"...one of the most beautiful, most influential, and moreover one of the first recordings of the Afro-Cuban batá drums..."
So says Thomas Altmann in this beautiful article shedding some much-needed light on this historic recording.
Altmann's article made us very curious to hear this record, so we tracked down a friend who had a copy, who made the transfer to vinyl for us, and we now pass it on to you.
Patricio went crazy over the holidays and published this as part of a 6-part article on the history of the batá drums in Cuba, which sadly we have no time to translate from the French. Maybe one of these days, or if there are any volunteers out there, feel free. Even if you don't read any French there are some amazing photographs, so take a look.
Many thanks to Thomas for his excellent work, the field of afro-cuban studies could use much more of these kinds of studies to recover stories which will otherwise soon be lost forever.
(Altmann is also the editor of the songbook "Cantos Lucumí a los Orishas," available at folkcuba.com.)
Download Giraldo Rodriguez's "Afro Tambores Batá" here.
Altmann's notes on the tracks are below:
The description of the tracks is not always correct. As a suggestion, a better list might read as follows:
1. Eleggua (toque "Latokpa", cantos Moyuba Orisa, Ibaragó Moyuba)
2. Oggún (toque "Ogún", canto Ogún dé Arere)
3. Ochosi (toque "Aggueré" - seco)
4. Drume Negrita (canción de cuna, con toques "Aggayú" y "Rumba Obatala")
5. Obatala ("Obbantala") (toques a Obatala "por derecho" - seco)
6. Yemayá ("Yemalla") (toque "Alaró", canto Osi ni ba o yalé)
7. Changó (toque Chachálokpafúñ, cantos Obalube, Oba icheré, Kawo e)
8. Oyá ("Olla") (toque "Oyá bí 'kú" - seco)
9. Babalú Ayé (toque "Babalú Ayé" Aberikuto a wa; toque "Yegua": Asokara luwe, Towe Towe)
10. Obba (toque "Obba" - seco)
11. Ochún ("Rumba Iyesá", cantos Omí yeyé, Ore Ore, Ala umba che ma che)
12. Eleggua ("Salida"; cantos Eleggua ni tá, E agó Eleggua e, Kini-kini yo)
I would like to add that:
* the toques secos for Ochosi, Obatala, and Oya, are not complete;
* the words on most songs are not correct;
* the secular Afro-Cuban lullabye song by Ernesto Grenet, "Drume Negrita", is neither part of the orthodox liturgy, nor is it usually accompanied by these toques or with batá drums at all, but with a rhythm called "Afro" ("Afro-Cuban");
* the song "Kini-Kini Yo" is traditionally not sung in the Closing ceremony (Cierre).