Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mozambique listening

Here is a YouTube playlist of the tracks cited in the Mozambique variations post, plus a few things:

After the break I'll give some brief notes on some of the tracks:

Eddie Palmieri — Melao Para El Sapo / Molasses
You can clearly hear the thing I call “Manny Oquendo's way” on yesterday's page, played on the low timbale, with mostly dead strokes, and a rim shot on the & of 2 of the second measure of the groove. At 0:37 you can hear the abanico— the stock set-up for the band entrance after the break— also referenced in the pdf.

Eddie Palmieri — Mi Mambo Conga / Mozambique
At 0:17 is the abanico; the first note of it is also the end of the horn line. In initially playing along with these tracks, you can sit out during the ensemble breaks, and just work on the groove. The tempo picks up for the timbale solo.

Eddie Palmieri & Cal Tjader — Bamboleate / Bamboleate
These first three are the most classic Mozambique tracks I know of. The abanico happens at the beginning of the tune, minus the first rim shot.

Eddie Palmieri — Comparsa De Los Locos / Vamanhos Pa'l Monte
The first of the fast ones— pay attention to the interpretation of the bell part on these. The drum set is accenting the snare drum on the “bombo” hits here.

Eddie Palmieri — Camagueyanos Y Habaneros / Mozambique
Very bright. It sounds like he's playing up on the neck of the cowbell.

Eddie Palmieri — Interlude / Lluvia De Estrellas Tico & Alegre
The Mozambique section begins after the bongo solo, at 3:40.

Eddie Palmieri — Carnaval En Camaguey / Molasses
A rare (in my listening) medium tempo Mozambique. Again, you can hear Manny Oquendo's thing on the timbales at the beginning. The bell pattern has a different emphasis than the other versions here. It begins in 2-3 Son clave, like most of the examples I've heard, but seemingly shifts to 3-2 between 0:30-1:00. As this is usually done, there is no break in the rhythm; the change from 2-3 to 3-2 happens as a result of an odd phrasing in the rest of the ensemble. It seems to happen based on the vocal part at 0:47— before that, it's very hard for me to hear it in 3-2, and after that, it's very hard to hear it in 2-3.

Eddie Palmieri — Campesino - El Pregon De La Montana / Molasses
This piece seems to allude to a more traditional Son-Montuno vibe? I do not have my Cuban genres at all sorted out, so anyone with better knowledge than me, please comment.

Eddie Palmieri — Bomboncito De Pozo / Molasses
Another one that starts in 3-2, and shifts into 2-3 coming out of the break at 0:53. Again, that's accomplished by an odd number of measures in the horn break, so the new phrase lands on the 2 side of clave. No one is actually playing the clave rhythm in these examples, so you have to listen to the bell part— the quarter notes at the beginning of the measure happen on the 2 side. In these 3-2 examples, the groove feels very unstable in the percussion, since that orientation puts the syncopation in the bell part at the beginning of the groove.

Bobby Valentin — Descarga En Mozambique / Let's Turn On
Mozambique played by a band other than Eddie Palmieri.

Louie Ramirez — Louie's Mozambique / In The Heart Of Spanish Harlem
And another; maybe this is more of a Boogaloo band? The vibe is rather different from what we've heard so far. They play the 1 stronger than Palmieri's band, and emphasizes the & of 2 less.

Paul Simon — Late In The Evening / One-Trick Pony
With drumming by Steve Gadd, this tune (and Gadd's video Up Close) is how most Anglo-American drummers (like me) were exposed to this groove. Obviously, it's very different from the Latin-American version, with a strong accent on 1, and a four on the floor or samba-type bass drum rhythm; and the rest of the ensemble is not playing any of the normal Latin parts. Gadd plays the bell part cascara-style, on the rim of a tom tom. His left hand part was sketched out in my earlier Page of Mozambique.

Pello El Afrokan — Mozambique / Cuban television appearance 
The original, Cuban Mozambique, derived from Conga de Comparsa, with a trumpet fanfare alternating with a vocal chorus. The instrumentation is different, and the parts, while having a similar vibe, are also different. The “Mozambique” vocal line, and variations on it, occurs in both the Cuban and New York versions of the style.

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