MONGO SANTAMARIA

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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby jorge » Fri May 27, 2011 5:52 pm

davidpenalosa wrote:Here's Mongo playing with the Temptations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBxFTzxc0Bo

Mongo Santamaria plays congas on the hit "Cloud Nine" by the Temptations. This is an example of Afro-Cuban rhythm seamlessly blended with funk. Mongo is playing a conga de comparsa, or mozambique-type tumbao here.
-David


Thanks for posting that link, I didn't know Mongo had played with the Temptations. I hadn't heard that song for probably 30 years. Listening to it now, it sounds almost like they are doing an advertisement for getting high rather than a social commentary against it.

But the conga part Mongo is playing on that piece sounds like a straight ahead marcha to me, with a few fill-ins and at the end, going down to the tumba every measure rather than every other measure. I don't hear either conga de comparsa or mozambique.
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby davidpenalosa » Sat May 28, 2011 1:55 am

jorge wrote:. . . the conga part Mongo is playing on that piece sounds like a straight ahead marcha to me, with a few fill-ins and at the end, going down to the tumba every measure rather than every other measure. I don't hear either conga de comparsa or mozambique.


Hi Jorge,
At 1:38 I'm hearing Mongo sounding the strokes of the conga, or mozambique bell pattern. I cued up the song from my itunes library, and e-qued it so that I could isolate the congas as much as possible. I'm definitely hearing embellishments that make Mongo's patterns applicable to NY-style mozambique. However, I may have over-stated this aspect of his playing in my previous post; he does play a straight tumbao as well. I agree that the song seems to celebrate drug escapism.

When Mongo recorded "Cloud Nine" on one of his own albums, he superimposed the conga bell over a backbeat, and basically soloed over the whole tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBOituceCyE

I think I conflated the two versions in my mind. I should have listened to each of them again, before writing what I did earlier.
-David
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby jorge » Sat May 28, 2011 3:12 pm

Hi David,
I hear what you are talking about, good ear! At 1:35, he puts an accented slap on the third beat of the measure that gives that fill-in a mozambique/R&B backbeat feel for a second and then keeps on with his marcha. Sounds great, I will have to try that one next time I sit in with an R&B band.

One of the many differences between NY mozambique and Cuban mozambique is that NY mozambique has a more backbeat / funk / R&B feel that the original Cuban mozambique does not have. That made the NY mozambique fit with a lot of funk and R&B songs and, thanks to Mongo and others, permanently influenced funk, R&B and rock rhythms. Probably opened the way for a lot of our crossover gigs playing congas with local funk and R&B bands in the early 70s.

Mongo's Stone Soul version of Cloud Nine that you posted is great, thanks. Completely different rhythm. I think that is Bernard Purdie on drums laying down a real funky R&B beat, with a conga bell like you said, and Mongo's soloing on top of that base. To me, the congas sound more like Mongo's trademark guaguanco and guaguanco quinto style than conga de comparsa or mozambique style.
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby davidpenalosa » Sun May 29, 2011 7:17 am

jorge wrote:. . . the congas sound more like Mongo's trademark guaguanco and guaguanco quinto style than conga de comparsa or mozambique style.


Hi Jorge,
It's true that the two approaches Mongo takes on the different versions are different.

Although concerning Mongo's version, he uses those trademark guaguanco quinto style-phrases in conga as well. For example, to my ears, his quinto playing on "Congo Beat" (In Percussion) and "Conga Alegre" (Top Percussion) sounds similar to what plays "on Cloud Nine."

The only difference with his rumba quinto, is that he doesn't play the lock in the conga de comparsa; he just plays cross-phrases that extend over several claves.
-David
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby JohnnyConga » Sun May 29, 2011 5:35 pm

Mongo's pattern after his conga solo is him playing Guagaunco(his way)on to one drum rather than played over two drums if u were to play the Guaguanco, the way it's normally played over 2 drums...Mongo is the only drummer that took that rhythm and broke it up...it is a Guaguanco, just done his way...its not a tumbao....
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby Psyammy » Mon May 30, 2011 2:35 am

Hey J.C. could you please give the notation of the one drum Guaguanco pattern that Mongo is playing or better yet a youtube vid. of it?
thanks
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby JohnnyConga » Mon May 30, 2011 8:33 pm

Here is Mongo playing that pattern in the first 50 seconds... instead of him going back to the tumbadora in the Guaguanco pattern, he plays the last two tones on the Conga, as you will see...he breaks the pattern up...and you can hear the Guaguanco as well, played his way...cool?...

http://youtu.be/AiREUXxzWsA
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby Psyammy » Tue May 31, 2011 3:10 am

thats was very nice.
thanks
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Re: MONGO SANTAMARIA

Postby JohnnyConga » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:18 am

BTW that IS NOT Mongo playing along on TV with the Temptations...that was a ' TV show musician'(playing live with the show's orchestra, something I have also done working on TV)or the Temptations conga drummer at that time...there was this Black brother I saw on the old TV Bobby Darin show from the late 60's early 70's where he had 7 conga drums and he played them all while reading charts standing up...and he could seriously play, and I never found out who he was to this day...there were a few cats that worked TV back then Jack Costanzo, Willie Rodriquez, Jose Mangual and others...
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