Friday, July 31, 2020

Grooves o' the day: Art Blakey Latin

Two very similar Latin grooves recorded by Art Blakey in 1960 and '61. On both of them the bell pattern has that little syncopated move across the barline that we see a few years later in the Mozambique rhythm. There was a lot of Latin music happening in New York in the 40s-50s, but I'm nowhere near informed enough about it to try speculate on where Blakey and others got that motif; it does also happen in Cuban conga de comparsa, from which the Mozambique is derived. 

Johnny's Blue, from the Jazz Messengers album Like Someone In Love:

There's no audible bass drum on either thing. On both tracks when Blakey comes in he starts with an accent on the high tom on beat 1. Note that he swings the cymbal rhythm when he first comes in.

El Toro, from the Jazz Messengers album The Freedom Rider:

A little brighter tempo, using two tom toms, with a broken rhythm on the cymbal in the first measure.

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