El 30 de septiembre del año 1924, nace Víctor Manuel Avilés Rojas “Vitin Avilés” (1924 - 2004) en Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Destacado sonero de bandas como la “Orquesta de Noro Morales”, “Orquesta La Duboney” de Charlie Palmieri, también estuvo con “La Orquesta de Xavier Cugat”.
La trayectoria artística de Víctor Manuel Avilés Rojas, conocido por todos como Vitín Avilés, abarcó fructíferas pasantías por varias de las más célebres orquestas exponentes de la música afroantillana , colaboraciones discográficas con otras tantas y exitosas etapas como solista. Este admirado cantante fue calificado por los críticos más exigentes como tan buen rumbero como bolerista . Dicho en palabras claras, se trata de un intérprete versátil y de estilo único. A juicio de muchos de sus seguidores, su mayor mérito lo constituyó haber sido seleccionado por Xavier Cugat como vocalista del álbum “Merengue by Cugat !” (CBS, DKC-10454), grabado en 1955, respondiendo a la petición del entonces dictador dominicano Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Tal producción sigue siendo considerada la más exitosa, a nivel mundial, en la historia del merengue.
Irónicamente, el nombre de Vitín Avilés alcanzaría pleno cartel estelar a partir de 1974, luego de más de 30 años de intenso quehacer artístico, durante los cuales intervino destacadamente en cerca de 40 álbumes de música cubana tradicional y salsa, acompañado por bandas y conjuntos estelares. Aquel año grabó el disco de boleros “Canta al amor” (Alegre, SALP-8676) que generó tres exitazos: “Fui más leal” y “¿Por qué ahora?” (de Bobby Capó) y “Temes” (de Tite Curet Alonso). Esta producción es considerada un clásico de la discografía nacional.
Vitín Avilés era un músico intuitivo. Jamás estudió canto ni instrumento alguno. Nació el 30 de septiembre de 1924 en el barrio San Silvestre, Mayagüez. Durante su temprana juventud ejerció el oficio de barbero que aprendió con su progenitor, al tiempo que hacía sus pinitos como aficionado en diversos programas de la radioemisora WPRA en su natal Mayagüez. Por su privilegiada voz, se le anunciaba pomposamente como « Mojiquita », remoquete con que se pretendía compararlo con el aclamado tenor mexicano José Mojica .
En 1943 emprendió su carrera profesional al incorporarse a la Orquesta Hatuey , dirigida por el pianista William Manzano. Con aquella organización, en la que también figuraba Mon Rivera, estuvo cerca de un año. Y, luego de varios meses en Orquesta Anacaona , del pianista cubano Abdías Villalonga, decidió radicarse en San Juan, en 1944.
En la Ciudad Capital encontró rápidamente acomodo en la naciente orquesta del trompetista Miguelito Miranda. Fue acompa?ado por esta banda que, en 1947, grabó un disco por primera vez. Tal placa (78 rpm ) contenía la guaracha “La televisión”, en cuya letra sus autores, los cubanos Tony Fergo y José Carbó Menéndez, anunciaban la llegada a Latinoamérica del que sería considerado “el invento del siglo”. Pocos meses después, nuestro biografiado decidió establecerse definitivamente en Nueva York que, entonces, era una de las plazas más importantes para los músicos hispanos.
En la Gran Urbe agotó una pasantía de doce años (1947-1959) con la famosa orquesta del cubano Pupi Campo, también cantante. No obstante, en el interín colaboró en grabaciones con la Lecuona Cuban Boys , Machito & His Afrocubans , las encabezadas por Enrique Madriguera, Moncho Usera , Tito Puente y Tito Rodríguez, así como con Payo Alicea & Sexteto La Playa, el Cuarteto Marcano y, como apuntamos al principio, con la gran banda de Cugat.
Culminado su ciclo con Pupi Campo, este talentoso puertorriqueño fue reclutado por su compatriota Noro Morales, con cuya orquesta trabajó en muchas ciudades de Estados Unidos y en Puerto Rico. Desde 1959 hasta el fallecimiento de aquel virtuoso pianista, actuó permanentemente en el Hotel La Concha, en San Juan, aunque mantenía su residencia oficial en Nueva York . Posteriormente, fue vocalista oficial de la batuteada por Usera (1964-1965); dirigió su propio combo y grabó como solista para los sellos Seeco y Musicor , así como con Steve Hernández y Su Orquesta Latinoamericana (1970). Durante el período 1971-1975 – además de actuar frecuentemente frente a su grupo – fue habitual en la nómina de la banda de Charlie Palmieri . Con éste se acreditó tres exitazos: las guarachas “La vecina” y “La hija de Lola” (originales de Raúl Marrero ) y el bolero “Dueña de mi corazón”, de Pepé Delgado.
A su álbum mejor vendido, “Canta el amor”, cuya producción dirigieron Tito Puente y Joe Cain , le siguió el titulado “El mensajero del amor” (ASLP-6004), editado por Alegre Records en 1975 y cuya dirección musical se delegó en el argentino Horacio Malvicino . A raíz de aquellos lanzamientos se recrudeció una vieja polémica basada en la similitud de su estilo y de su timbre vocal con los de Tito Rodríguez. ¿Quién imitaba a quién? Tal era la incógnita que muchos admiradores de ambos anhelaban develar. Pero, en realidad, ninguno intentó jamás imitar al otro. Todo era pura coincidencia. Se recuerda que, en 1954, compartieron la grabación de un disco con cuatro canciones en 33 rpm . Y, cuando cada cual hacía solos, hasta a los más fervorosos seguidores de ambos les resultaba difícil diferenciarlos. Por otro lado, tanto Vitín como Tito, amigos desde muy jóvenes, disfrutaban de la controversia que había surgido en torno a ellos y nunca uno acusó al otro de pretender imitarlo, aunque la mayoría de los coleccionistas y conocedores seguirían insistiendo en que la característica de acortar la duración de las notas “dejándolas caer” y entonar semi -hablando las melodías, así como el peculiar timbre vocal que guiara al estrellato a Tito Rodríguez se evidenciaron primero en Vitín Avilés.
Desafortunadamente, la compañía Fania – que había adquirido el catálogo Alegre – no dio seguimiento al impacto de aquellas producciones bolerísticas que hubieran encaminado a este gran cantante hacia la consagración definitiva. Además, en Nueva York , Puerto Rico, Venezuela y otros mercados importantes la radio limitó la difusión de música romántica para dar paso a la balada pop, forzándolo a concentrarse en el ámbito salsero. En 1979 grabó en Caracas el álbum “ Vitín Avilés con la Súper Orquesta Venezuela” ( Velvet , GS-3007), compartiendo las vocalizaciones con Nelson Pinedo y Nelson Alizo , éste último, también pianista, arreglista y director de la referida banda. A partir de los 80 dedicaría la mayor parte de su actividad musical al trabajo de estudio, integrando los coros en grabaciones de otros artistas. Con cierta regularidad se presentaría en salones de baile acompañado por diversos conjuntos.
Vitín Avilés contrajo nupcias con la dama Isabel González en 1983. De su primer matrimonio es fruto Víctor Manuel Jr . (n. en 1944), quien se desempeña como mecánico de la empresa Norelco . Tiene otro hijo, Christopher (n. en 1979), que es adoptivo. Hasta el 2000, había grabado 50 álbumes como cantante de orquestas estelares y en calidad de solista. Sus colaboraciones con otros solistas y agrupaciones salseras integrando los coros sobrepasaron el centenar.
El artista mayagüezano que se conoció en el ambiente como “El Cantante del Amor” falleció el 1ero. de enero de 2004 en un hospital de Manhattan en la ciudad de Nueva York.
Una luz líder de movimiento de la salsa de Nueva York, Héctor Lavoe fue un icono del orgullo boricua.
El 30 de septiembre del año 1946, nace Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez “Héctor Lavoe”, “El Cantante de los Cantantes” (1946 - 1993) en Barrio San Antonio de Ponce, Puerto Rico el 30 Septiembre del año 1946). Emblemático sonero de “La Orquesta de Willy Colon”, “La Fania All Stars” y su propia orquesta. Leyenda e icono de la salsa mundial y auténtica referencia del bravo soneo y la irreverencia salsera.
¡Héctor Lavoe nació para cantar! Mientras evolucionaba la música latina del boogaloo de finales de los años 60 hasta el ápice de la salsa de los años 70, Lavoe estaba en su vanguardia y "El Cantante" de muchas de sus canciones más representativas. Recibió la influencia de los cantantes latinos que escuchaba en la radio, tales como Daniel Santos y Chuito el de Bayamón, sólo por nombrar un par. A medida que llegaba a ser más metido en la música, sacó su inspiración del gran sonero de Puerto Rico, Ismael Rivera, y así como de Cheo Feliciano. Estas influencias son evidentes en la forma de cantar de Lavoe, ya que atacaba el son y el montuno igual que los maestros Ismael Rivera y Beny Moré, por ejemplo, pero fue su talento natural para la improvisación que lo hizo único y muy popular entre los fanáticos de la salsa.
A los 17 años de edad, Lavoe decidió dejar la escuela de música en Ponce y puso su mirada en una carrera como cantante en la ciudad de Nueva York. Para el 1966, se encontró al frente de orquesta de Willie Colón. Juntos, Lavoe y Colón formaron una sociedad que pasaría a abarcar 14 álbumes, casi todos los cuales son gemas en el mundo de la música latina. En 1973, Colón dejó a Lavoe a cargo de su orquesta, de esta manera empujando a Lavoe hacia una carrera en solitario. Sin Colón, los esfuerzos individuales de Lavoe sólo volvieron a confirmar su habilidad para el canto y su ascenso inevitable al estrellato. Las presiones de ser una gran estrella de la salsa eran aparentemente demasiado para Lavoe. Tuvo muchas dificultades tratando de bregar con lo que acompañaba sus éxitos y sufrió muchos percances y una serie de reveses personales a lo largo de su trayectoria musical. Sin embargo, los fanáticos de Lavoe nunca se volvieron en su contra y Lavoe siempre volvió a cantar En 1987, su álbum final, Strikes Back, fue nominado para un Grammy.
Con todos los excesos, la fama, la fortuna y la tragedia, la vida de Lavoe ha pasado a simbolizar la era de la salsa de los años 70. Junto con Colón, Lavoe ayudó a dar forma al sonido de la salsa de los años 70. Como artista en solitario, en gran medida definió este sonido. Como uno de los cantantes principales de la Fania All-Stars, Lavoe fue una estrella entre las estrellas. Es decir, fue "El Cantante de los Cantantes".
El 29 de septiembre del año 1941, nace Ralph Mercado, Jr. “El Papa de los Salseros” (1941 - 2009) en Nueva York de padres Dominicanos. Destacado empresario y productor de la salsa, del jazz latino, del rock en español y del merengue. Dueño del sello RMM Records (Ritmo Mundo Musical), una red de negocios que incluía la promoción de conciertos y la gestión de los artistas y el sello más importante de la industria latina desde finales de la década de los 1980 y a lo largo de la década de los 1990. Sin duda uno de los hombres de mayor injerencia en el mundo de la música latina, responsable del éxito de muchas estrellas.
Mercado comenzó a promover el jazz latino en los clubes de Manhattan, tales como The Village Gate. Estas promociones se ampliaron par incluir conciertos en los principales escenarios con estrellas de la talla de James Brown, quien apareció con presentaciones de artistas latinos como Mongo Santamaría. . En 1972, Se volvió hacia la gestión de los artistas al fundar RMM Management, donde sus clientes incluían a Celia Cruz y a Tito Puente, y Mercado recibió la aclamación como el gerente de salsa más grande de los Estados Unidos para la década de los 1970. Desarrolló nuevos talentos, como La India y Marc Anthony, que presentaron conciertos de salsa en los principales lugares de todo el país, desde el Madison Square Garden hasta el Hollywood Bowl.
Mercado comenzó RMM Records en 1987, y tenía más de 130 artistas de todo el espectro de la música latina, representando el merengue, la salsa, el jazz latino y rock latino. Aprovechó del tamaño en expansión y el poder económico de la población latina de la nación y el interés general en la música salsa. Mercado trajo a grupos internacionales de África, Brasil e incluso de Japón. Logró la fama de ser el promotor más exitoso de la música salsa, y comparable al papel de Berry Gordy en la música R & B. En 1991, la revista Billboard lo describió como "el empresario quien llevó la salsa de Nueva York a todo el mundo".
en 2001, se vendió RMM Records a Universal Music Group por alrededor de 26 millones de dólares, que incluía su catálogo de música latina de un máximo de 400 grabaciones originales. La venta se produjo después de las dificultades financieras agravadas por la pérdida de una demanda por infracción de derechos de autor, en el que el compositor Glenn Monroig ganó $ 7,700,000 de un jurado federal.
Después de la venta de RMM, Ralph Mercado regresó a la promoción de conciertos de salsa. Retuvo el control de tres empresas de edición musical, RMM Filmworks y Ralph Mercado Presents. También poseía, en su totalidad o en parte, los clubes de Manhattan Babalú y Latin Quarter, así como el Conga Room de Los Ángeles.
Mercado falleció de cáncer el 10 de marzo del año 2009, a los 67 años, en la Universidad de Hackensack Medical Center.
El 27 de septiembre del año Eduardo 1948, nace Eduardo Rivera “Eddie Guagua” (1948 - 2014) en Nueva York. Virtuoso bajista de la salsa y el jazz latino. Miembro, entre otras bandas, de “La Orquesta Harlow”, “Batacumbele”, “Orquesta de Charlie Palmieri”.
Eddie Rivera nació de padres puertorriqueños y se crió en Nueva York. Cuando era adolescente en ciernes se unió a la banda de la escuela secundaria donde tocó el trombón y el bombardino. También durante su tiempo libre, formo el Combo Caribe que incluía a muchos músicos jóvenes, pero talentosos, como Ernie Agusto quien más tarde formaría el grupo La Conspiración, Nicky Marrero quien más tarde se unió a Fania All Stars, y Pablito Rosario quien más tarde tocaría con Charlie Palmieri.
Después, Eddie se juntó con Wilie Colón y para aquel entonces ya había hecho su transición para convertirse en bajista. Con la orquesta de Willie Colón, hizo su primera grabación, "El Malo" en 1966. A los 17 años, se unió a la orquesta de Charlie Palmieri y tocando con la orquesta de Palmieri le resultó la mejor enseñanza que podía haber conseguido. Eddie dijo una vez que
Charlie me enseñó a leer, a tocar y a ser un hombre. También es quien me dio el apodo "Gua Gua". Estábamos en las montañas Catskill y como era mi tutor nos dividimos una habitación de hotel. Yo salía de una ducha cuando me vio y me dijo "¡Te pareces a un autobús que sale de la niebla de Londres! ¡Eso es! Eres, "Gua Gua", Eddie la Gua Gua!" y se me pegó.
Se quedó con Palmieri hasta que fue reclutado para las fuerzas armada de EE.UU. en 1968. Era artillero. Un día, mientras se hacía el payaso con su bajo, lo escuchó un reclutador de la banda del ejército. Se le dijo que tendría que hacer una audición en un instrumento de marcha. Llegó a ser miembro de la banda del ejército y el único miembro que había sido reclutado. En vez de ser mandado a Vietnam, realizó una gira por toda Europa tocando para los oficiales. Esto duró dos años.
Cuando volvió a EE.UU., trabajó con Pete Bonet y el fallecido Luis Ramírez en Nueva York. Después trabajó con Ray Barretto y Mongo Santamaría, con quienes recorrió todo el mundo, y aprendió bien el jazz. Luego se quedó en Nueva York por un tiempo mientras tocaba con las orquestas de Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco y Eddie Palmieri.
Decidió probar su suerte con el "rock and roll" y se unió a The Rascals (los del exitazo "Groovin '") y se fue de gira con ellos.
De regreso a Nueva York y en la comunidad latina, tocó en muchas grabaciones del sellos legendario, Fania Records, y luego viajó con Gato Barbieri durante tres años.
En 1980, se mudó a Puerto Rico para formar la banda Batacumbele. Descubrió a Giovanni Hidalgo, Cachate Maldonado y Eric Figueroa. Trabajaron juntos durante cuatro años prósperos.
En 1984, se radicó en Miami y empezó a trabajar localmente con Néstor Torres y Hansel y Raúl. Giovanni Hidalgo lo llamó para grabaciones y para filmar un video instructivo y Larry Halow lo llamó para hacer giras mundiales.
Lamentablemente, durante una cirugía exploratoria Eddie tuvo graves complicaciones. Se le dio sangre contaminada durante transfusiones y tuvieron que ponerlo en terapia intensiva y tuvo que soportar la quimioterapia. Antes de su fallecimiento en el 2014, fue ministro musical del FAITH CHRISTIAN CENTER. .
El 27 de septiembre del año 1945, nace José Fernando Madrid “Joe Madrid” (1945 - 2005) en Cartagena, Colombia. Destacado pianista, arreglista y director musical que trabajó entre otras con “Orquesta de Mongo Santamaria” y “La Orquesta Sabor” de “El Diferente” Ángel Canales.
Lamentablemente, Joe Madrid no contó en vida con un merecido reconocimiento. Fue pionero del sonido contemporáneo, autor de arreglos para la salsa, el jazz y la música tropical, a los que introdujo variantes revolucionarias,
"Siempre quise ser un músico de jazz pero la salsa no me dejaba. En mis solos siempre hay algo de jazz en la salsa".
Dejó un legado de una importante obra jazzística y salsera con las más importante agrupaciones y músicos, tales como Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, Ángel Canales, Lucho Bermúdez, Pacho Galán, Ramón Ropain, Alex Acosta, Nuncira Machado y Benny Bustillo, Willy Chirino, Justo Almario, Francisco Zumaqué, Andy Harlow y Eddie Martínez, entre otros.
Joe se había educado musicalmente en la Banda de la Armada Nacional en Cartagena, Colombia a los 5 años, después de demostrar su destreza con el acordeón. Con su familia radicada en Bogotá se dedicó plenamente al estudio autodidacta del piano y más tarde, con 14 años, entró al Conservatorio de la Universidad Nacional pero salió de él al no llenar sus expectativas para conformar pequeños grupos como “Excéntricos del Twis” y “Los Daro Boys” con quienes hizo varias.
En la década de los 60 viajó a México, Estados Unidos y Bahamas, siempre con su trabajo musical, haciendo grabaciones, composicones y arreglos para el jazz y la salsa. En esa época se casó con la polaca Yadi Kayuncosca.
Ya en la década de los años 70, fue profesor de música en Dallas, Texas y participó como arreglista para orquestas de jazz, como las de Woody Herman y Stan Kenton. Luego en Nueva York, trabajó con Aretha Franklin y James Brown, y se codeó con lo más graneado de la música.
Joe Madrid fue el pianista de la orquesta de Mongo Santamaría en el famoso (por lo fallido) concierto de la Fania All Stars la noche del viernes 24 de agosto de 1973 en el Yankee Stadium de New York, con más de 40 mil fanáticos salseros. En la película “Salsa” que debía tener tomas de la Fania, realmente sale una parte del tema de introducción y “Congo Bongo” y la orquesta de Mongo Santamaría con Joe en el piano y se ve también al “Gran Combo de Puerto Rico” interpretando “Julia” con la voz de Andy Montañez. Así pués que hablar de Joe Madrid, es hablar de la historia misma de la Salsa.
Con Santamaría también grabó los discos "Fuego" y "Ubane", donde aparece su famosa “Cumbia Típica”, con Justo Betancourt. A propósito de esta composición, en la página Oficial de Joe Madrid se reseña:
No aparece en los créditos, pero se habla de los tamboreros invitados, que pudieron ser Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto. Esta cumbia se fue grabando, sin que Joe se fuera dando cuenta, es decír él iba dando las indicaciones en lo que creía que era un ensayo, y les hablaba no a los tamboreros colombianos, sino a los otros percusionistas del ensamble de Mongo (Steve Berrios, Manny Oquendo, Julito Collazo, que quería tocar el guiro, Greg Harman, Héctor Hernández, Hiram Remon, Leo Vachier) para que perfeccionaran el ritmo de cumbia. Todo, incluso lo que Joe creyó un ensayo se grabó, al final en la mezcla se ubicaron, la melodía de la flauta, el bajo, el brass, y lo último que se hizo fue meter las voces.
La "Cumbia Típica" figuró durante 4 semanas en el Nº 1 del Hit Parade de la ciudad de Nueva york.”. Joe une así la cumbia colombiana con el jazz.
En un programa de televisión que se presentaba en Colombia en los años 80 llamado “Espectaculares JES”, de Julio E. Sánchez Vanegas, Joe Madrid se presentó con la orquesta de Tito Puente compartiendo un espectacular solo de piano al que Tito Puente respondía emocionado con su timbal. También se presentó en ese mismo escenario con Mongo Santamaría.
Antes, en 1972, había grabado con la orquesta de Andy Harlow, junto a grandes estrellas de la salsa como Leopoldo Pineda, Lewis Khan, Ismael Miranda, Pete Conde y Nicky Marrero uno de los grandes éxitos de todos los tiempos: “Lotería” que obtuvo Disco de Oro en ese año. Un año más tarde compartió escenario con otro colombiano en la Orquesta de Mongo Santamaría, el saxofonista Justo Almario, grabando el álbum “Fuego” donde se destaca como intérprete de los sólos de piano en los temas “Bésame”, “Primavera”, y “No pises mis lágrimas”.
Esta época dorada de los 70 es para Joe un ir y venir, y es así como en 1974 vuelve a grabar con Andy Harlow el álbum “Música brava” para luego hacer arreglos junto al tercer colombiano de ésta historia: Eddie Martínez en el álbum “Sabor” de Angel Canales y su Grupo Sabor. En dicha compilación se luce en uno de sus mejores sólos en “Sol de mi vida” que fuera un importante éxito salsero en Cali , Colombia. En este disco están, además, “Sabor Los rumberos Nuevos”, “La hiedra” “Perico Macoña”, “Hace tiempo” , ”Lejos de ti” , “No te acostumbré” y “El cantante y la Orquesta”, donde Joe interpreta el piano. Canales había cantado varios temas en la década de los 60 acompañado por el pianista Marcolino Dimond.
En 1975 se encontró con el argentino Jorge Dalto y el colombiano Justo Almario en la grabación de “El campesino” donde se compenetró con arreglos para cuatro canciones, tocó el piano y dirigió el bolero " Para Usted " en el que Dalto hace el piano. Ese mismo año trabaja para “Barreto”, otro histórico larga duración de la salsa. Joe colaboró en este trabajo con el arreglo para el "Canto Abacua", donde el vocalista es Rubén Blades. Otros temas del LP son "Guararé", "Vine pa´echar candela", "Eso es amar", "Ban ban quere", "Vale mas un guaguancó"," Testigo fui " y "El presupuesto". En el disco larga duración canta Tito Gómez, quién también fuera voz líder de la Sonora Ponceña, La Terrífica y el Grupo Niche de Colombia.
Estos vertiginosos años en New York consolidaron en Madrid un estilo fuerte que le da mucha fuerza al brass. Condición que se denota en diferentes producciones hechas en Colombia entre los años 1976 y 1983, en esta época trabajó con músicos colombianos como Henry Castro, Eduardo Maya , Roberto Pla y Willie Salcedo entre otros. Con el cantante barranquillero Jairo Licazale grabó, para el sello Polydor, piezas que conservan su vigencia en los arreglos, donde se fusionan el folclor del caribe colombiano y el jazz. Alternó su trabajo disquero con los programas de concurso de la televisión colombiana “Compre la Orquesta” y “Caiga en la nota”. Fue profesor de los jóvenes Gilberto Tico Arnedo, flautista y saxofonista; y Saúl Suárez, bajista.
En los años 80 trabajó Cartagena, y grabó por esa época el LP “Amigos”, con el flautista puertorriqueño Néstor Torres. Madrid acompañó a Dizzy Guillespie en su presentación en el Teatro Colón de Bogotá; y grabó a cuatro manos con Edie Palmieri el tema “Colombia te canto”, según relata Cristóbal, hermano de Joe. Después pasa a trabajar un largo periodo en bares y clubes de Cartagena , Barranquilla y Bogotá.
Otro hecho importante es el arreglo para Ray Coniff, de los temas “La Mucura” y “Josefa Matía”.
A finales de los 90, Joe sigue en su labor pedagógica y actúa en diferentes sitios nocturnos con un trío o un cuarteto. Para esta época sus compañeros fueron el baterista Germán Chavarriaga, el bajista Saúl Suárez y el saxofonista y flautista Gilberto Tico Arnedo.
En 2001 recibió un homenaje en la quinta versión del Barranquijazz, donde hizo una presentación con su cuarteto, interrumpida por una fuerte afección respiratoria que le impidió terminar el concierto de cierre del festival.
En los últimos años realizó cerca de 1.500 presentaciones con su trío.
Joe Madrid es resaltado por escritores del jazz y de la salsa como José Arteaga en su libro "Oye cómo va, una historia del jazz latino"; por Isabel Leymarie en su libro "Jazz Latino"; por Fabio Betancourt en el libro "Sin clave y bongó no hay son"; por César Miguel Rondón en "El libro de la salsa", y por la Fundación Cultural Nueva Música en el libro "El jazz latino y su trayectoria histórica".
Su ultima presentación fue el viernes 11 de noviembre de 2005 en el Café Gaitán en Bogotá.
En la madrugada del 25 de diciembre murió víctima de un enfisema pulmonar. Fue sepultado el mismo día en los Jardines del Recuerdo en Bogotá.
"Cuando llegué a Colombia y me di cuenta que no se escuchaba la música salsa, dije ´aquí me quedo`. La música salsa para mi fue algo fabuloso, me permitió conocer grandes personajes musicales en los Estados Unidos y tocar con mucha gente, pero mi corazón, mi meta, estaban en el jazz. Siempre quise ser un músico de jazz y la salsa no me dejaba. En mis solos siempre hay algo de jazz en la salsa. Mis músicos favoritos, mis padres musicales son Oscar Peterson, George Shearing y Bill Evans"
El 27 de septiembre del año 1935, nace Joe Quijano Esterás en Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico. Excelso percusionista y director de su propia orquesta. Se inicia siendo un adolescente con “Banana Kelly´s Mambo” para luego formar su prestigiosa orquesta.
Quijano, el líder versátil de orquestas latinas, vocalista, percusionista y compositor tenía siete años de edad cuando su familia se estableció en el Bronx, Nueva York. En 1950, mientras que en la escuela cantaba y tocaba las maracas con un grupo de adolescentes organizado por quienes llegarían a ser artistas de renombre, el timbalero Orlando Marín, y el pianista Eddie Palmieri. Más tarde, se añadieron tres trompetas y la banda se convirtió en el Conjunto de Orlando Marín. Marín asumió el liderazgo después de la salida de Palmieri al grupo de Johnny Seguí. Desde aquí, hay conflictos sobre la historia de la siguiente etapa de la banda. Quijano afirma que heredó el equipo cuando Marín fue reclutado por el Ejército de los EE.UU., mientras que Marín sostiene que Joe se fue y fue reemplazado por otro vocalista antes de su período militar.
En 1956, Quijano viajó a Cuba, donde vio y conoció a muchos de sus ídolos. Más tarde recordaría:
También oí un sonido diferente - el Grupo de Senén Suárez, que comprendía una trompeta y una flauta, como una forma libre... Regresé con una idea para un nuevo sonido para la banda. Trabajé con mi amigo, Charlie Palmieri, y le pregunté si podía hacer arreglos musicales utilizando una combinación de dos trompetas, flauta, y una sección rítmica que tocaría algo como una charanga con los cantantes al unísono. Charlie argumentó que ya que los dos instrumentos se afinan de modos diferentes, habría un choque, pero insistí, y también persistió Charlie, y unos meses más tarde, se le ocurrió la versión instrumental de 'Amor'. Fue entonces cuando nació el sonido del Conjunto Cachana.
Había nombrado su banda 'Cachana' por el apodo de su abuelo Les convenció a sus empleadores, distribuidores de discos al por mayor, que financiaran la grabación de un tema con el pianista Héctor Rivera. El éxito del tema le consiguió un contrato discográfico con Spanoramic Records. Dos temas del Conjunto Cachana bajo este sello, A Cataño y Volvi A Catana, fueron grandes éxitos en América Latina.
En 1960, Quijano logró obtener un contrato con Columbia Records e hizo tres álbumes con el sello entre 1961 y 1963. La letra de la canción principal del primero, La Pachanga Se Baila Asi, co escrito por Quijano y Charlie Palmieri, se dedicó a acabar con la confusión entre los bailadores con los términos 'pachanga' y 'charanga'. En efecto, según Quijano:
Hay un gran debate en las comunidades latinas que si todo el mundo está bailando la pachanga. Se habla de que una charanga es la orquesta que la toca, pero que todo el mundo está bailando la pachanga, que es el baile del momento.
Los vocalistas principales de Quijano en este momento fueron Paquito Guzmán y Willie Torres. Más tarde, Guzmán se unió a la orquesta de Tommy Olivencia en Puerto Rico, donde también grabó con los Puerto Rico All Stars y ahora trabaja como artista en solitario.
En 1965, Quijano participó en el segundo álbum de descargas de la Alegre All-Stars. También fundó su propio sello, Cesta Records. Dos publicaciones notables con el sello fueron Cesta All-Stars Descarga Workouts Live Jam Session y Salsa Festival, las dos dirigidas por Charlie Palmieri y con Cheo Feliciano, Kako, Louie Ramírez, Willie Rosario, Orlando Marín, y otros.
Quijano también tuvo la distinción de ser el primer artista en grabar una composición del gran compositor puertorriqueño Tite Curet Alonso. La canción se titula "Efectivamente", y fue grabada de nuevo por Quijano en el álbum Cositas Sueltas, en 1980.
El 26 de septiembre del año nace Ray Rodríguez en Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Excelso saxofonista, flautista, líder y director de “Swing Sabroso”.
Ray Rodrígueznació en Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, el lugar de nacimiento de Rafael Hernández, principal compositor de Puerto Rico, y se crió en la ciudad de Nueva York, en Spanish Harlem, tierra natal de Tito Puente, Ray Barretto y muchos otros iconos de la salsa
A temprana edad, comenzó su carrera musical y se fue a estudiar en el famoso Conservatorio de Música de Brooklyn, donde se especializó en teoría de la música, contrapunto, armonía y arreglos. Posteriormente, siguió estudiando en Bronx Community College y con instructores privados.
Ray también vivió en Brooklyn Nueva York y desde el 1980 hasta el 1988 era líder de "La Herencia Latina", una orquesta de 13 músicos radicada en Brooklyn que grabó para RCA International con mucho éxito.
Ray ha tocado y grabado como acompañante con muchas orquestas de Nueva York y Nueva Jersey, pero se siente más cómodo como el líder de su propia orquesta que ha sido por la mayoría de su carrera musical.
El 26 de septiembre del año 1934, nace Frank Hernández “El Pavo Frank” (1934 - 2009) en Villa de Cura, Venezuela. Legendario y decano percusionista venezolano de extraordinaria participación en múltiples bandas como “Orquesta Habana Cuban Boys”, “La Orquesta de Pedro José Belisario”, “La Orquesta del Maestro Luis Alfonso Larrain”, “Orquesta de Tito Puente”, “Orquesta de Jose Fajardo”,“Orquesta de Pérez Prado”. Auténtico ícono de la salsa y el jazz latino.
A los 12 año, El Pavo se mudó a Caracas y al poco tiempo empezó a estudiar batería con Germán Suárez. A los 15 debuta en la orquesta de Manuel Ramos y, por su corta edad, sus compañeros le bautizaron con el nombre que lo identificaría profesionalmente: "El Pavo Frank".
En 1953 integró la orquesta del afamado músico y director venezolano, Aldemaro Romero. También trabajó con los maestros Jesús "Chucho" Sanoja, Luis Alfonso Larrain, Ha alternado con Tito Puente, "El Rey del Timbal"; Dámaso Pérez Prado "El Rey del Mambo"; Mongo Santamaría, Machito, Dizzie Gillespie y Chick Corea, entre otras grandes celebridades.
Es uno de los grandes percusionistas de Venezuela y ha contribuido enormemente con la salsa, el jazz y el jazz latino como géneros musicales. En Venezuela ha sido reconocido con importantes premios en reconocimiento a su dilatada y excelente carrera musical.
Master of vocal improvisation whose ability to stretch and strain his voice made him an '80s pop icon.
On September 24, 1988, Bobby McFerrin started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Don't Worry Be Happy', the first a-cappella record to be a No.1. It made No.2 in the UK. ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy, was also included in the movie, Cocktail. The song would go on to win Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin ranks among the most distinctive and original singers in contemporary music -- equally adept in jazz, pop, and classical settings, his octave-jumping trademark style, with its rhythmic inhalations and stop-on-a-dime shifts from falsetto to deep bass notes often sounds like the work of at least two or three singers at once, while at the same time sounding quite unlike anyone else. The son of husband-and-wife classical singers, McFerrin was born in New York City on March 11, 1950, later studying piano at California State College at Sacramento and Cerritos College. After touring behind the Ice Follies, he performed with a series of cover bands, cabaret acts, and dance troupes before making his vocal debut in 1977. While living in New Orleans, he sang with the group Astral Projection before relocating to San Francisco. There he met legendary comedian Bill Cosby, who arranged for McFerrin to appear at the 1980 Playboy Jazz Festival.
A performance at the 1981 Kool Jazz Festival led to a contract with Elektra, and the following year, McFerrin issued his self-titled debut LP. With 1984's The Voice, he made jazz history, recording the first-ever solo vocal album (sans accompaniment or overdubbing) to be released on a major label. His Blue Note debut, Spontaneous Inventions, followed in 1985 and featured contributions from Herbie Hancock, the Manhattan Transfer (on the Grammy-winning "Another Night in Tunisia"), and comic Robin Williams; McFerrin also earned mainstream exposure through his unique performance of the theme song to the television hit The Cosby Show, as well as a number of commercial spots. With 1988's Simple Pleasures, he scored a chart-topping pop smash with "Don't Worry, Be Happy"; around that time, he also formed the ten-member a cappella group Voicestra, featured on 1990's Medicine Music.
With 1992's Hush, McFerrin shifted gears to team with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the record remained on the Billboard Classical Crossover charts for over two years. The jazz release Play, a collaboration with pianist Chick Corea, appeared in 1992 as well. McFerrin returned to classical territory in 1995 with Paper Music, a collection of interpretations of works by Mozart, Bach, and Tchaikovsky recorded with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, (which he joined as Creative Chair a year prior). For 1996's Bang! Zoom he teamed with members of the Yellowjackets; a second collaboration with Corea, The Mozart Sessions, appeared later that same year. With 1997's Circlesongs, McFerrin returned to his roots, recording an entire album of improvised vocal performances. He then recorded a collaborative album of classical and jazz standards for Sony Music Special Products in 2001. It teamed him with such esteemed musicians as Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A year later, Blue Note released his Beyond Words album, McFerrin's first work for the label in nearly a decade. It featured a band comprised of Chick Corea, Richard Bona, Omar Hakim, Cyro Baptista, and Gil Goldstein. Supported by a choir, McFerrin released VOCAbuLarieS in 2010. spirityouall, released in the spring of 2013, was a tribute to McFerrin's father, Robert McFerrin, whose 1957 album Deep River brought black spirituals into the world of high art.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
The supreme jazz icon of the late 20th century, whose transition from devoted traditionalist to radical innovator made him the preeminent stylist in jazz.
On September 23, 1926, was born John Coltrane (1926 - 1967); supreme jazz icon of the late 20 century.
Despite a relatively brief career (he first came to notice as a sideman at age 29 in 1955, formally launched a solo career at 33 in 1960, and was dead at 40 in 1967), saxophonist John Coltrane was among the most important, and most controversial, figures in jazz. It seems amazing that his period of greatest activity was so short, not only because he recorded prolifically, but also because, taking advantage of his fame, the record companies that recorded him as a sideman in the 1950s frequently reissued those recordings under his name and there has been a wealth of posthumously released material as well. Since Coltrane was a protean player who changed his style radically over the course of his career, this has made for much confusion in his discography and in appreciations of his playing. There remains a critical divide between the adherents of his earlier, more conventional (if still highly imaginative) work and his later, more experimental work. No one, however, questions Coltrane's almost religious commitment to jazz or doubts his significance in the history of the music.
Coltrane was the son of John R. Coltrane, a tailor and amateur musician, and Alice (Blair) Coltrane. Two months after his birth, his maternal grandfather, the Reverend William Blair, was promoted to presiding elder in the A.M.E. Zion Church and moved his family, including his infant grandson, to High Point, NC, where Coltrane grew up. Shortly after he graduated from grammar school in 1939, his father, his grandparents, and his uncle died, leaving him to be raised in a family consisting of his mother, his aunt, and his cousin. His mother worked as a domestic to support the family. The same year, he joined a community band in which he played clarinet and E flat alto horn; he took up the alto saxophone in his high school band. During World War II, his mother, aunt, and cousin moved north to New Jersey to seek work, leaving him with family friends; in 1943, when he graduated from high school, he too headed north, settling in Philadelphia. Eventually, the family was reunited there.
While taking jobs outside music, Coltrane briefly attended the Ornstein School of Music and studied at Granoff Studios. He also began playing in local clubs. In 1945, he was drafted into the navy and stationed in Hawaii. He never saw combat, but he continued to play music and, in fact, made his first recording with a quartet of other sailors on July 13, 1946. A performance of Tadd Dameron's "Hot House," it was released in 1993 on the Rhino Records anthology The Last Giant. Coltrane was discharged in the summer of 1946 and returned to Philadelphia. That fall, he began playing in the Joe Webb Band. In early 1947, he switched to the King Kolax Band. During the year, he switched from alto to tenor saxophone. One account claims that this was as the result of encountering alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and feeling the better-known musician had exhausted the possibilities on the instrument; another says that the switch occurred simply because Coltrane next joined a band led by Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, who was an alto player, forcing Coltrane to play tenor. He moved on to Jimmy Heath's band in mid-1948, staying with the band, which evolved into the Howard McGhee All Stars until early 1949, when he returned to Philadelphia. That fall, he joined a big band led by Dizzy Gillespie, remaining until the spring of 1951, by which time the band had been trimmed to a septet. On March 1, 1951, he took his first solo on record during a performance of "We Love to Boogie" with Gillespie.
At some point during this period, Coltrane became a heroin addict, which made him more difficult to employ. He played with various bands, mostly around Philadelphia, during the early '50s, his next important job coming in the spring of 1954, when Johnny Hodges, temporarily out of the Duke Ellington band, hired him. But he was fired because of his addiction in September 1954. He returned to Philadelphia, where he was playing, when he was hired by Miles Davis a year later. His association with Davis was the big break that finally established him as an important jazz musician. Davis, a former drug addict himself, had kicked his habit and gained recognition at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1955, resulting in a contract with Columbia Records and the opportunity to organize a permanent band, which, in addition to him and Coltrane, consisted of pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer "Philly" Joe Jones. This unit immediately began to record extensively, not only because of the Columbia contract, but also because Davis had signed with the major label before fulfilling a deal with jazz independent Prestige Records that still had five albums to run. The trumpeter's Columbia debut, 'Round About Midnight, which he immediately commenced recording, did not appear until March 1957. The first fruits of his association with Coltrane came in April 1956 with the release of The New Miles Davis Quintet (aka Miles), recorded for Prestige on November 16, 1955. During 1956, in addition to his recordings for Columbia, Davis held two marathon sessions for Prestige to fulfill his obligation to the label, which released the material over a period of time under the titles Cookin' (1957), Relaxin' (1957), Workin' (1958), and Steamin' (1961).
Coltrane's association with Davis inaugurated a period when he began to frequently record as a sideman. Davis may have been trying to end his association Prestige, but Coltrane began appearing on many of the label's sessions. After he became better known in the 1960s, Prestige and other labels began to repackage this work under his name, as if he had been the leader, a process that has continued to the present day. (Prestige was acquired by Fantasy Records in 1972, and many of the recordings in which Coltrane participated have been reissued on Fantasy's Original Jazz Classics [OJC] imprint.)
Coltrane tried and failed to kick heroin in the summer of 1956, and in October, Davis fired him, though the trumpeter had relented and taken him back by the end of November. Early in 1957, Coltrane formally signed with Prestige as a solo artist, though he remained in the Davis band and also continued to record as a sideman for other labels. In April, Davis fired him again. This may have given him the impetus finally to kick his drug habit, and freed of the necessity of playing gigs with Davis, he began to record even more frequently. On May 31, 1957, he finally made his recording debut as a leader, putting together a pickup band consisting of trumpeter Johnny Splawn, baritone saxophonist Sahib Shihab, pianists Mal Waldron and Red Garland (on different tracks), bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Al "Tootie" Heath. They cut an album Prestige titled simply Coltrane upon release in September 1957. (It has since been reissued under the title First Trane.)
In June 1957, Coltrane joined the Thelonious Monk Quartet, consisting of Monk on piano, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Shadow Wilson on drums. During this period, he developed a technique of playing several notes at once, and his solos began to go on longer. In August, he recorded material belatedly released on the Prestige albums Lush Life (1960) and The Last Trane (1965), as well as the material for John Coltrane With the Red Garland Trio, released later in the year. (It was later reissued under the title Traneing In.) But Coltrane's second album to be recorded and released contemporaneously under his name alone was cut in September for Blue Note Records. This was Blue Train, featuring trumpeter Lee Morgan, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Kenny Drew, and the Miles Davis rhythm section of Chambers and "Philly" Joe Jones; it was released in December 1957. That month, Coltrane rejoined Davis, playing in what was now a sextet that also featured Cannonball Adderley. In January 1958, he led a recording session for Prestige that produced tracks later released on Lush Life, The Last Trane, and The Believer (1964). In February and March, he recorded Davis' album Milestones..., released later in 1958. In between the sessions, he cut his third album to be released under his name alone, Soultrane, issued in September by Prestige. Also in March 1958, he cut tracks as a leader that would be released later on the Prestige collection Settin' the Pace (1961). In May, he again recorded for Prestige as a leader, though the results would not be heard until the release of Black Pearls in 1964.
Coltrane appeared as part of the Miles Davis group at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1958. The band's set was recorded and released in 1964 on an LP also featuring a performance by Thelonious Monk as Miles & Monk at Newport. In 1988, Columbia reissued the material on an album called Miles & Coltrane. The performance inspired a review in Down Beat, the leading jazz magazine, that was an early indication of the differing opinions on Coltrane that would be expressed throughout the rest of his career and long after his death. The review referred to his "angry tenor," which, it said, hampered the solidarity of the Davis band. The review led directly to an article published in the magazine on October 16, 1958, in which critic Ira Gitler defended the saxophonist and coined the much-repeated phrase "sheets of sound" to describe his playing.
Coltrane's next Prestige session as a leader occurred later in July 1958 and resulted in tracks later released on the albums Standard Coltrane (1962), Stardust (1963), and Bahia (1965). All of these tracks were later compiled on a reissue called The Stardust Session. He did a final session for Prestige in December 1958, recording tracks later released on The Believer, Stardust, and Bahia. This completed his commitment to the label, and he signed to Atlantic Records, doing his first recording for his new employers on January 15, 1959, with a session on which he was co-billed with vibes player Milt Jackson, though it did not appear until 1961 with the LP Bags and Trane. In March and April 1959, Coltrane participated with the Davis group on the album Kind of Blue. Released on August 17, 1959, this landmark album known for its "modal" playing (improvisations based on scales or "modes," rather than chords) became one of the best-selling and most-acclaimed recordings in the history of jazz.
By the end of 1959, Coltrane had recorded what would be his Atlantic Records debut, Giant Steps, released in early 1960. The album, consisting entirely of Coltrane compositions, in a sense marked his real debut as a leading jazz performer, even though the 33-year-old musician had released three previous solo albums and made numerous other recordings. His next Atlantic album, Coltrane Jazz, was mostly recorded in November and December 1959 and released in February 1961. In April 1960, he finally left the Davis band and formally launched his solo career, beginning an engagement at the Jazz Gallery in New York, accompanied by pianist Steve Kuhn (soon replaced by McCoy Tyner), bassist Steve Davis, and drummer Pete La Roca (later replaced by Billy Higgins and then Elvin Jones). During this period, he increasingly played soprano saxophone as well as tenor.
In October 1960, Coltrane recorded a series of sessions for Atlantic that would produce material for several albums, including a final track used on Coltrane Jazz and tunes used on My Favorite Things (March 1961), Coltrane Plays the Blues (July 1962), and Coltrane's Sound (June 1964). His soprano version of "My Favorite Things," from the Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II musical The Sound of Music, would become a signature song for him. During the winter of 1960-1961, bassist Reggie Workman replaced Steve Davis in his band and saxophone and flute player Eric Dolphy, gradually became a member of the group.
In the wake of the commercial success of "My Favorite Things," Coltrane's star rose, and he was signed away from Atlantic as the flagship artist of the newly formed Impulse! Records label, an imprint of ABC-Paramount, though in May he cut a final album for Atlantic, Olé (February 1962). The following month, he completed his Impulse! debut, Africa/Brass. By this time, his playing was frequently in a style alternately dubbed "avant-garde," "free," or "The New Thing." Like Ornette Coleman, he played seemingly formless, extended solos that some listeners found tremendously impressive, and others decried as noise. In November 1961, John Tynan, writing in Down Beat, referred to Coltrane's playing as "anti-jazz." That month, however, Coltrane recorded one of his most celebrated albums, Live at the Village Vanguard, an LP paced by the 16-minute improvisation "Chasin' the Trane."
Between April and June 1962, Coltrane cut his next Impulse! studio album, another release called simply Coltrane when it appeared later in the year. Working with producer Bob Thiele, he began to do extensive studio sessions, far more than Impulse! could profitably release at the time, especially with Prestige and Atlantic still putting out their own archival albums. But the material would serve the label well after the saxophonist's untimely death. Thiele acknowledged that Coltrane's next three Impulse! albums to be released, Ballads, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, and John Coltrane with Johnny Hartman (all 1963), were recorded at his behest to quiet the critics of Coltrane's more extreme playing. Impressions (1963), drawn from live and studio recordings made in 1962 and 1963, was a more representative effort, as was 1964's Live at Birdland, also a combination of live and studio tracks, despite its title. But Crescent, also released in 1964, seemed to find a middle ground between traditional and free playing, and was welcomed by critics. This trend was continued with 1965's A Love Supreme, one of Coltrane's best-loved albums, which earned him two Grammy nominations, for jazz composition and performance, and became his biggest-selling record. Also during the year, Impulse! released the standards collection The John Coltrane Quartet Plays... and another album of "free" playing, Ascension, as well as New Thing at Newport, a live album consisting of one side by Coltrane and the other by Archie Shepp.
1966 saw the release of the albums Kulu Se Mama and Meditations, Coltrane's last recordings to appear during his lifetime, though he had finished and approved release for his next album, Expression, the Friday before his death in July 1967. He died suddenly of liver cancer, entering the hospital on a Sunday and expiring in the early morning hours of the next day. He had left behind a considerable body of unreleased work that came out in subsequent years, including "Live" at the Village Vanguard Again! (1967), Om (1967), Cosmic Music (1968), Selflessness (1969), Transition (1969), Sun Ship (1971), Africa/Brass, Vol. 2 (1974), Interstellar Space (1974), and First Meditations (For Quartet) (1977), all on Impulse! Compilations and releases of archival live recordings brought him a series of Grammy nominations, including Best Jazz Performance for the Atlantic album The Coltrane Legacy in 1970; Best Jazz Performance, Group, and Best Jazz Performance, Soloist, for "Giant Steps" from the Atlantic album Alternate Takes in 1974; and Best Jazz Performance, Group, and Best Jazz Performance, Soloist, for Afro Blue Impressions in 1977. He won the 1981 Grammy for Best Jazz Performance, Soloist, for Bye Bye Blackbird, an album of recordings made live in Europe in 1962, and he was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, 25 years after his death.
John Coltrane is sometimes described as one of jazz's most influential musicians, but one is hard put to find followers who actually play in his style. Rather, he is influential by example, inspiring musicians to experiment, take chances, and devote themselves to their craft. The controversy about his work has never died down, but partially as a result, his name lives on and his recordings continue to remain available and to be reissued frequently.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
A brilliant, towering musical figure who through his singing and piano playing helped invent soul and R&B music.
On September 23, 1930, was born Ray Charles (1930 - 2004); singer and pianist.
Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He was also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader. The brilliance of his 1950s and '60s work, however, can't obscure the fact that he made few classic tracks after the mid-'60s, though he recorded often and performed until the year before his death.
Blind since the age of six (from glaucoma), Charles studied composition and learned many instruments at the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind. His parents had died by his early teens, and he worked as a musician in Florida for a while before using his savings to move to Seattle in 1947. By the late '40s, he was recording in a smooth pop/R&B style derivative of Nat "King" Cole and Charles Brown. He got his first Top Ten R&B hit with "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand" in 1951. Charles' first recordings came in for their fair share of criticism, as they were much milder and less original than the classics that would follow, although they're actually fairly enjoyable, showing strong hints of the skills that were to flower in a few years.
In the early '50s, Charles' sound started to toughen as he toured with Lowell Fulson, went to New Orleans to work with Guitar Slim (playing piano on and arranging Slim's huge R&B hit, "The Things That I Used to Do"), and got a band together for R&B star Ruth Brown. It was at Atlantic Records that Ray Charles truly found his voice, consolidating the gains of recent years and then some with "I Got a Woman," a number-two R&B hit in 1955. This is the song most frequently singled out as his pivotal performance, on which Charles first truly let go with his unmistakable gospel-ish moan, backed by a tight, bouncy horn-driven arrangement.
Throughout the '50s, Charles ran off a series of R&B hits that, although they weren't called "soul" at the time, did a lot to pave the way for soul by presenting a form of R&B that was sophisticated without sacrificing any emotional grit. "This Little Girl of Mine," "Drown in My Own Tears," "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "Lonely Avenue," and "The Right Time" were all big hits. But Charles didn't really capture the pop audience until "What'd I Say," which caught the fervor of the church with its pleading vocals, as well as the spirit of rock & roll with its classic electric piano line. It was his first Top Ten pop hit, and one of his final Atlantic singles, as he left the label at the end of the '50s for ABC.
One of the chief attractions of the ABC deal for Charles was a much greater degree of artistic control of his recordings. He put it to good use on early-'60s hits like "Unchain My Heart" and "Hit the Road Jack," which solidified his pop stardom with only a modicum of polish attached to the R&B he had perfected at Atlantic. In 1962, he surprised the pop world by turning his attention to country & western music, topping the charts with the "I Can't Stop Loving You" single, and making a hugely popular album (in an era in which R&B/soul LPs rarely scored high on the charts) with Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Perhaps it shouldn't have been so surprising; Charles had always been eclectic, recording quite a bit of straight jazz at Atlantic, with noted jazz musicians like David "Fathead" Newman and Milt Jackson.
Charles remained extremely popular through the mid-'60s, scoring big hits like "Busted," "You Are My Sunshine," "Take These Chains From My Heart," and "Crying Time," although his momentum was slowed by a 1965 bust for heroin. This led to a year-long absence from performing, but he picked up where he left off with "Let's Go Get Stoned" in 1966. Yet by this time Charles was focusing increasingly less on rock and soul, in favor of pop tunes, often with string arrangements, that seemed aimed more at the easy listening audience than anyone else. Charles' influence on the rock mainstream was as apparent as ever; Joe Cocker and Steve Winwood in particular owe a great deal of their style to him, and echoes of his phrasing can be heard more subtly in the work of greats like Van Morrison.
One approaches sweeping criticism of Charles with hesitation; he was an American institution, after all, and his vocal powers barely diminished over his half-century career. The fact remains, though, that his work after the late '60s on record was very disappointing. Millions of listeners yearned for a return to the all-out soul of his 1955-1965 classics, but Charles had actually never been committed to soul above all else. Like Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley, his focus was more upon all-around pop than many realize; his love of jazz, country, and pop standards was evident, even if his more earthy offerings were the ones that truly broke ground and will stand the test of time. He dented the charts (sometimes the country ones) occasionally, and commanded devoted international concert audiences whenever he felt like it. For good or ill, he ensured his imprint upon the American mass consciousness in the 1990s by singing several ads for Diet Pepsi. He also recorded three albums during the '90s for Warner Bros., but remained most popular as a concert draw. In 2002, he released Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again on his own Crossover imprint, and the following year began recording an album of duets featuring B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, and James Taylor. After hip replacement surgery in 2003, he scheduled a tour for the following summer, but was forced to cancel an appearance in March 2004. Three months later, on June 10, 2004, Ray Charles succumbed to liver disease at his home in Beverly Hills, CA. The duets album, Genius Loves Company, was released two months after his death. The biopic Ray hit screens in the fall of 2010 and was a critical and commercial success, with the actor who portrayed Charles in the move, Jamie Foxx, winning the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role. Two more posthumous albums, Genius & Friends and Ray Sings, Basie Swings, appeared in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Charles' recordings began reappearing in various facsimile editions, reissues, re-masters, and box sets as his entire recorded legacy received the attention that befits a legendary American artist.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
R&B vocal group formed in 1964 had its greatest success with 1980s dance hits like "Rock Steady".
On September 23, 1943, were born twin brothers, Walter and Wallace Scott; anchors for the r&b vocal group, the Whispers.
On April 5, 1944 was born Nicholas Caldwell of the Whispers.
After almost 30 years together, twin vocalists Walter and Wallace Scott finally went on their own. They had been the anchors for the Whispers since 1964, and their 1993 self-titled debut wasn't far from their Whispers selections. It accented the same cool, stylish, sentimental ballads and lyrical fare that made their many hits successful.
The Whispers are a veteran R&B quintet with an impressive 23-year legacy of R&B hits. Formed in Los Angeles by twins Walter and Wallace Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson, and Gordy Harmon (who left in 1973), The Whispers turned up on the Dore label in 1964 with "I Was Born When You Kissed Me." In 1969, the quintet climbed the soul charts for the first time with "The Time Has Come" on Soul Clock, and they cracked the R&B Top Ten the next year with "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong." They've remained hitmakers ever since for the labels Janus, Soul Train, and Solar, with smashes like the solid gold chart-topper "And the Beat Goes On" in 1980 and another number one urban contemporary hit, "Rock Steady," in 1987. After being their backbone and selling point since the group's inception, twin lead vocalists Walter and Wallace Scott took time out for solo careers in 1993, but remain with the Whispers.
Formed in LA in the early 60s, the Whispers have certainly taken a "slow and steady" career course in which they have quietly become one of the most successful modern soul groups. Consisting of twin brothers Walter and Wallace (Scotty) Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson and Leaveil Degree (who replaced departing member Gordy Harmon in 1973), the Whispers first recorded for local LA label Dore Records, hitting the pop and R&B charts with "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong" in 1970. They continued to be a mid level charting act throughout the 70s on the Don Cornelius/Dick Griffey "Soul Train" label but gained momentum toward the end of the decade when Griffey, who was their manager, created his own SOLAR label and worked with the group on their SOLAR debut album Headlights, which scored a moderate with with "Olivia."
After so many years, the Whispers seemed destined to remain a a middling act that would never achieve real large scale international attention. Then in 1980, Griffey teamed them with upcoming writer/producer Leon Sylvers, and the result was "And the Beat Goes On," one of the most infectious songs of the disco era and the single that thrust the Whispers to the top tier of soul artists. "And the Beat Goes On" was included on the excellent Whispers album along with two other instant classics, the Caldwell-penned ballad "Lady" and "A Song For Donny," a touching tribute to Donny Hathaway sung to the tune of Hathaway's "This Christmas" (with lyrics by Whispers labelmate Carrie Lucas).
The 80s brought a string of monster soul chart success for the Whispers, with additional hits "It's A Love Thing," "Keep On Lovin Me" and "Tonight," though crossover success was more limited. The group appeared to lose steam in the second half of the decade, but a hot dance tune written by then-unknown Deele member Babyface brought the Whispers back, as the excellent "Rock Steady" shot to the top of Pop, Soul and Dance charts. The group left Solar for Capitol in 1990 and continued to record soul hits through the mid-90s, garnering success with "Innocent," "My Heart Your Heart" and "Is It Good To You." Sadly, they lost group member Grady Harmon to cancer in 2000.
After leaving Capitol, the group recorded a solid, but underappreciated 1997 album of Babyface covers, Songbook Vol. 1: The Songs of Babyface, for Interscope Records. It was nearly a decade before the issuance of their next album, the self-released For Your Ears Only, a surprise hit that topped the CDBaby independent CD charts for several weeks. In 2009, the Whispers issued their first Gospel album,Thankful, collaborating with Unified Tribe's Magic Mendez as well as Fred Hammond, among others. The first song, "For Thou Art With Me," hit radio in Summer 2009. The disc was a moderate hit, and the group followed later with a live album.
The Whispers continue to perform both alone and in multi-artist shows around the world, and fifty years after joining together they are still a model for consistency and unity in song.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
El 23 de septiembre del año 1942, nace Wuelfo Gutiérrez López (1942 - 2005) “El Último de los Matanceros” en La Habana, Cuba. Bravo sonero de destacada participacion con “La Sonora Matancera”, “La Banda de Javier Vásquez” y“Orquesta Harlow”.
Desde muy joven, Wuelfo empezó a participar en un cuarteto cubano infantil donde sirvió de cantante, pero sus mejores momentos llegaron después de irse de su linda patria para Estados Unidos en el inicio de la década de los sestenta donde trabajó con unas cuantas bandas pequeñas antes de integrar la recién formada banda del pianista Javier Vázquez en 1966. Fue con la banda de Vázquez que Wuelfo hizo sus primeras grabaciones en solitario. Durante este mismo época, grabó con la orquesta del judío maravilloso, Larry Harlow.
En 1973, Wuelfo y Javier Vázquez integraron la Sonora Matancera, donde Wuelfo tuvo la oportunidad de destacarse como la estrella que era. Con el celebrado conjunto Gutiérrez grabó un total de 20 temas entre los que se recuerdan son A burujón puñao, La hija de Lola y El alacrán.
En 1976, Wuelfo dejó la Sonora Matancera y se fue para México donde residiría permanentemente. Creó su propio grupo en la capital de México y por muchos años produjo varios álbumes e hizo muchas presentaciones. En México, llevó una vida artística muy activa.
Wuelfo partició en la celebración de 50 aniversario de la Sonora Matancera,.en una gira que llevó al grupo a través de varios países.
Tambén formó parte del selecto elenco de invitados que se presentó en los conciertos “65 Aniversario de la Sonora Matancera”, realizados en Carneqie Hall y el Central Park el primero y 3 de junio del año 1989, respectivamente.
Falleció la tarde del martes 31 de mayo a consecuencia de un "accidente cerebro-vascular", según informaron fuentes del Hospital de Oncología del Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI.
Trompetista, compositor, director musical y vocalista; pionero de la evolución de la salsa puertorriqueña
El 22 de septiembre del año 2006, muere Ángel Tomás “Tommy” Olivencia Pagán (1938 - 2006) a los 68 años. Trompetista, compositor, director musical y fundador de “La Primerísima de Puerto Rico” también reconocida como“La Escuelita” por la enorme cantidad y calidad de Soneros y Músicos que han desfilado por ella.
Tommy Olivencia fue pionero en la evolución de la puertorriqueña. Su legendario combo, La Primerísima, fue la plataforma de lanzamiento para futuras estrellas incluyendo a Frankie Ruiz, Gilberto Santa Rosa, y Marvin Santiago, entre otros.
Nacido el 15 de mayo del año 1938 en la sección de Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ángel Tomás Olivencia Pagán pasó gran parte de su adolescencia en la ciudad de Arecibo, donde aprendió a tocar la trompeta. Por su adolescencia, era un elemento básico de las orquestas de baile locales, y en 1960 fundó su primer grupo, La Primerísima Orquesta de Puerto Rico. Con su fusión de los metales con el swing y los ritmos latinos, La Primerísima emergería como la banda puertorriqueña premier de su generación, tanto por su sonido influyente, como su elenco virtuoso. En cuanto a cantantes y soneros, en varios momentos Olivencia empleó a cantantes y soneros de la talla de Chamaco Ramírez, Sammy "el Rolo" González, Simón Pérez, Paquito Guzmán, Ubaldo "Lalo" Rodríguez, Héctor Tricoche, Carlos Alexis, Héctor "Pichie" Pérez, Paquito "junior" Acosta, y Mel Martínez, efectivamente la nata de la formación de la salsa de la época.
Al momento de firmar con el sello Inca, Olivencia anotó su primer gran éxito en 1972 con "Secuestro", el cual dio paso a una sarta de exitazos como Juntos de nuevo (1974) y Planté bandera (1975). El un lapso de cuatro décadas, grabó cerca de dos docenas de discos, deleitando a su público con clásicos como Casimira, Como lo hace, y Trucutú.
En agosto de 2000, celebró su 40 aniversario con una presentación especial de La Primerísima en el Teatro Tito Puente en San Juan.
Murió de insuficiencia cardíaca y renal en su casa en Carolina el 22 de septiembre de 2006.
A talented, soulful jazz singer who emerged in the '60s.
On September 22, 1942, was born Malena Shaw; soulful jazz vocalist.
Marlena Shaw is among the most versatile and charismatic jazz vocalists on the scene today. Her performances are marked by an artful blend of pop standards and straight-ahead jazz tunes. Her extroverted stage presence gives her an edge over other vocalists, and clearly, singing live before an audience is where she feels most comfortable.
After her uncle Jimmy Burgess introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, she caught the jazz bug and purchased records by Al Hibbler, a vocalist who had a big influence on her singing style. When she was ten she performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater, and despite the enthusiastic reception she received in front of one of the world's toughest audiences, her mother refused to let her go on the road with her uncle, a trumpet player. Shaw attended the State Teachers' College in Potsdam, NY, but later dropped out. For some time in 1963 she worked around New England with a trio led by Howard McGhee. By the mid-'60s she was performing regularly for audiences in the Catskills, Playboy clubs, and other New York area clubs. In 1966, she recorded "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" for Cadet Records, and the single sold very well for an unknown singer. The single's success, a rare vocal version of the tune, prompted executives at Cadet to encourage her to record a whole album for the label in 1967. The diversity of styles, including blues, jazz, and pop standards, is reflected in the album's title, Out of Different Bags. Through her accountant, she was brought to the attention of bandleader Count Basie, and she ended up singing with the Basie band for four years.
In 1972, after leaving the Basie Orchestra, Shaw was the first female vocalist signed to Blue Note Records, and she toured for a while with the late Sammy Davis Jr. Shaw recorded five albums and several singles for Blue Note, and critics likened her singing style to Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. At her club shows, Shaw dazzled audiences with her intoxicating blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, pop, and classic R&B, but her recordings will also satisfy fans of traditional jazz who have no prejudices about blues and R&B.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
Member of the Philly girl group, the Jones Girls
On September 22, was born, Shirley Jones; singer and member of the Jones Girls.
Singer Shirley Jones of the Philly soul vocal group the Jones Girls was born into a singing family. The Detroit native's mother, Mary Frazier Jones, was one of RCA Records' first gospel artists. Jones and her middle sister Brenda sang with their mother and were later joined by younger sister Valerie.
During their teenage years, the sisters turned to secular music. Hooking up with manager Dick Scott, they began opening for acts such as fellow Detroiters the Four Tops, Little Richard, and others who would play in Detroit. Becoming the Jones Girls, the group secured recording deals with Paramount Records, then Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records. In 1976, they began to tour as background singers for Diana Ross, who gave them a brief interlude where they would sing "If I Ever Lose This Heaven," a song popularized by Quincy Jones. Kenneth Gamble of Philadelphia International Records and singer Patti LaBelle were in the audience during a Philadelphia performance, and after the show, Ross introduced them to the Jones Girls; the group signed with Philadelphia International in early 1979.
Their first Philadelphia International album, The Jones Girls, included the R&B/soul Top 20 hit "You're Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else," which has been rapped over numerous times. (A single from the album, "Who Can I Run To," was a hit cover for Xscape in 1995.) The group can be heard doing background vocals on various records throughout the Philadelphia International catalog as well as on releases by Leon Haywood, Michael Pedicin Jr., and others. Other Jones Girls albums on Philadelphia International were At Peace With Woman and Get As Much Love As You Can.
The group left Philadelphia International for RCA Records and released one LP: On Target. In 1984, Philadelphia International released an album of the group's unreleased tracks called Keep It Comin'. Soon after, the Jones Girls disbanded; Brenda got married and Valerie went to college. Gamble, hearing about the breakup, called Shirley to see if she was interested in becoming a solo act. Soon, she was back at Philadelphia Records working on her solo debut album. While working on a track with Dexter Wansel, Shirley convinced Bunny Sigler to let her record "Do You Get Enough Love," which was intended for the O'Jays. The song featured Sigler on piano, bass, and background vocals; former Instant Funk hornman Larry Davis on guitar; and drum programming and arranger Jack Faith on flute and horn. It went to number one on the R&B charts for two weeks in August 1986. An album called Always in the Mood was issued and included several follow-ups, including Wansel's "Last Night I Need Somebody" and Sigler's bossa nova-ish "Breaking Up." Around the time the album was made, Jones met and married Harold Hubbard of the Harlem Globetrotters. There are infrequent Jones Girls tour reunions in Europe and the U.S.
THE JONES GIRLS
Valerie, Shirley, and Brenda Jones spent more than ten years in the music business before they tasted success of their own. During that time, however, their voices graced the records and stage performances of dozens of established stars, including Diana Ross and Betty Everett.
The daughters of Detroit-based gospel singer Mary Francis Jones, Valerie, Shirley, and Brenda Jones spent years singing on other artists' recording sessions in Detroit, and later in Los Angeles. The trio first tried making their own records for the tiny Fortune label in Detroit during the '60s with no success. They moved to Hot Wax-Invictus, the company formed by Holland-Dozier-Holland, during the later part of the decade, but sales of those records weren't much more encouraging.
It was during this period that session work came to dominate their activities -- the Jones Girls were in heavy demand to sing on other artists' singles. In 1973, they were signed to the Curtom Records subsidiary imprint Gemigo, a label that was originally organized as an outlet for Leroy Hutson's activities as a producer and arranger. "If You Don't Love Me No More," their debut single, wasn't especially popular, but it led to a follow-up record, "Will You Be There," that proved extremely important. The single never sold but its arranger, Gil Askey, who was working for Diana Ross, recommended the Jones Girls as backup singers for her on tour for a series of engagements that lasted two years and brought them some valuable exposure. Ironically enough, Curtom was sitting on an entire LP cut by the trio that never got released. One of the songs off of the album, "Hey Lucinda," was issued as a single, but it did less good for the Jones Girls than it did for Betty Everett, who later recorded her vocals over their backing track for her version of the song, which did chart.
Their performances with Diana Ross opened up many doors, however, including a contract with Philadelphia International Records at the end of the '70s. The trio cut four LPs in their three years with the label, enjoying a string of hits around them including "You're Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else," "Better Things to Do," "Nights Over Egypt," and "I Just Love the Man." They later left Philadelphia International for an offer from RCA, but their sales at the new label were poor. The trio never recaptured the moment they had at the end of the '70s and the beginning of the '80s. Shirley Jones, who was the first of the trio to record singly, with an entire album for Philadelphia International, has continued to carve out a separate career.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
Versatile, prolific jazz drummer and bandleader who covered many styles and incorporated unusual instrumentation during his long career.
On September 21, 1921, was born Chico Hamilton (1921 - 2013); jazz drummer and band leader.
Chico Hamilton, a subtle and creative drummer, will probably always be remembered for the series of quintets that he led during 1955-1965 and for his ability as a talent scout than for his fine drumming. Hamilton first played drums while in high school with the many fine young players (including Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, and Charles Mingus) who were in Los Angeles at the time. He made his recording debut with Slim Gaillard, was house drummer at Billy Berg's, toured with Lionel Hampton, and served in the military (1942-1946). In 1946, Hamilton worked briefly with Jimmy Mundy, Count Basie, and Lester Young (recording with Young). He toured as Lena Horne's drummer (on and off during 1948-1955), and gained recognition for his work with the original Gerry Mulligan piano-less quartet (1952-1953).
In 1955, Hamilton put together his first quintet, a chamber jazz group with the reeds of Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and cellist Fred Katz. One of the last important West Coast jazz bands, the Chico Hamilton Quintet was immediately popular and appeared in a memorable sequence in 1958's Jazz on a Summer's Day and the Hollywood film The Sweet Smell of Success. The personnel changed over the next few years (with Paul Horn and Eric Dolphy heard on reeds, cellist Nate Gershman, guitarists John Pisano and Dennis Budimir, and several bassists passing through the group) but it retained its unusual sound. By 1961, Charles Lloyd was on tenor and flute, Gabor Szabo was the new guitarist, and soon the cello was dropped in favor of trombone (Garnett Brown and later George Bohanon), giving the group an advanced hard bop style.
In 1966, Chico Hamilton started composing for commercials and the studios and he broke up his quintet. However, he continued leading various groups, playing music that ranged from the avant-garde to erratic fusion and advanced hard bop. Such up-and-coming musicians as Larry Coryell (1966), Steve Potts (1967), Arthur Blythe, Steve Turre (on bass, surprisingly), and Eric Person (who played in Hamilton's '90s group Euphoria) were among the younger players he helped discover. In 1989, Chico Hamilton had a recorded reunion with the original members of his 1955 quintet (with Pisano in Hall's place), and in the 1990s he made a number of records for Soul Note. He continued playing gigs and recording throughout the 2000s, releasing four albums in 2006 for the label Joyous Shout! in celebration of his 85th birthday. Chico Hamilton died in Manhattan on November 25, 2013; he was 92 years old. His last album, The Inquiring Mind, recorded shortly before his passing, was released in early 2014.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
The lead singer of the Spinners until 1971.
On September 21, 1945, was born G. C. Cameron; vocalist and once lead singer of the Spinners; whose voice is best known from the Spinners' hit, penned by Stevie Wonder, "It's a Shame."
Soul singer G.C. Cameron is a veteran of more than 30 years in the music business and is still ticking. In 2000, he returned to the group he left in 1971 for a solo career, the Spinners, to fill in for an ill John Edwards. Cameron is famous for his high-energy lead on the Spinners' "It's a Shame."
He was born in a small township in Franklin Country, MS, but his family moved to Detroit in 1955 when he was young. The Camerons were a large brood; Cameron had nine siblings, but there was always room for more, as Philippe Wynne (Cameron' s cousin) grew up in the household (he being a little older than Cameron). The two ran Detroit's mean streets together but never formed a singing group. After a Marine stint, which included servitude in Vietnam, Cameron was chosen by the Spinners to replace Edgar "Chico" Edwards, adding a new lead voice to the group. (Chico was strictly a background singer.) With Cameron in the fold, Motown's producers found the Spinners more interesting and heavyweights like Stevie Wonder started writing and producing for them. A remake of the standard "In My Diary" (1969), made popular to R&B fans by the Moonglows, was their first with Cameron. The flip side was "(She's Gonna Love Me) At Sundown," which features Bobby Smith. What should have been a two-sided smash wasn't due to Motown's lackadaisical attitude toward the Spinners. When Harvey Fuqua and Gwen Gordy sold their Tri-Phi setup to Motown, the Spinners became basement dwellers.Stevie Wonder cut "It's a Shame," only to have it put on ice by Motown for a whole year after it was recorded. A remake of the Temptations' popular album cut "Message to the Blackman" (1970) was their second single featuring Cameron. the Spinners' version was good, albeit shorter, but it stiffed from lack of support.
Motown finally released "It's a Shame" on June 6, 1970, and watched it scale the charts to number 14 pop and become the Spinners' biggest hit to date. But the group was fed up with Motown's treatment; the frustrations came to a head when the follow-up, "We Got It Made," didn't come close to duplicating its predecessor. It was apparent Motown wasn't ever going to take them seriously and they made plans to leave. Cameron, however, had become romantically involved with Gwen Gordy (Berry Gordy's sister) and stayed with Motown; but he didn't leave the Spinners in a lurch. His cousin, Philippe Wynne, who had been rehearsing with the group, was brought in to take his place. The master improviser had previously worked with the Pacesetters, a band that included Bootsy and Catfish Collins, in the Cincinnati area. Philippe "Soul" Wynne stayed five years and was as responsible as producer/arranger/writer Thom Bell for the group's chart-busting success on Atlantic Records, which was second only to the mighty O'Jays '70s explosion.
But Cameron wasn't concerned; Motown was going to make him a star, or so he thought. The company placed him on its Mowest label for a series of singles that went nowhere: "Act Like a Shotgun" (1971); a tentative follow-up, "I'm Gonna Get You Parts 1 & 2," was scheduled for release but pulled in the 12th hour -- instead, Mowest dropped "What It Is, What It Is" (1972) with scarcely any promotion. Going for broke, they tried a duet with Willie Hutch, entitled "Come Get This Thing," but shelved it in favor of Cameron's interesting "Don't Wanna Play Pajama Games," written and produced by Smokey Robinson, in which Cameron mimics Robinson to a T.
Uneasiness reared: the Spinners with Wynne were making an unprecedented run with Top Ten hits and good-selling albums, yet Cameron couldn't make the charts. He was switched to the Motown label for his other recordings, including "No Matter Where" (1973) and "Let Me Down Easy" (1973), neither of which sold well. His first solo LP, Love Songs and Other Tragedies (1974), followed; a second LP, the self-titled G.C. Cameron (1976), was preceded by "If You're Ever Gonna Love Me" (1975). The next single, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," (1975) was perfect, but for Boyz II Men, not Cameron. "Dream Lady" (1976) and "You're What's Missing In My Life" (1977), which was also the title of his third album, issued in 1977 and which followed the same dismal road as previous efforts.
Motown issued Rich Love, Poor Love by G.C. & Syreeta in 1977 and put out one single from the album, "Let's Make a Deal." Two years later, Syreeta scored with Billy Preston on "With You I'm Born Again." Cameron left the company after the pair with Syreeta failed and his romance with Gwen Gordy soured. When "I've Got My Second Wind," a duet with Tata Vega off her Givin' All My Love album (1981), came out, Cameron was long gone.
The talented, multi-voice singer (every producer who worked with him found a different sound) recorded off and on for a bunch of little labels from 1977 on; his most significant recording was Give Me Your Love (1983) for Malaco Records in Jackson, MS (sort of a homecoming for Cameron). It's a great album with many riveting tracks, including the heart-wrenching "A Night Like This in Georgia."
A year later, Ian Levine included Cameron in his Motorcity project as a singer, writer, and producer. The association with Levine may have been creatively lucrative, but not financially, as Cameron claims he has yet to receive a loyalty check from any recording company he was ever involved with. And that includes the single he cut with the Tams, entitled "Walking Dr. Bill," in the late '90s. The "shag" hit did secure him some dates on the Carolinas' beach music set with the Tams and his own group, the G.C. Cameron Band.
The Motorcity recordings, which included a duet with Martha Reeves, were compiled on Right or Wrong (Motorcity 1991) and later The Very Best of G.C. Cameron (1996) on Hot Productions. He now has a production/recording company, Daggerjacc, and is writing a tell-all book detailing his tumultuous experiences. He cut ties with most of his music biz cronies and relocated to Meadville, MS (near his birthplace), remarried, and is raising a second family; a son by a previous union is well past 30.
The Spinners were the greatest soul group of the early '70s, creating a body of work that defined the lush, seductive sound of Philly soul. Ironically, the band's roots lay in Detroit, where they formed as a doo wop group during the late '50s. Throughout the '60s, the Spinners tried to land a hit by adapting to the shifting fashions of R&B and pop. By the mid-'60s, they had signed with Motown Records, but the label never gave the group much consideration. "It's a Shame" became a hit in 1970, but the label continued to ignore the group, and dropped the band two years later. Unsigned and featuring new lead singer Phillipe Wynne, the Spinners seemed destined to never break into the big leagues, but they managed to sign with Atlantic Records, where they began working with producer Thom Bell. With his assistance, the Spinners developed a distinctive sound, one that relied on Wynne's breathtaking falsetto and the group's intricate vocal harmonies. Bell provided the group with an appropriately detailed production, creating a detailed web of horns, strings, backing vocals, and lightly funky rhythms. Between 1972 and 1977, the Spinners and Bell recorded a number of soul classics, including "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "Mighty Love," "Ghetto Child," "Then Came You," "Games People Play," and "The Rubberband Man." Wynne left in 1977 and the Spinners had hits for a few years after his departure, but the group will always be remembered for its classic mid-'70s work.
Originally, called the Domingoes, the Spinners formed when the quintet members were high school students in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale in 1957. At the time, the group featured Bobbie Smith, Pervis Jackson, George W. Dixon, Billy Henderson, and Henry Fambrough. Four years later, they came to the attention of producer Harvey Fuqua, who began recording the group -- who were now called the Spinners -- for his Tri-Phi Records. The band's first single, "That's What Girls Are Made For," became a Top Ten R&B hit upon its 1961 release and featured Smith on vocals. Following its release, Dixon was replaced by Edgar "Chico" Edwards. Over the next few years, the group released a series of failed singles, and when Tri-Phi was bought out by Motown in the mid-'60s, the Spinners became part of the larger company's roster. By that time, Edwards had been replaced by G.C. Cameron.
Though the Spinners had some R&B hits at Motown during the late '60s, including "I'll Always Love You" and "Truly Yours," they didn't have a genuine crossover success until 1970, when Stevie Wonder gave the group "It's a Shame." Motown never concentrated on the Spinners, and they let the group go in 1972. Before the band signed with Atlantic Records, Phillipe Wynne replaced Cameron as the group's lead vocalist. Wynne had previously sung with Catfish and Bootsy Collins.
At Atlantic Records, the Spinners worked with producer Thom Bell, who gave the group a lush, seductive sound, complete with sighing strings, a tight rhythm section, sultry horns, and a slight funk underpinning. Wynne quickly emerged as a first-rate soul singer, and the combination of the group's harmonies, Wynne's soaring leads, and Bell's meticulous production made the Spinners the most popular soul group of the '70s. Once the group signed with Atlantic, they became a veritable hit machine, topping the R&B and pop charts with songs like "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "One of a Kind (Love Affair)," "Ghetto Child," "Rubberband Man," and "You're Throwing a Good Love Away." Not only were their singles hits, but their albums constantly went gold and charted in the Top 20.
Wynne left the band to pursue a solo career in 1977; he was replaced by John Edwards. Though none of Wynne's solo records were big hits, his tours with Parliament-Funkadelic were well received, as were his solo concerts. In October 1984, he died of a heart attack during a concert in Oakland, California. the Spinners, meanwhile, had a number of minor hits in the late '70s, highlighted by their disco covers of "Working My Way Back to You" and the medley "Cupid/I've Loved You for a Long Time." During the early '80s, they had several minor hits before fading away from the charts and entering the oldies circuit, reprising their earlier material for 1999's new studio effort At Their Best. Bobbie Smith, who sang lead on several of the Spinners' '70s hits including "I'll Be Around" and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," died from complications of pneumonia and influenza in March 2013.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
Hip-hop-heavy R&B singer/songwriter who puts twists on clichés while sporting infectious hooks.
On September 21, 1989, was born, American singer-songwriter, actor and dancer, Jason Derülo.
Pop vocalist Jason Derülo launched his career while still in his teens, first as a songwriter for other artists and later as a solo performer. Born to Haitian parents in Miramar, Florida, Derülo started singing at an early age. He attended performing arts schools in Florida and took some early stabs at music composition, writing his first song at the age of eight. His writing skills began attracting attention, and by his teenage years, Derülo had begun scribing tracks for artists like Lil Wayne, Pitbull, and Pleasure P. He also wrote "Bossy" for Birdman, a New Orleans-based rapper, and made a guest appearance on the song, which highlighted his ability as a vocalist.
After signing to a subsidiary of Warner Bros., Derülo began making the transition from behind-the-scenes songwriter to mainstream performer. His first hit arrived during the summer of 2009, when he wrapped a sample of Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" (a song made popular by its appearance in the second season finale of The O.C., as well as the Saturday Night Live sketch Dear Sister) around a sleek modern soul beat. Titled "Whatcha Say," the song topped the Billboard charts and cracked the Top Ten in multiple foreign countries, including Canada, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. A second single, "In My Head," peaked at number five in America, and Derülo's full-length debut album arrived in early 2010. Future History followed in 2011, along with its hit single "Don't Wanna Go Home."
At the start of 2012, he embarked on the Future History Tour, but Derülo broke one of his vertebrae during rehearsals. As a result of his neck injury, he canceled the entire tour. Recuperating and reflecting upon his injury, he announced details of his new album and released the single "The Other Side" in April 2013. Two further singles, "Talk Dirty" and "Marry Me," were released in preparation for Tattoos, which was released in September 2013 in most territories. The U.S. received a retooled version of the album in 2014 titled Talk Dirty. It featured new tracks recorded with artists like Kid Ink and Snoop Dogg.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
Lyrically keen and idiomatically diverse alternative rappers, who gained critical and commercial success with their debut, 3 Feet High and Rising.
On September 21, 1968, was born, Trugoy, (David Jude), of the alternative rapper group, De La Soul. David coined his stage name from the backward spelling of his favorite snack, yogurt.
At the time of its 1989 release, De La Soul's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, was hailed as the future of hip-hop. With its colorful, neo-psychedelic collage of samples and styles, plus the Long Island trio's low-key, clever rhymes and goofy humor, the album sounded like nothing else in hip-hop. Where most of their contemporaries drew directly from old-school rap, funk, or Public Enemy's dense sonic barrage, De La Soul were gentler and more eclectic, taking in not only funk and soul, but also pop, jazz, reggae, and psychedelia. Though their style initially earned both critical raves and strong sales, De La Soul found it hard to sustain their commercial momentum in the '90s as their alternative rap was sidetracked by the popularity of considerably harder-edged gangsta rap.
De La Soul formed while the trio members -- Posdnuos (born Kelvin Mercer, August 17, 1969), Trugoy the Dove (born David Jude Jolicoeur, September 21, 1968), and Pasemaster Mase (born Vincent Lamont Mason Jr., March 27, 1970) -- were attending high school in the late '80s. The stage names of all of the members derived from in-jokes: Posdnuos was an inversion of Mercer's DJ name, Sound-Sop; Trugoy was an inversion of Jolicoeur's favorite food, yogurt. De La Soul's demo tape, "Plug Tunin'," came to the attention of Prince Paul, the leader and producer of the New York rap outfit Stetsasonic. Prince Paul played the tape to several colleagues and helped the trio land a contract with Tommy Boy Records.
Prince Paul produced De La Soul's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, which was released in the spring of 1989. Several critics and observers labeled the group as a neo-hippie band because the record praised peace and love as well as proclaiming the dawning of "the D.A.I.S.Y. age" (Da Inner Sound, Y'all). Though the trio was uncomfortable with the hippie label, there was no denying that the humor and eclecticism presented an alternative to the hardcore rap that dominated hip-hop. De La Soul quickly were perceived as the leaders of a contingent of New York-based alternative rappers that also included A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers, and Monie Love; all of these artists dubbed themselves the Native Tongues posse.
For a while, it looked as if De La Soul and the Native Tongues posse would eclipse hardcore hip-hop in terms of popularity. "Me, Myself and I" became a Top 40 pop hit in the U.S. (number one R&B), while the album reached number 24 (number one R&B) and went gold. At the end of the year, 3 Feet High and Rising topped many best-of-the-year lists, including The Village Voice's. With all of the acclaim came some unwanted attention, most notably in the form of a lawsuit by the Turtles. De La Soul had sampled the Turtles' "You Showed Me" and layered it with a French lesson on a track on 3 Feet High called "Transmitting Live from Mars," without getting the permission of the '60s pop group. the Turtles won the case, and the decision not only had substantial impact on De La Soul, but on rap in general. Following the suit, all samples had to be legally cleared before an album could be released. Not only did this have the end result of rap reverting back to instrumentation, thereby altering how the artists worked, it also meant that several albums in the pipeline had to be delayed in order for samples to clear. One of those was De La Soul's second album, De La Soul Is Dead.
When De La Soul Is Dead was finally released in the spring of 1991, it received decidedly mixed reviews, and its darker, more introspective tone didn't attract as big an audience as its lighter predecessor. The album peaked at number 26 pop on the U.S. charts, number 24 R&B, and spawned only one minor hit, the number 22 R&B single "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey). "De La Soul worked hard on their third album, finally releasing the record in late 1993. The result, entitled Buhloone Mindstate, was harder and funkier than either of its predecessors, yet it didn't succumb to gangsta rap. Though it received strong reviews, the album quickly fell off the charts after peaking at number 40, and only "Breakadawn" broke the R&B Top 40. The same fate greeted the trio's fourth album, Stakes Is High. Released in the summer of 1996, the record was well reviewed, yet it didn't find a large audience and quickly disappeared from the charts.
Four years later, De La Soul initiated what promised to be a three-album series with the release of Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump; though reviews were mixed, it was greeted warmly by record buyers, debuting in the Top Ten. The second title in the series, AOI: Bionix, even featured a video hit with "Baby Phat," but Tommy Boy and the trio decided to end their relationship soon after. De La Soul subsequently signed their AOI label to Sanctuary Urban (run by Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles) and released The Grind Date in October 2004. Two years later the group issued Impossible Mission: TV Series, Pt. 1, a collection of new and previously unreleased material.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
The reggae artist with the greatest impact in history, who introduced Jamaican music to the world and changed the face of global pop music.
On September 21, 1980, during a North American tour, Bob Marley (1945 - 1981) collapsed while jogging in New York's Central Park. After hospital tests he was diagnosed as having cancer. Marley played his last ever concert two nights later at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Reggae's most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley was the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom, in the process introducing the music of his native island nation to the far-flung corners of the globe. Marley's music gave voice to the day-to-day struggles of the Jamaican experience, vividly capturing not only the plight of the country's impoverished and oppressed but also the devout spirituality that remains their source of strength. His songs of faith, devotion, and revolution created a legacy that continues to live on not only through the music of his extended family but also through generations of artists the world over touched by his genius.
Robert Nesta Marley was born February 6, 1945, in rural St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica; the son of a middle-aged white father and teenaged black mother, he left home at 14 to pursue a music career in Kingston, becoming a pupil of local singer and devout Rastafarian Joe Higgs. He cut his first single, "Judge Not," in 1962 for Leslie Kong, severing ties with the famed producer soon after over a monetary dispute. In 1963 Marley teamed with fellow singers Peter Tosh, Bunny Livingston, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso, and Cherry Smith to form the vocal group the Teenagers; later rechristened the Wailing Rudeboys and later simply the Wailers, they signed on with producer Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One and recorded their debut, "I'm Still Waiting." When Braithwaite and Smith exited the Wailers, Marley assumed lead vocal duties, and in early 1964 the group's follow-up, "Simmer Down," topped the Jamaican charts. A series of singles including "Let Him Go (Rude Boy Get Gail)," "Dancing Shoes," "Jerk in Time," "Who Feels It Knows It," and "What Am I to Do" followed, and in all, the Wailers recorded some 70 tracks for Dodd before disbanding in 1966. On February 10 of that year, Marley married Rita Anderson, a singer in the group the Soulettes; she later enjoyed success as a member of the vocal trio the I-Threes. Marley then spent the better part of the year working in a factory in Newark, DE, the home of his mother since 1963.
Upon returning to Jamaica that October, Marley re-formed the Wailers with Livingston and Tosh, releasing "Bend Down Low" on their own short-lived Wail 'N' Soul 'M label; at this time all three members began devoting themselves to the teachings of the Rastafari faith, a cornerstone of Marley's life and music until his death. Beginning in 1968, the Wailers recorded a wealth of new material for producer Danny Sims before teaming the following year with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry; backed by Perry's house band, the Upsetters, the trio cut a number of classics, including "My Cup," "Duppy Conqueror," "Soul Almighty," and "Small Axe," which fused powerful vocals, ingenious rhythms, and visionary production to lay the groundwork for much of the Jamaican music in their wake. Upsetters bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett and his drummer brother Carlton soon joined the Wailers full-time, and in 1971 the group founded another independent label, Tuff Gong, releasing a handful of singles before signing to Chris Blackwell's Island Records a year later.
1973's Catch a Fire, the Wailers' Island debut, was the first of their albums released outside of Jamaica, and immediately earned worldwide acclaim; the follow-up, Burnin', launched the track "I Shot the Sheriff," a Top Ten hit for Eric Clapton in 1974. With the Wailers poised for stardom, however, both Livingston and Tosh quit the group to pursue solo careers; Marley then brought in the I-Threes, which in addition to Rita Marley consisted of singers Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. The new lineup proceeded to tour the world prior to releasing their 1975 breakthrough album Natty Dread, scoring their first U.K. Top 40 hit with the classic "No Woman, No Cry." Sellout shows at the London Lyceum, where Marley played to racially mixed crowds, yielded the superb Live! later that year, and with the success of 1976's Rastaman Vibration, which hit the Top Ten in the U.S., it became increasingly clear that his music had carved its own niche within the pop mainstream.
As great as Marley's fame had grown outside of Jamaica, at home he was viewed as a figure of almost mystical proportions, a poet and prophet whose every word had the nation's collective ear. His power was perceived as a threat in some quarters, and on December 3, 1976, he was wounded in an assassination attempt; the ordeal forced Marley to leave Jamaica for over a year. 1977's Exodus was his biggest record to date, generating the hits "Jamming," "Waiting in Vain," and "One Love/People Get Ready"; Kaya was another smash, highlighted by the gorgeous "Is This Love" and "Satisfy My Soul." Another classic live date, Babylon by Bus, preceded the release of 1979's Survival. 1980 loomed as Marley's biggest year yet, kicked off by a concert in the newly liberated Zimbabwe; a tour of the U.S. was announced, but while jogging in New York's Central Park he collapsed, and it was discovered he suffered from cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs, and liver. Uprising was the final album released in Marley's lifetime -- he died May 11, 1981, at age 36.
Posthumous efforts including 1983's Confrontation, the best-selling 1984 retrospective Legend, and the 2012 documentary Marley kept the man's music alive, and his renown continued to grow in the years following his death -- even decades after the fact, he remains synonymous with reggae's world-wide popularity. In the wake of her husband's passing, Rita Marley scored a solo hit with "One Draw," but despite the subsequent success of singles "Many Are Called" and "Play Play," she had largely withdrawn from performing to focus on raising her children by the mid-'80s. Oldest son David, better known as Ziggy, went on to score considerable pop success as the leader of the Melody Makers, a Marley family group comprised of siblings Cedella, Stephen, and Sharon; their 1988 single "Tomorrow People" was a Top 40 U.S. hit, a feat even Bob himself never accomplished. Three other Marley children -- Damian, Julian, and Ky-Mani -- pursued careers in music as well.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
One-hit wonder who combined two of the biggest fads of the '70s to create the disco chart-topper "Kung Fu Fighting."
On September 21, 1974, Carl Douglas was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Kung Fu Fighting.' The song was recorded in 10 minutes, had started out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10 million and made Douglas a One Hit Wonder.
The one-hit wonder behind the disco novelty smash "Kung Fu Fighting," Carl Douglas was also the first Jamaican-born artist to score a number one single in the United States. Douglas was raised in both California and Jamaica, and eventually moved to England to study sound engineering. In 1964, he formed a group called the Big Stampede, which released a couple of U.K. singles; two years later, he formed the Explosions while living in Spain. Upon returning to England, Douglas teamed up with a band called Gonzales, which quickly led to his becoming a session vocalist for Pye Records. In 1972, Douglas worked with Indian-born producer Biddu on the soundtrack to the Richard Roundtree film Embassy; so, two years later, when Biddu was searching for a vocalist to record the Larry Weiss composition "I Want to Give You My Everything," he contacted Douglas. Needing a quick B-side, Biddu set a melody to some lyrics Douglas had written about the kung fu craze sweeping pop culture courtesy of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon and David Carradine's TV series Kung Fu. "Kung Fu Fighting" was recorded in just ten minutes and elevated to the A-side of the single at Pye's insistence. The song topped the charts first in the U.K., then the U.S. and several other countries, selling over nine million copies worldwide. Pye quickly cobbled together an LP featuring a few novelty tracks and some straight-up soul/disco tunes, releasing it as Kung Fu Fighting and Other Great Love Songs. The follow-up single, "Dance the Kung Fu," flopped in America, pegging Douglas as strictly a novelty act, but it made the Top 20 in Britain, and "Run Back" reached the U.K. Top 30 in 1977. Douglas went on to release two more albums, Love, Peace and Happiness in 1979 and Keep Pleasing Me in 1983; the title track of the former was a U.K. Top 30 hit. Douglas eventually moved to Hamburg, Germany, where he owns a profitable production company that supplies music for films and advertisements.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
Milton Cardona (1944 - 2014); percusionista de renombre
Según las publicaciones de varias personas respetadas que acabo de leer en los medios sociales, lamento reportar que parece cierto que ha fallecido Milton Cardona (1944 - 2014), llamado el "Latin New Yorker" por algunos. Este gran percusionista participó en más de 700 grabaciones a lo largo de su carrera con otros artistas de renombre como Cachao, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Frankie Dante, Jerry González, Johnny Colón, el director cinematográfico, Spike Lee y muchos más.
No he encontrado la corroboración de esta triste noticia en los medios de comunicación convencionales. Por lo tanto, los detalles que rodean su muerte, de ser cierto, no se conocen en el momento, al menos no son conocidos por mí.
En su juventud, Milton Cardona estudió el violín durante 7 años y después trabajó como bajista profesional. Sin embargo, a fin de cuentas, las descargas callejeras en Nueva York acabaron por atraerlo a la percusión, siendo la música de Mongo Santamaría su gran influencia.
Cardona fue eminente entre los percusionistas y directores de orquesta que han desarrollado nuevos conceptos personales basados en la música afrocaribeña tradicional y el jazz. Por un lado, mezclaba los sonidos de Puerto Rico con los de Manhattan, y por otro mezclaba los ritmos yoruba y orishas del culto Santena con un innovador estilo vocal así a veces evocando el canto "doo wop" de los años 50.
Sus principales instrumentos, aparte de las congas, fueron las batás, un tambor de doble cabeza, una a cada extremo de un barril estrecho, que se toca horizontalmente. Las batás son los instrumentos básicos de la santería, que después de la revolución cubana se extendieron ampliamente por el resto de América Central y por algunas partes de Estados Unidos. Cardona fue un sacerdote lucumí ordenado de la santería y se considerbaba la autoridad principal sobre las canciones y ritmos rituales. Su primer trabajo en solitario, Bembé, es de una ceremonia de santería auténtica.
Aparte de tocar en este estilo culto tradicional, Cardona fue muy buscado para sesiones de salsa y jazz latino. En su papel de músico salsero, tocó durante mucho tiempo en las orquestas de Willie Colón y Héctor Lavoe, y también en la Orquesta Flamboyán de Frankie Dante, en el Grupo Folklórico Experimental Neoyorquino, la orquesta de Eddie Palmieri y fue uno de los primeros músicos en la Fort Apache Band de Jerry González.
One of hip-hop's first and most innovative turntablist, had lasting hit with 1981's "The Message."
On September 20, 1960, was born Robert "Cowboy" Wiggins (1960 - 1989) of Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five.
DJ Grandmaster Flash and his group the Furious Five were hip-hop's greatest innovators, transcending the genre's party-music origins to explore the full scope of its lyrical and sonic horizons. Flash was born Joseph Saddler in Barbados on January 1, 1958; he began spinning records as teen growing up in the Bronx, performing live at area dances and block parties. By age 19, while attending technical school courses in electronics during the day, he was also spinning on the local disco circuit; over time, he developed a series of groundbreaking techniques including "cutting" (moving between tracks exactly on the beat), "back-spinning" (manually turning records to repeat brief snippets of sound), and "phasing" (manipulating turntable speeds) -- in short, creating the basic vocabulary which DJs continue to follow even today.
Flash did not begin collaborating with rappers until around 1977, first teaming with the legendary Kurtis Blow. He then began working with the Furious Five -- rappers Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Mr. Ness aka Scorpio (Eddie Morris), and Rahiem (Guy Williams); the group quickly became legendary throughout New York City, attracting notice not only for Flash's unrivalled skills as a DJ but also for the Five's masterful rapping, most notable for their signature trading and blending of lyrics. Despite their local popularity, they did not record until after the Sugarhill Gang's smash "Rapper's Delight" proved the existence of a market for hip-hop releases; after releasing "We Rap More Mellow" as the Younger Generation, Flash and the Five recorded "Superappin'" for the Enjoy label owned by R&B legend Bobby Robinson. They then switched to Sugar Hill, owned by Sylvia Robinson (no relation), after she promised them an opportunity to rap over a current DJ favorite, "Get Up and Dance" by Freedom (the idea had probably been originally conceived by Crash Crew for their single "High Powered Rap").
That record, 1980's "Freedom," the group's Sugar Hill debut, reached the Top 20 on national R&B charts on its way to selling over 50,000 copies; its follow-up, "Birthday Party," was also a hit. 1981's "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" was the group's first truly landmark recording, introducing Flash's "cutting" techniques to create a stunning sound collage from snippets of songs by Chic, Blondie, and Queen. Flash and the Five's next effort, 1982's "The Message," was even more revelatory -- for the first time, hip-hop became a vehicle not merely for bragging and boasting but for trenchant social commentary, with Melle Mel delivering a blistering rap detailing the grim realities of life in the ghetto. The record was a major critical hit, and it was an enormous step in solidifying rap as an important and enduring form of musical expression.
Following 1983's anti-cocaine polemic "White Lines," relations between Flash and Melle Mel turned ugly, and the rapper soon left the group, forming a new unit also dubbed the Furious Five. After a series of Grandmaster Flash solo albums including 1985's They Said It Couldn't Be Done, 1986's The Source, and 1987's Da Bop Boom Bang, he reformed the original Furious Five lineup for a charity concert at Madison Square Garden; soon after, the reconstituted group recorded a new LP, 1988's On the Strength, which earned a lukewarm reception from fans and critics alike. Another reunion followed in 1994, when Flash and the Five joined a rap package tour also including Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. A year later, Flash and Melle Mel also appeared on Duran Duran's cover of "White Lines." Except for a few compilations during the late '90s, Flash was relatively quiet until 2002, when a pair of mix albums appeared: The Official Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on Strut and Essential Mix: Classic Edition on ffrr.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
On September 20, 1938, was born Eric Gale (1938 - 1994); guitarist.
A guitarist who was used for many R&B-oriented dates and occasionally played jazz, Eric Gale had an appealing sound and was best while performing lazy melodic blues. He was most significant to the jazz world in the early '70s, when he recorded often as a sideman for CTI, later on with the group Stuff, and on isolated tracks on his own sessions. Gale's fine 1987 EmArcy set In a Jazz Tradition shows what he could really do.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
El Caobo &