Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Clave y Guaguancó from "...y tenemos sabor" (1967)

"Con cuatro hierros, y cuatro palos, formamos una rumba que no cree nadie!"

I always loved Alberto Zayas' intro to this all-too brief clip of Clave y Guaguancó from Sara Gómez's 1967 documentary "...y tenemos sabor."

This must have been filmed shortly after the group was reunited in 1960 by Argelier León. They are finishing up singing Calixto Callava's classic "Guaguancó Sabroso." A great "solar" setting, rumba de cajones (note the spoons on the cajita for the "guagua") and excellent dancing make this a classic.

I find it interesting that the man playing the claves introduces the coro, but then Miguel Angel "Aspirina" Mesa takes up the inspirations. Miguel Angel Mesa's distinctive voice can be heard most recently on the Rapsodia Rumbera vol 1 and can be seen on Boogalu Production's excellent video "Rumbón Tropical."

One thing I am curious about, maybe someone can help me out: There was a woman who sang with Clave y Guaguancó back then, I think that is her to Miguel Angel's right, behind the caja player. Anyone know her name or anything else about her? Could it be Gloria Mora? She must be one of the great unsung women in rumba history. I've only seen her doing coros though.

This clip is followed by a comparsa sequence.

You can download a high-quality mp4 (58.5MB) of this file from rapidshare here.


Cuco-Juan R Castellanos said...

Hi, It is very common to see one singer (akpwon) starting the rumba and then another singer taking over during the coros (section of call and response).
This is also seen in contemporary Salsa and timba bands in Cuba, a very good example is NG La Banda, most of the solos are done by Tony Cala. It is due to his improvisation skills and to the color of his voice.

Going back to the rumba, don't forget that the rumba you see now on videos and theaters is just a short staged representation of what a Cuban party is like, this parties could last hours without breaks. Although the rhythm and the singing never stop, rumberos often take turns singing and playing the different percussion parts.


Anonymous said...

Hola, me podrían decir si se puede y cómo hago para conseguir el video completo "... y tenemos sabor"?