Giraldo Rodriguez-Afro Tambores Bata - by Tomas Altmann

Let's discuss about the origin and history of this beautiful instrument...

Postby zaragenca » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:36 pm

Thomas,I always welcome the interes which you took in learning about cuban folklor,and your research skill,in relation to this subject I have never debate that Giraldo Rodriguez didn't record in 1954,(since I know that he did some recording in Cuba,what I point out and still sustain is that the one playing Iya in the picture is Jesus Perez,(and I don't know if the picture correlate to the recording in subject),Is Jesus Perez is playing Iya in the recording all the credit is going to him,(he is the head of that ensemble),regardless who is playing beside him,so if somebody comes which a recording where Jesus Perez or anybody else is playing Iya,(THE PERSON PLAYING IYA, IS THE HEAD OF THE ENSEMLE,and the credit is going to him)...That is a rule in any Bata setting in Cuba for ceremonies or anything else..and I don't remember any time where Jesus Perez was playing Iya without his ensemble,(regardless who was playing with him)...There is only one Gabino,(batalero in La Habana).
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Postby zaragenca » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:14 pm

Sorry,I'm still couldn't correlate who was the real teacher of Collazo in Cuba,(aggravated by the fact that he got out of Cuba early),observing somebody playing Bata is not and effect of being under that person tutelage,(again you have to know how things where done in Cuba at that time, to know when something doesn't click...Mario Jauregui could have observed Roche playing in Cuba,but he is an offpring of Jesus Perez...When somebody comes with information of where,and when these brothers played with Pablo Roche then it would be welcome.Dr. Zaragemca
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Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:54 pm

Dr Zaragemca:

I am afraid this will lead into another fruitless discussion, and I will not participate in it. Apart from the estimation of John Amira and Orlando Fiol, I don't see any evidence of who played what drum on the record. It's going to be guesswork, and that's bottomless. Anyway, I am one of those people who find that the itótele is even harder to master than the iyá, even if we considered that the iyacero is commonly regarded the master drummer or head of the ensemble. So it doesn't make a point to me who was the real "boss" of the group.

Never mind,

Thomas
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Postby zaragenca » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:59 pm

You are always welcome Thomas,it isn't that the Itotele is more complex than the Iya,it is the bottomline that whoever is playing it is going to adapt to the personal touch of the Iya player,(otherwise he couldn't be playing with the head of the ensemble),and that take long hours of taking and coordination before actually playing in public becouse it involved a lot of things that the Iya is communicating to the other so they would play in the way which was already arranged and also what the singer might require when he is part of the articulation,..so the lead singer and the Iya players have been and always are the 'bosses' in the specific presentation...It have been like that before I was born and it was like that until the last minute that I was in Cuba,... Singers and Iya players always put their personal touch to what they are doing,I have seen it many times to count it for.Dr. Zaragemca
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Postby Thomas Altmann » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:23 pm

Dr. Zaragemca:

That's true. And it is sometimes hard to guess what the iyá player is going to call next, especially if you are not familiar with the style of the mayor. Also, in many toques, the itótele has to play the middle note of a triplet on the chachá, which is rhythmically demanding. Then, the dampening technique (closing the enú when the chachá is struck alone) is most critical with the itótele than with any of the two other drums. Thirdly, because the sound of the itótele is in the range of the human voice, you are instinctively tuned in to listen to this drum foremost, and moreover, it is the itótele that defines the toque more than any other drum; so you must articulate very clean and accurate. These are musical criteria.

What makes the iyá part so difficult, becomes evident only in a ceremonial setting. You have the responsibility to call the right toque in the right place, whatever song the singer starts. And, you must be able to "speak", to know phrases that correspond to a particular situation in the ritual, or how to communicate with the orisha.

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Postby zaragenca » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:14 pm

Welcome Thomas,among other things I could agree with that.Dr. Zaragemca
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Postby pcastag » Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:30 pm

The itotole definitely is the most difficult to learn ( from my experience) because of the same reasons you stated Thomas, even my Teacher in Havana recognized that. Once I had learned an itotole part the Iya was much easier. Now mastering the iya is a whole other story, as you said there are many intracacies in a ceremonial context associated with the iya player, when to come in, starting the right toque, tempos etc.
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Re: Giraldo Rodriguez-Afro Tambores Bata - by Tomas Altmann

Postby Thomas Altmann » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:33 pm

To whom it may concern ...

I finished my research report with an e-mail I received from Dr. Ivor Miller in February 2009 that read like an answer to all questions. Miller submitted an excerpt from interviews he made with Adriano Rodríguez in 1999 and 2002 in his home in Havana. I convey my English translation of his complete quote as follows:

Adriano Rodríguez: "My brother Barbaro José Giraldo Rodriguez Bolaños, known as Giraldo, was one of the finest percussionists of his time. He was born on the 4th. of December, 1920.
In January 1959 I had a chance to go to Mexico, and I talked to Luis Trápaga (a famous Cuban dancer, now deceased) to bring Giraldo and Jesús <Pérez>, and he agreed.
In Mexico we worked in a show that Luis Trápaga had brought <there>. The show had two parts; one of them was called "Oba Kosó Batá" (the king of the batá is not dead), a name given to it by Jesús, and the show was folklore; the other show was called "Gran Tour", which, as its name indicates, included various styles. It had Cuban music for me to sing, as well as music from other countries for the dance section.
We recorded; a disc in Mexico, because the owner of the record company came to the cabaret, and he liked the show very much. He asked me to sing "Drume Negrita" with the tambores of Jesús, which was what I did in the show. On the record, I am singing for Eleguá in the beginning, for Oggún, and for San Lázaro. Jesús is singing for Yemayá, for Changó, and for Eleguá at the end, and my brother ... for Ochún. Moreover, we were all together singing coro. The batá were played by Jesús, Giraldo and Gabino Fellove, who is the brother of composer Francisco <Fellove> who is still <living> in Mexico." *

When I mentioned the discrepancy between the date given by Tomás Jimeno (1954) and his own figure being 1959, Dr. Miller replied that "it is significant ... that Adriano was very specific about January 1959, then returning to the Revolution, and this is convincing."

I edited my article accordingly.

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Re: Giraldo Rodriguez-Afro Tambores Bata - by Tomas Altmann

Postby guarachon63 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:36 am

Hey there is an edition of this up for sale at the "REDUCED" price of US$145, any takers?

Thomas they reference your article, maybe they will make you a better deal! ;)

http://www.recordsmerchant.com/item/lp12178.htm
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Re: Giraldo Rodriguez-Afro Tambores Bata - by Tomas Altmann

Postby Thomas Altmann » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:30 pm

Funny find. Perhaps product management for vintage record shops is a niche to consider.

Me a PR man - arrgh :oops:

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