Traditional profan feast, from bantú origin. .
It is on the way prepared by Antonio Arcaño y sus Maravillas
that Arsenio Rodriguez puts his steps, when it integrates
into the danzón (already in ritmo
nuevo style) a new amount of elements come from the son montuno.
This new style is named diablo : boosted by the tumbadora, the piano syncopation, the trumpets playing jazz,
while the Arsenio's tres
underlines the rhythm and advances towards the mambo style.
Other musicians take the same path, like the pianists and arrangers Rene
Hernández and Emilio " Bebo " Valdés which
officiate in orchestras rather jazzy in clubs of Havana, Casino of
Playa or Riverside.
All ingredients are gathered now. And the pianist and musical director Dámaso Pérez Prado is going to success in realizing the mambo, by liberating the final montuno
of ritmo nuevo pieces until making it independent : the mambo is officially born. We are in 1951 in Mexico City, and Dámaso Pérez Prado has just recorded Rico
mambo. " All is in syncopation ", explains Dámaso. "the
saxophones accentuate it without respite, while the trumpets charge of the melody. The
bass, in combination with tumbadoras and bongos, see to the rest. Here is the construction
of mambo ".
Dámaso Pérez Prado
will be crown " king of the mambo " ; he will release several recordings in
Mexico for RCA-Victor : Mambo n°5, Mambo n°8, El Rutelero, Chula linda... in
which the influence of the swing is particularly evident.
The mambo will share the stages with its easier brother the cha cha chá during al the 50ties, inspiring the greatest
creators and interpreters : Bebo Valdés, Ernesto Duarte, Beni
Moré, Woodland Méndez... It will generate variants, as the bolero-mambo,
mixing a bolero theme with a slow mambo
rythm (Julio Gutiérrez, Bobby Collazo, Humberto Jauma...).
Its reign will end at the early 60ties, when the public will grow weary and will turn to
MANI (BAILE DE)
This fighting dance, close to a martial art, grew in 19th century among slaves of sugar
plantations in Cuba.
Only the men take part in it : the dancer, in the circle, do movements simulating fight,
and choose a protagonist among the others men of the circle. Then the elected
"adversary" comes in the circle, and, in harmony with the other dancer, execute
a choregraphy of movements, beetween fight and dance.
The origin of maracas is lost in the mists of time : are they
an old and rare heritage from the Amerindians, before their extinction ? Did they come
from Africa ? Are they born after the Spanish conquest, on the American lands ?
little calabashes, with a handle, closed and filled with dried seeds, are shaken on rythm
like a rattle, and generate a rythmic caracteristic rustle, soft and discreet but
essential sound. Needing little strengh, they are generally confide to the singer or
chorists, as their cousin , the guïro. Today, professional
maracas are sometimes made of plastic, seriously challenging their calabash-ancestors ; in
the Third World, children make another very effective model, with empty cans of soda or
beer in which they put a handfull of sand.
The maracas are also used by another way : there are stars in touristic giftshops, and
many of these instruments spend their live on shelves, covered in dust, without never
produce a sound... what a sentence for an instrument to be reduce to silence !
Sort of drum.
The marimbula is a lamellophone instrument, and looks like a
big African sanza ; it's maybe a descendant of the sanza.
Metal stripes are fixed on a big wood box : the musician vibrate the stripes with his
fingers, and the sound is amplified by the box, which acts as resonator. The stripe lengh
determine the height of the note. The musician sit on the box while he plays.
In the past, this rustic instrument was frequently used by son
players, for want of double bass.
This term is sometimes used to designate a maraca.
MASUCAMBA ou MASUCAMBIA
Popular Cuban dance, today vanished.
Every Sunday at 9PM (Cuban time), tune your television on Tele Rebelde channel : it's time
of Mi Salsa, and it's better than the novela !
Part of a musical piece, in which musicians are free to improvise.
Dance mixing conga and others African influences.
Dance practised in Cuba in the 18th century.