He plays with Michel Camilo and Anthony Jackson. I highly recommend (again) the "Calle 54" film, in which this astounding trio appears.

    Here's a link to another recording, this time by the band called "Cuarto Espacio" with Omar Hernández playing bass. The tune is called "Clave En Bajo Bien Temperado", which is sort of a pun with the "well-tempered clavier", but for bass. Mr. Hernández is the absolute star in this recording. Want to hear a virtuoso latin bassist? This is your chance. Don't miss it!

  11. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    THANKS ALOT GUYS! I need to check all those people out but it's a problem to find many of them here in Sweden :crying:
  12. Rodriguez


    Nov 6, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification & LaBella Strings
    I saw Carlos D'l Puerto w/ Los Van Van (excellent Cuban groove band) in Pori, Finland on Friday, and they're going to Sweden next, I can't remember where but try a Jazz festival search in Sweden. I'll be in Stockholm the second week of August (15th) w/ "The Latin Giants", a group out of Denver, Colorado playing big band (Tito Puente style .... Latin) music. Maybe I'll catch you then.

  13. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Another book to add to the excellent suggestion of "The Latin Bass Book" is "Funkifying The Clave" by Lincoln Goines & Robby Ameen. It's a bit more "advanced", but covers some interesting ideas.

    Rodriguez, are you SURE it was Carlos Del Puerto with Los Van Van???? I thought Juan Formell was the bassist/singer with them still??? I saw them play a few years back, when the band I was playing with at the time (Tito Puente, Jr.) opened for them at a show in San Francisco...Juan totally blew me away, how can anyone play so fluidly like that and SING at the same time? :eek:
  14. Rodriguez


    Nov 6, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification & LaBella Strings
    Rodriguez, are you SURE it was Carlos Del Puerto with Los Van Van????

    Yeap! Formell was not w/ the band, he is in Cuba. There is a bass player but I didn't get to meet him because, while on tour in Italy, his passport was stolen and couldn't continue. Carlos, who lives in Helsinki, helped out the group until the bass dude can rejoin them. Where you on the BET special w/ TP Jr.? I also worked w/ TP subbing for the late great Bobby Rodriguez, (whom many think is my dad, but he actually one of my bass Gods) and recorded 4/5 albums (CD's) w/ him.

  15. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Hey, Rubén! I received your e-mail. Hope your travelling is going well. Best wishes!
  16. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Ruben, no I wasn't with TP Jr. on the BET special. I did some live dates with him back in '01-02, but he had some "management issues" at that time, and started gigging without a live band for a while. I don't know, but I think that he's put together a whole new thing now. I was working with another band at the time (Rico Monaco & Sol Sons), he hired us to be his backing band. I am no longer with that band either.

    What happened with Juan? Why is he no longer with Los Van Van? What a shame, he's a great player...

    ...by the way, I am in NO WAY all that great at Latin, I'm just a gringo that got lucky and picked that gig up for a while!