Saturday, May 29, 2021

VA - Nu Yorica! [1996] + VA - Nu Yorica 2! [1997] + VA - Nu Yorica Roots! [2000]

 

NU YORICA!

VA - Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City, Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77  [1996] + VA - Nu Yorica 2! Further Adventures In Latin Music - Chango In The New World 1976-1985 [1997] + VA - Nu Yorica Roots! The Rise Of Latin Music In New York City In The 1960s [2000]

The three albums here  are wonderful expresions of joy. "Nu Yorica!" sets the tone, "Nu Yorica 2!" explores the theme right up to the formation of the Salsoul label (and by extension the beginnings of modern dance music) and "Nu Yorica Roots!" traces the origins.  Latin American music has enjoyed more exposure than it has been used to recently. The Salsa craze and Buena Vista Social Club have all raised its profile which can only be a good thing.  Harlem River Drive (formed by Eddie Palmieri, of whom we’ll hear more later) were constructed from a black r’n’b band and a Latin band. At shows one group would play, then the other, before both performed together for the closing set. And this is the entire concept of these CD’s in precis. No plundering of Cuban archives, this is what happened when Latin Americans moved into North America and formed groups there. 

Basically it’s about how the various strains of rumba, son and all the other myriad forms of Latin integrated with their new neighbours, jazz and r’n’b. And the logical extension of all this seems to have been, well, Santana, quite frankly. That blend of funk, rock, Spanish keys and wild conga playing is present in the shape of the aforementioned Harlem River Drive, (who released cuts through Blue Note) Ray Barretto and Joe Bataan. The former two presenting a post summer of love sensibility not a million miles from Sly and The Family Stone. ‘Harlem River Drive Theme’ and Barretto’s ‘Together’ preach racial harmony over driving grooves.  But it’s not all rare funk or single cuts on offer. Eddie Palmieri’s ‘Una Dia Bonita’ begins with a piano like a spitting fire, which sounds less like it’s being played than it’s been pushed down the studio stairs. The intro is a mix of John Cage’s avante garde-ism and McCoy Tyner’s energy abstractions, the modal madness then dissipates over the 14-plus minutes.  Percussion is added, followed by horn stabs. Section by section the thing builds. It’s as though the original song has been deconstructed in layers, debased by jamming it down to its strange underwear before being reassembled, most experimental take first, then the next most accessible, then the next - until the song appears, blooming suddenly like a flower, albeit a rare orchid. It’s a backwards take on the improvisational process and, by extension, the folk process, (as the most trad sounds come last). It is also the work of a true genius composer. When established, the horns sound like radio-era Ellington coming at us via Benny More. They’re so melodic and hook-filled that they could almost be from an advertising jingle, but there’s a perverse angular shape there to stop you from being able to file them in a square box. The mix of the arcane and the populist is attractive, passionate vocals rub shoulders with cold, calculating art. Palmieri’s still playing today and his 1999 Glastonbury festival set was less experimental, but showed that the old boy’s still got plenty of life in him yet.

Now where would any Latin comp be without ‘Oye Como Va?’ Surely the genre’s Louie Louie, presented in its Richard Berry incarnation, as the Tito Puente version here is the original. Another Puente cut, ‘Tito on Timbales’ is a percussion showcase which does its damndest to find that one last undiscovered time signature. Polyrhythmic, but by no means polyunsaturated: This is a FAT groove.  There’s way too much material here for me to cover properly in the confines of one record review, but take it from me, if you want to begin exploring Latin American music there’s no better place to start from than here, as some of the tracks will seem familiar, but the road signs all point straight down to Cuba! (Amazon)

Soul Jazz is an outstanding boutique label with nary a duff track or album on their roster, and any other of their CDs would also be worthy additions to your collection. (M)

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Part1      Part2

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Track lists


VA - Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City, Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77  [1996]

CD1

01 Ocho What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life? 1:35

02 Cortijo Y Su Máquina Del Tiempo Gumbo 7:59

03 Cachao La Trompeta Y La Flauta 9:10

04 Ricardo Marrero & The Group Babalonia 5:42

05 Harlem River Drive Harlem River Drive Theme 4:05

06 Stone Alliance Amigos 5:08

07 Joe Bataan Latin Strut 4:05

08 Grupo Folklórico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino Anabacoa 6:24

09 Tempo 70 El Galletón 3:13

10 Eddie Palmieri Un Día Bonita 14:49


VA - Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City, Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77  [1996]

CD2

01 Cortijo Y Su Máquina Del Tiempo Carnaval 6:55

02 Ocho Coco May May 6:22

03 Harlem River Drive Idle Hands 8:25

04 Bobby Vince Paunetto Little Rico, Little Rico's Theme 6:41

05 Joe Bataan Aftershower Funk 5:12

06 Machito Orchestra Macho 13:33


VA - Nu Yorica 2! Further Adventures In Latin Music - Chango In The New World 1976-1985 [1997]

01 Milton Cardona Salute To Elegua 1:10

02 Mongo Santamaria O Mi Shango 4:20

03 Patato Dicelo Patato 6:47

04 Eddie Palmieri Spirit Of Love 3:23

05 Fania All Stars Coromiyare 6:05

06 Candido Jingo 9:21

07 Daniel Ponce Odie 3:30

08 Irakere Encuentro 7:33

09 Cachao Ko-Wo, Ko-Wo 6:22

10 Fania All Stars Enorbita 4:55

11 Louie Ramirez Barrio Nuevo 5:59

12 Libre Lamento Borincano 6:02


VA - Nu Yorica Roots! The Rise Of Latin Music In New York City In The 1960s [2000]

01 Ray Barretto Together 2:33

02 Tito Puente Oye como va 4:32

03 Tito Rodríguez Descarga cachao 4:56

04 Ray Barretto Acid 5:05

05 The Harvey Averne Dozen The Word 2:36

06 Joe Cuba El pito 5:33

07 Mongo Santamaría Druma Kuyi 2:50

08 Machito y Su Orquesta Tanga 3:32

09 Eddie Palmieri My Spiritual Indian 6:29

10 Arsenio Rodríguez Se forno el bochinche 2:28

11 Tito Puente Tito on Timbales 5:56

12 Tito Rodríguez Mama Guela 2:39

13 Larry Harlow Horsin' Up 3:53

14 Eddie Palmieri Que suene la orquesta 5:44

15 Louis 'Sabu' Martinez The Oracle 4:48

16 Joe Bataan Riot 7:04

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11 comments:

  1. Wonderful share, but shocking that you omit any mention of the spectacular label, Soul Jazz, which issued these. Soul Jazz is an outstanding boutique label with nary a duff track or album on their roster, and any other of their CDs would also be worthy additions to your site, I'd reckon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi M.
      Agreed, your quote has been added to the main page.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  2. Hi BB,
    Fine post today. Thanks for sharing the three albums in a unique post!!! They seem quite interesting!!!
    Nu Yorica Roots! is playing right now :-)
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Il Commendatore,
      I hope you are enjoying these Latin sounds.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this one. coming from NY around the time this music was being invented is a trip down memory lane for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jake,
      Music always evokes memories of the past. The music here is emotional and rewarding to the listener.
      Enjoy.
      Cheers.

      Delete
  4. Many thanks BB. Another great comp.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do not see 3 and this is highly dope..

    ReplyDelete