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First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:48 pm
by pcastag
Just read a post on facebook

"The first conga drummer to play with an Afro-Cuban orchestra in the U.S. is Carlos Vidal from Havana, who joined Machito in 1940. Carlos was also the first person to record a true rumba recording in the U.S. In the 1960s he made a great recording with the Jazz Crusaders titled "Chile Con Soul." Carlos died about ten years ago in California. He also performed and recorded with Stan Kenton, Perez Prado and Shorty Rogers."

True?

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:16 pm
by Omelenko1
Carlos Vidal was one of the first, he came to the US before Chano Pozo did. However, Diego Iborra "Mofeta", who was Dizzy's first conguero, came to the US in 1931. I think, from all the research I have done and having been a friend of the late "Mofeta", it is my opinion he was the first. I liked the way Carlos Vidal played, strong steady tumbao. I got the album with the Jazz Crusaders.

Dario

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:01 am
by RitmoBoricua
Omelenko1 wrote:Carlos Vidal was one of the first, he came to the US before Chano Pozo did. However, Diego Iborra "Mofeta", who was Dizzy's first conguero, came to the US in 1931. I think, from all the research I have done and having been a friend of the late "Mofeta", it is my opinion he was the first. I liked the way Carlos Vidal played, strong steady tumbao. I got the album with the Jazz Crusaders.

Dario


Dario, your opinion is consistant with the account of some very knowlegeable historians. Diego Iborra "Mofeta" (RIP) was the first.
Also we have to remember that there were "latin" music been played in NYC way before the great Mario Bauza and Frank Grillo
"Machito" arrived to NYC. Candido Camero also arrived in NYC before Chano Pozo did.

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:35 am
by davidpenalosa
The case of Diego Iborra "Mofeta" is interesting. 1931 is very early! I think his time with Dizzy was very short and I think it is probable that his contribution did not produce a credible jazz-Cuban hybrid (it can be argued that Chano's contribution wasn't quite on the mark either). Still, I can only speculate, and I would love to have been able to hear what that band sounded like. This is the timeline of the first Cuban congueors who immigrated to the U.S., that I have been able to construct:

Carlos Vidal.jpg
Carlos Vidal Bolado (1914–1996) arrived in the U.S. in 1943. Photo from the back cover of Yambu by Mongo Santamaria (1958).

Chano Pozo.jpg
Luciano “Chano” Pozo Gonzales (1915 – 1948) arrived in the U.S. in 1947.

Armando Peraza.jpg
Armando Peraza (b. 1924) arrived in the U.S. in 1949.

Mongo Santamaria.jpg
Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría Rodríguez (1917 - 2003) arrived in the U.S. in 1950. He's seen here playing a quinto cajón. Photo from the back cover of Yambu (1958).

Candido Camero.jpg
Candido de Guerra Camero (b. 1921) arrived in the U.S. in 1952. Photo by Martin Cohen.


http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.196509527062041.47940.164335963612731&type=3

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:40 am
by davidpenalosa
Modesto Duran.jpg
Modesto Duran arrived in the U.S. in 1953. Photo from the back cover of Yambu by Mongo Santamaria (1958).

Patato Valdes.jpg
Carlos “Patato” Valdes (1926 – 2007) arrived in the U.S. in 1954. Photo by Martin Cohen.

Francisco Aguabella.jpg
Francisco Aguabella (1925 – 2010). Photo from the back cover of Yambu by Mongo Santamaria (1958).

Julito Collazo.jpg
Julio "Julito" Collazo (1925 – 2004) arrived in the U.S. in 1955.

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:13 am
by pcastag
davidpenalosa wrote:The case of Diego Iborra "Mofeta" is interesting. 1931 is very early! I think his time with Dizzy was very short and I think it is probable that his contribution did not produce a credible jazz-Cuban hybrid (it can be argued that Chano's contribution wasn't quite on the mark either). Still, I can only speculate, and I would love to have been able to hear what that band sounded like. This is the timeline of the first Cuban congueors who immigrated to the U.S., that I have been able to construct:

Carlos Vidal.jpg

Chano Pozo.jpg

Armando Peraza.jpg

Mongo Santamaria.jpg

Candido Camero.jpg


http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.196509527062041.47940.164335963612731&type=3


Chanos not on the mark? Manteca? Tin tin deo? It set the fricken mark! U must be kidding! Who the hell would argue that shit was not on the mark!

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:46 am
by RitmoBoricua
The great Candido Camero did not arrived in 1952.
He arrived much earlier. See link.

http://www.nea.gov/honors/jazz/jmCMS/ma ... 1&type=bio

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:36 pm
by Omelenko1
I was fortunate to be a friend of Diego Iborra "Mofeta" for a number of years. He used to tell me stories of his days playing conga and bongos with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy, Art Tatum, Max Roach and the list goes on. Diego came to the States on the 30's first as a child and would often return to Habana and back. Diego was a trap drummer for Orquesta Riverside in La Habana, trap set was his main instrument. He would venture into congas and bongos, but it was not his forte. However, he has been given credit as the first Cuban conga player in Bebop. Attach find photos of "Mofeta". Diego RIP my friend.

Dario
thCATAWWW8.jpg
thCATAWWW8.jpg (8.66 KiB) Viewed 2783 times
Diego Mofeta Iborra2_1946.jpg
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_MG_0533.jpg (34.39 KiB) Viewed 2783 times

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:04 pm
by davidpenalosa
pcastag wrote:Chanos not on the mark? Manteca? Tin tin deo? It set the fricken mark! U must be kidding! Who the hell would argue that shit was not on the mark!


I was referring to the initial recordings, not the compositions. A close listening to those Dizzy tunes with Chano playing, will reveal that the North American musicians were not familiar with the "even-eigth" feel of Chano's tumbao. There is an uneasy tension between Chano's feel and the rest of the band. It's only natural that this would be the case. This is not an original observation on my part.

Listen to the trombone and saxes at 1:38.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KxtCxStjY8

The initial experiments in Afro-Cuban jazz were not the seamless hybrids we are used to hearing today. Rome was not built in a day. While the initial performances left something to be desired, the compositions themselves became classics and have stood the test of time. They continue to inspire both Cuban and North American musicians.
-David

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:43 pm
by pcastag
Yeah, that makes sense, by the time he recorded Manteca his tumbao was really swinging. I think it was more of him having to adjust than the jazz guys.

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:17 pm
by RitmoBoricua
davidpenalosa wrote:The initial experiments in Afro-Cuban jazz were not the seamless hybrids we are used to hearing today. Rome was not built in a day. While the initial performances left something to be desired, the compositions themselves became classics and have stood the test of time. They continue to inspire both Cuban and North American musicians.-David


Enter Mario Bauza, Frank Grillo (Machito) and the Afro-Cubans they really smoothed things out.
Mario Bauza certainly no stranger to jazz, so he was in a better position than Dizzie to make the
marriage between jazz and afro-cuban work.

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:22 pm
by davidpenalosa
Interestingly, Bauzá's and Machito's experiments pre-date those of Diz and Chano, and they were more credible as Cuban-jazz fusions, as far as the solos went. However, Bauzá's "Tanga" (1943) was essentially a modal descarga, whereas "Manteca" (1947) with its chord changes in the bridge, made the latter composition closer to a typical jazz piece.

Re: First cuban conga player in the US?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:27 am
by pavloconga
davidpenalosa wrote:
pcastag wrote:Chanos not on the mark? Manteca? Tin tin deo? It set the fricken mark! U must be kidding! Who the hell would argue that shit was not on the mark!



The initial experiments in Afro-Cuban jazz were not the seamless hybrids we are used to hearing today. Rome was not built in a day. While the initial performances left something to be desired, the compositions themselves became classics and have stood the test of time. They continue to inspire both Cuban and North American musicians.
-David



Just to expand on this discussion, a really interesting interview here with Dizzy (about half way through) discussing Chano's contribution to Manteca:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alsdQr8HIdU