Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Los Muñequitos, the way they were...

I finally rented "Los Muñequitos de Matanzas: Live in L.A." over the weekend. I never heard much about this when it came out, and now I understand why.

What a disappointment. The group is just a mere shadow of its former self. And the CD is shoddily produced as well. Why can't these things ever seem to be made by someone who understands rumba?

Fortunately I had also rented "Roots of Rhythm" and just this 1:14 seconds of footage was worth the entire "Live in LA" DVD.

How I wish that someday all this footage (and the Clave y Guaguancó, and the Isaac Oviedo from the same doc) would surface, it is all really priceless.

you can download this clip from rapidshare (31MB):

Rumba en Belén

A nice clip from the "Roots of Rhythm" documentary, with dialogue describing the "vacunao"...

I think the group performing is an early version of Clave y Guaguancó, although you see Miguel Chappottín (lead vocals) and Chan of Yoruba Andabo, and the final columbia dancer wil be familiar to many local NY rumberos and Djoniba-goers...

EDIT: Here is the link to download this clip:
(Link updated Jan 09.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Alberto Romero Díaz, singer for Los Muñequitos, 1948-2006

The world lost a great rumbero on August 10. Since joining the group in 1980, Alberto's contribution to the Muñequitos as solista was immeasurable, he will be missed.

Listen to Alberto sing "Oyelos de nuevo" from the "Real Rumba"compilation CD. He does the intro and the inspirations.

Décima and Rumba: Back on the web!

"Décima and Rumba: Iberian Formalism in the heart of Afro-cuban song," by Philip "Felipe" Pasmanick.

Don't let the long title scare you, this is a beautiful work of afro-cuban scholarship and essential reading for those wanting a deeper understanding of rumba.

Originally published in the Latin American Music Review in July of 1997, it is posted here with kind permission of the author.

También disponible en español.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Los Muñequitos Live on Rapidshare

Recordings from their 1998 tour. Featuring some rarely performed songs such as the beautiful yambú "Chino Guaguao," the guaguancós "Oiga Barón" and "Venga madrina traigame la calma." This last is notable for having no "song" to speak of, it is just a series of coros, including a coro from capoeira: "paraná é, paraná é paraná."

And finally the columbia "Fundamento Dilanga" - you can never have too many recordings of that one.

Download Los Muñequitos Live 1998

Afrocuba de Matanzas on YouTube

Someone just posted this on YouTube, an excerpt from a documentary, called I think simply "La Rumba." Featuring classic footage from Afrocuba de Matanzas having a rumba at a train station. Beautiful!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Coro Folklorico Cubano

"Chambeleque" by Coro Folklorico Cubano. From the CD "...en un solar habanero" apparently out of print.