Tata Guines Passed Away - Aristides Soto, El Tata

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Postby Omelenko » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:34 pm

I just received word from the Latinjazz forum that Tata passed away en La Habana.
That is very sad news indeed. Tata, probably the most imitated conguero of all, maestro de maestros. Señor Tecnica en la tumba. No details as to his death have been given. Que en paz descanse "El Fifty", A COMER !
De luto estan los rumberos. Triste.

Saludos, Dario. :(
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Postby Chapo » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:12 pm

What a terrible blow man. May he rest in peace. He & Anga will always be alive in my conga spirit.

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Postby jorge » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:34 pm

This is terrible news. Tata Guines was my #1 favorite conga player of all time. I always wanted to study with him, and try to learn his marcha, that subtle swing he had that I never heard anyone else master, not even his most famous student Anga. I am not talking about his solos, which were amazing themselves, but just the straight marcha he played. Que afinque. Que sabor. NOBODY else played like that. Unfortunately, the embargo and political situation have made it impossible for me, and a lot of other people, to go to Cuba to study with him.

Fortunately for us he recorded a lot, especially in his later years, and left us with a legacy of incredible recordings. For me, nothing surpasses his first great recording from the late 50s with Cachao, Descargas Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature, although some of his later recordings come close. Ecue Ecue is an abakua rumba with Tata playing bonko on a quinto in the beginning, then switching into an uptempo rumba with some of the cleanest quinto you will ever hear. In the late 70s, his recordings with Los Estrellas Areito included "Guaguanco a todos los barrios" with Miguelito Cuni and Ruben Gonzalez, great backup playing and solo by Tata. I particularly like some of the recordings he did with Merceditas Valdes including the tastiest fill-ins and marcha I have heard Tata play on "Que callada manera" on her Ache para Cuba CD (1995). One of my all time favorite Tata Guines recordings is "Tata se ha vuelto loco", the band version on his CD Pasaporte with Anga (1995). It is sort of a guaguanco-songo that challenges Joel Driggs and Changuito as the masters of songo. Playing rumba, some of his best quinto work is on 3 songs he did on the groundbreaking CD Rapsodia Rumbera, with his folkloric group (1995). He did a whole CD of rumba, Aniversario (1996) with that same group, which included Maximino Duquesne, Marquito Diaz Scull (Ibae), Lazaro Rizo, Ernesto Gatel, and Pedro Lugo Martinez, great CD. Incidentally, most of the recent recordings of Tata Guines (Pasaporte, Aniversario, Rapsodia Rumbera, Chamalongo) would not have happened without the dedicated recording and production work of EGREM producer Rodolfo Chacon, who has contributed greatly to the recent rebirth of rumba recordings in Cuba.

One of the few quotes I have heard from Tata, some words of advice about the challenge of inspiring the audience, from the liner notes of Aniversario,

"...Asi sean los mas apaticos, salgo a ganarmelos. 'Estan frios', dicen otros compañeros, pero contesto 'dejenmelos a mi!'. Voy a conquistarlos. No me importa el idioma. Nada tiene en comun con la tumbadora. Importa el alma, aparte de la tecnica. Vale la emocion. De veras, si uno trabaja con emocion y con buena tecnica, todo lo consigue. He puesto a bailar a cada uno!"

Although he has been called "destreza y maestria" because his techique is so perfect, he is telling us that it's not just about technique, that putting your feeling and emotion into your playing is important too.

Tata your spirit will live with us, you have changed the art of the tumbadora forever, que descanse en paz.
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Postby akdom » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:36 pm

A great loss indeed....

After Patato......... The old school is dying.....

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Postby No.2-1820 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:40 pm

That's very sad news, an immense inspiration, I often get a feeling of 'all roads lead to Tata' when reading much of the history of this music and interviews with the top players from the past and the present.

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Postby bongosnotbombs » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:54 pm

Very sad news, we seem to have lost so many great congueros in the last few years.

Ray Barretto
Miguel Anga Diaz
and now Tata Guines.
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Postby JohnnyConga » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:17 pm

Sad news indeed....the "first skool" of drumming is disappearing...Fransisco Aguabella, Armando Peraza and Candido Camero....are the only ones left from that skool.....Tata influenced me as a teenager in the Bronx, when we first got our hands on Cachao in Miniature, album and we heard Tata for the first time....it was WOW!!....what a marcha!....how clean his technique is! and the SOLOS!!!....man what an influence on my life as well as many others......he will be missed...pero ay tremendo rumba en cielo, Ya!.....RIP TATA GUINES.......Johnny Conga...
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Postby Omelenko » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:45 pm

Tata, probably the most imitated of all tumbadores in the world. His work on Cachao's "Descargas En Miniaturas" and on Peruchin's "Incendiary Piano" was "escuelita" for all of us rumberos over 50. Tata had probably the cleanest style and crispiest "tapao" in conga history.

Se nos fue "EL FIFTY", A COMER !, as he used to say.
Rest in peace "Timbero Mayor", "Mokongo Mas Chevere" en el quinto.

Dario :(

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Postby umannyt » Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:02 pm

Very sad to hear of Tata Guines' passing away. The world has just recently lost another conga living legend!
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Postby Coco » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:42 am

Terrible news.

I listen to Tata on one recording or another almost every day. Thank God we still have those recordings.

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Postby Jure » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:25 am

I saw him in Casa de la Musica in Habana centro last july when he and Los Muneqitos de Matanzas performed from 4pm to 11pm. I only see 2.5 hr of performance and i am still sad and mad not to see more. What a great man!

So when we will see some new master congueros after Anga and Giovanni! And even Anga is not with us anymore!?

My deepest sympathy to his family

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Postby Omelenko » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:19 pm

Tata was the one that revolutionized the conga drum, him more than anyone else. La "Mano Secreta", for which Changuito has been credited, evolved from the school of Tata. Without Tata there would not have been a Giovanni Hidalgo or Anga, these two were offsprings of Tata's technique. Tata created the new school of conga playing,its evolution. May he rest in peace.

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Postby zaragenca » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:05 pm

All glory to the 'Maestro', Tata/Guines,and a final thanks for all the things which he shared with us,(the next generation which are still carring the legacy of the pioneer percussionists), like Rolando Alfonso and the 'Die Hard Rumberos',with also were feeting the afrocuban percussion field.Dr. Zaragemca
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Postby zumbi » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:15 pm

i am sure he is already jamming with his student anga' in the great descarga in the skies...
descanse en paz, maestro!
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Postby pez » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:55 am

My respects to the great master. Sad news. Perhaps we can put this thread under 'Pinned' with Anga's R.I.P thread.
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