Salsa > In search of hardcore salsa music

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by genEus, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. genEus

    genEus New Member

    haha, I gave some examples earlier about what I meant by "hardcore" and how I personally differentiated between romantic->middle->hard.

    :) OK, I'm listening to it as I'm typing... It makes me think of a band rehearsal which was cancelled, except no one told the percussionists or the bass player not to come. So, since they were already there, they decided to practice their parts without the rest. hehehe. But, hey, we're getting into a different topic of what one actually considers salsa. To be fair though, in my iTunes library I did classify it as "mambo" at some point in time :) Hey, it's all good, no matter what you call it!!
  2. elgrancombo

    elgrancombo New Member

    Gotta agree with Africana. That's as pure a form of Salsa/Mambo as one can find. Sort of the opposite end of the spectrum from Marc Anthony type stuff. I couldn't listen to it for an extended period of time, but it's good nevertheless. And so is her dancing.
  3. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I think I agree with genEus on two counts:

    (1) Very nice moves, africana! :D

    (2) I also probably would not call the song "Salsa" ;) -- at least not based on the portion heard on the videoclip. Perhaps if I heard more of the beginning or the ending I might reach a different conclusion, but it sounds simply like a highly percussive jazz riff to me.
  4. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Judging form that clip, if the song is entirely as it sounded, then that wouldn't be considered a salsa, a mambo, son, etc. It would be considered a straight up descarga. An open secession with some type of glue during certain sections of the song, (the bass in this case) but not substantial enough to belong to a genre. That bit sounds like it would best fit a NY style guaguanco, if it simply isn't a straight up Latin Jazz with a heavy percussive feel. I'd have to hear the song in entirety to lable it. From that bit my vote goes to Latin Jazz.
  5. africana

    africana New Member

    Ok I'll try to upload the whole track soon..

    At least you guys aren't stating that the song is deficient in some way no matter what you label it. Tito comments that "features some of our more advanced and progressive Cuban rhythms [in] which I spotlight mostly timbales, congas, bongos and string bass"...
    so it's not random, and it's not really free like a descarga either (like track 11 "Hot Timbales") Also when I think of descargas, I consider works like some of Ray Barretto's descargo sessions where everything (all intrsuments) comes in with bursts of energy with lot of overlap, playing together, a party of instruments. This song is a bit too dedicated, too pinned down to be called descarga. and btw I would still call descarga a "salsa", is that too broad?

    in my mind it's a no-frills has the feel of a mambo, plus it's salsa-able ;)
    i hear nothing rumba-ish/guagunco about it - although salseros do have this pesky tendency to break into a rumba whenever they hear anything remotely afro/percussive :rolleyes:
    I also listen to a lot of latin jazz, and this is much too structured to be latin jazz IMO

    interesting discuss though, I think i'll ask my DJ friends :)
  6. africana

    africana New Member

    Ok just called one up, he says it's a Latin Jazz with mambo to start off and in between the solos riffs. alright we all "win" hahha
  7. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    There are tight descargas and there are lose descargas. There are descargas of all instruments or dedicated instrument descargas. Descargas come in all ranges and all types. It isn't wrong to lable it a salsa (it is not), nor it is right (salsa as in the umbrella term).

    The bass section on that bad boy can come from any NY Style guaguanco. Listening to andy harlow's guaguanco's, even Willie Colon's we'll hear that funky bass line on all of them. I actually think it sounds nicer on a guaguanco than it does on a salsa. The percussive approach of playing the timbales can fit very nicely into mid 60s to early 70s guaguancos, which were full of that jazz.

    Your friend summed it up. By saying lating Jazz with a start of mambo, pretty much makes it a descarga. Starting as a genre, then switching, is one of the key characteristics of a descarga. I'm willing to bet that towards the end it goes back to how it started, rather than ending as it is in the middle. If it does that, then it might simply be a descarga over Latin Jazz. Which BTW, I now wonder what differentiates them... hmmm
  8. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    a lot of us salseros do make the mistake to think of descargas as salsa or even mambo, or mambo-jazz. A key give-away is the free fall of any one instrument over an extended period of time, for studio versions, that happen change genre in the middle of the song. Although that isn't a must rule.

    Salsa cut off prolonged descargas from 50s Mambo-Jazz to make the music more danceable and bring it closer to the average listener. It became more vocal and far more danceable than that song in the clip. (think willie colon, larry harlow, and ray barretto's salsa (not descargas, nor latin jazz)
    (tito puente stuff is mambo jazz, rather than mambo)

    In musicians terms, that song is a musicians song, which makes it not very danceable. What is meant by danceable is for the average person to be able to follow it without looking like a chiken with the head cut off. That song is too highly skilled for the average salserso to tackle. Which makes it the very reason that it is rare to find today's bands playing Latin Jazz, even Descargas.

    Think of Latin Jazz like salsa, there are many ways of playing it. Slow, fast, crazy, lose, tight, even down to almost a cool/california jazz kind of feel. Examples are Cachao, Chano Pozo, Dizzy, etc. Think of Jazz music in the 40s and 50s in NY City on a bed of afro-cuban music. When thinking of mambo-jazz think tito puento and mid 50s NY City music, when thinking of NY Style guaguanco think of 60s NY Sytle music to about 1968. when thinking of salsa-think fania '68 to 84, when thinking of descargas-think Alegre all stars. (Descargas belong to the 60s) When thinking of cuban guaguanco think Justi Barretto. If you can hear elements of those eras and musicians in songs, you can norrow down to almost certianty the style of the song.
  9. africana

    africana New Member

    just want to say that I'm learning a TON from your musical knowledge BK very impressed and paying att, please continue...I can't believe how differentiated every thing is n afrocuban music

    and to genuss sorry for spoiling ur thread, but this good stuff

    I will convert the song soon as I can to share (my own pc has device driver issues atm)
  10. genEus

    genEus New Member

    Spoiling my thread? Are you kidding? I eat and breathe this kind of stuff! I love it! I also believe that there will eventually come a time when you'll look at my screenname and stop misspelling it :rolleyes: :p
  11. genEus

    genEus New Member

  12. africana

    africana New Member

    :lol: my baddddd now i know

    you beat me to that upload.
    now BK contrast Mon Ti with this:

    what's the diff in genres? both are "hardcore" in different ways, the second is more random, little structure. And I defintely cannot mambo to "Hot Timbales" cos it doesn't have the tumbao structure
    I like the "mambo-jazz" moniker for Mon Ti because it feels like crazy mambo but gee "Latin Jazz" seems to claim too many afrocuban subgenres

    btw I think "Mon Ti" = Mongo (Santamaria) + Tito 8)
  13. EldelaClave

    EldelaClave New Member

    good Job Africana..

    also there is another great song

    Ti Mon Bo (Tito Puente, Mongo Santa Maria)

    a DescargaCha, with great Bongo solo, Conga solo, and Timbal Solo.
  14. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    None of those songs are mambo jazz... I could label them latin jazz, but it has such huge Yoruba/Santeria feel with Jazz influence coming from the "all out" playing of percussion, even then I don't think of it as enough to label it Latin Jazz. Even if sold under the Latin Jazz genre. I feel more comfortable calling Yoruba/Santeria descargas, than I would latin Jazz, or anything else. It is very easy to simply label something latin jazz, instead of giving it a closer, if at all possible, classification. I feel that origin, location, and time are lost when pieces like these are dumped into Latin Jazz.

    When I hear them both all I think is Santeria during a bembe/Toque De Santo minus the timbales. That duel just before conjuring, or as some say, bringing down the santos.
  15. africana

    africana New Member

    Exactly! This material is not jazzy, it's too hard (and specific) to be just latin jazz. Plus Tito was a Santero, it makes sense that the "hot Timbales" could be a Toque de Santos/Descarga

    As for Mon Ti, we still can't deicde? lol...

    (Thanks EDC, big10, combo :) )
  16. genEus

    genEus New Member

    I'm reviving this thread with a new question...

    There's a slew of songs that start out with a bang and continue for the duration of the song. Why I don't like a lot of Fania salsa is because there are a lot of songs where I'd cut out the introduction and start the song from the chorus. "Worst" example of this is Hector Lavoe's Hacha y Machete. I absolutely love the song starting from the coro, singing "[SIZE=-1]Fuerte fuerte, hacha y machete..." but feel bored while he's singing the exposition. And, I know there are a lot of songs that hit HARD from the start[/SIZE], I've heard them at socials in NYC.

    Anyone know what I'm talking about?
  17. KiwiMambo

    KiwiMambo New Member

    Do you know if those songs that hit hard from the beginning were edited to take out the "intro"? I have heard some familiar songs were the DJ has done that. I know what you mean though. For those songs I wait until it starts grooving before asking someone to dance. Unfortunately, sometimes, by that time the dance floor is too crowded or their are no good dancers left to ask :)Also don't forget some of the "intro" stuff some dancers don't like are because they are not at the level of dancing where they can do some solo improvisation to that beginning piece. For example at the NYC congress there were a few songs where the beginning 30 seconds or so was Afro-Cuban which led into Salsa. The dance floor was about 1/3 empty because I guess most people didn't know how to dance that part. Those that did were out there doing their Guanguanco. Actually most were doing some watered down
    Guanguanco. Gotta give them points for getting out there though :)
  18. naturallove

    naturallove New Member

    Forgive my ignorance...guaguanco is a type of rumba, right? What are some examples of guaguanco steps? I'm wondering if I'm one of those folks doing the bootleg guaguanco on the dance floor (not that I was in NYC!)
  19. KiwiMambo

    KiwiMambo New Member

    Yes Guaguanco is a type of Rumba. Yambu been the other well known one. Check out for some demos.
  20. genEus

    genEus New Member

    Just found one that I can't get enough of:

    Pete Rodriguez - Bomba Con Sabrosura

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