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Thread: Salsa Con Acid

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    Salsa Con Acid

    Now this is some shit you don't hear everyday!

    It's a band from Venezuela called Guaco. They've been around a long time and their music is more like Cuban and Puerto Rican music than what's typical of Venezuela. But let's cut to the chase:

    On their '97 album, "Amazonas," they play the kind of stuff they're known for, melodic pop/salsa with great horn charts and mucho percussion, UNTIL the last two tracks, when they play some of the weirdest, craziest stuff I've ever heard (what's basically) a salsa band do. I certainly don't have all of their albums, but I've got 4 of them and I've never heard them get nearly this "out" on anything else. Just thought I'd share in case anybody would be interested. This is the last track:


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    Traversing The Dream 100423's Avatar
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    The ending is especially whacked out!
    Pretty cool!

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    Haven't heard it but I'm a Mambo Maniac. I get the same swinging, visceral effect I get from listening to AC/DC.

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    Puerto Rican Wonder The Fantastic Progo Rican's Avatar
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    Wicked!!!!
    I could never wear a skirt, I don't feel comfortable with my loins having that much freedom...

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    Puerto Rican Wonder The Fantastic Progo Rican's Avatar
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    After the Classic Salsa or "Salsa Gorda" (Fat Salsa) boom of the 60's and 70's we suffered from the 80's onward of a watered down Salsa and now there's been a renaissance of the genre with such artists as Orquesta El Macabeo and Juanpi Diaz





    I could never wear a skirt, I don't feel comfortable with my loins having that much freedom...

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    Puerto Rican Wonder The Fantastic Progo Rican's Avatar
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    I could never wear a skirt, I don't feel comfortable with my loins having that much freedom...

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    Just played the Guaco Youtube thing. Pretty good. Very jazzy. It doesn't swing (as in, you can't really dance to it) but that's okay, it's pretty cool. When I was into the whole Salsa scene in the 70s I always gravitated to the jazzier, left-of-center, experimental bands. The New York latin music scene in the 70s became very commercial and glossy, but there were always progressive musicians in that scene.

    What I found interesting about this Guaco thing is a cat named Orestes Vilato is apparently playing percussion (not sure if he's playing trap drums or timbales). BTW, Acere Bonco is a cover of a song originally recorded by Tipica 73. Orestes was well known in the NYC/Fania music scene. He played with Ray Barretto for many years. In the early to mid 70s he started a group called Tipica 73 (freaking awesome band. I saw them a couple times in the 70s). Then in the late 70s Orestes moved to San Francisco to play with Santana.

    Ernie, I know this type of music doesn't get discussed very often on PE, and that's understandable. Thanks for sharing anyway. Maybe the few of us who do like this stuff can keep this thread going for a little while.

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    Ernie, Not sure if you've heard this album, but I'm sure you must be familiar with this artist. He's my all-time favorite. If you haven't heard this album seek it out. It's Salsa meets Prog. Killer!


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fantastic Progo Rican View Post
    After the Classic Salsa or "Salsa Gorda" (Fat Salsa) boom of the 60's and 70's we suffered from the 80's onward of a watered down Salsa and now there's been a renaissance of the genre with such artists as Orquesta El Macabeo and Juanpi Diaz
    I liked all of it, thanks for sharing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Just played the Guaco Youtube thing. Pretty good. Very jazzy. It doesn't swing (as in, you can't really dance to it) but that's okay, it's pretty cool. When I was into the whole Salsa scene in the 70s I always gravitated to the jazzier, left-of-center, experimental bands. The New York latin music scene in the 70s became very commercial and glossy, but there were always progressive musicians in that scene.

    What I found interesting about this Guaco thing is a cat named Orestes Vilato is apparently playing percussion (not sure if he's playing trap drums or timbales). BTW, Acere Bonco is a cover of a song originally recorded by Tipica 73. Orestes was well known in the NYC/Fania music scene. He played with Ray Barretto for many years. In the early to mid 70s he started a group called Tipica 73 (freaking awesome band. I saw them a couple times in the 70s). Then in the late 70s Orestes moved to San Francisco to play with Santana.
    I have heard Tipica, but I didn't realize "Acere Bongo" was their tune until I went to post that Guaco version and the original from Tipica 73 kept coming up. I know La Tipica had a lot to do with the advent of salsa music, as it came to be known when Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians migrated to NYC.

    Like I said in the original post, that track was very unusual for Guaco. Their style is generally more accessible and actually their melodies are pretty pop-like, but the way they mix afro-carribean music with funk and some rock elements is pretty unique. Also, they have the tightest horn section I've heard pretty much anywhere!

    Oh, and of course I've heard Eddie Palmieri! But not that album.

    This tune is from that same album of theirs, "Amazonas." I'd say it's much more representative of what they do.


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    ^ Sounds cool. Interesting how the trap drums are way up front in the rhythm section. That's unusual for Mambo/Salsa type music. There was a time when I would've considered a trap kit in a latin music combo as sacrilegious. It works pretty good here.

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    Check this out from EP's "Vortex"

    It's one of the "weirder" tracks. I'd call it symphonic, latin-jazz, chamber, cha cha cha.



    By the way, I believe the whole album is instrumental. Been a while since I've played it. There might be some chanting but there are no lead vocals.
    Last edited by Vic2012; 01-10-2015 at 12:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    ^ Sounds cool. Interesting how the trap drums are way up front in the rhythm section. That's unusual for Mambo/Salsa type music. There was a time when I would've considered a trap kit in a latin music combo as sacrilegious. It works pretty good here.
    Yeah, drumset is traditionally a no-no in afro-carribean music. But the drummer is the band leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    Yeah, drumset is traditionally a no-no in afro-carribean music. But the drummer is the band leader.
    Trap kits are common in latin/jazz music but normally not in a dance type band. Tito Puente had a drumset in his orchestra, but the drummer mostly rode the hi-hat and was way in back. Normally the drummer was mostly window dressing and used for accenting horn blasts.

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    Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Giraldilla


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    Some of the best salsa percussion I have heard, 3 experienced percussionist having so much fun


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Trap kits are common in latin/jazz music but normally not in a dance type band. Tito Puente had a drumset in his orchestra, but the drummer mostly rode the hi-hat and was way in back. Normally the drummer was mostly window dressing and used for accenting horn blasts.
    I'm far from an expert on the subject, but I guess it depends on the band. No drum set for these guys!



    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Giraldilla
    That was awesome! Gonzalo's a monster pianist and a brilliant composer arranger! I need more of his albums!

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    This is slow and strange


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    ^ I've heard it. Eddie Palmieri is the most progressive latin artist ever (that I've heard).

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    In the seventies several american salsa bands experimented with the genre to liberate it a bit from just being dance music.
    I remember Fania all stars (they recorded with Jan Hammer on Hammond), Ray Baretto, Willie Colon, and the Cuban band Groupo Irakere

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    Yeah, some of those Fania musicians even attempted to do "concept albums." Larry Harlow made an album called "Hommy" which was an obvious cop on Tommy (The Who). I've never heard the album myself. Back in those days I wasn't interested in any "Salsa Concept Albums." I was a percussionist so I listened to (and saw live many times) cats named Mongo Santamaria, Joe Cuba, Ray Barretto, Nicky Marrero, etc., etc.

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    Here's one Ernie might get a kick out of. This track does not represent the music on this album. It's an instrumental track that contains a fuzzy, psychedelic, electric guitar solo. The vibraphone sounds cool, the fuzzy guitar is really cornball, but it's the oddball track on a traditional, dance record.


  22. #22
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    Me gusto Guaco RIO!
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    In the seventies several american salsa bands experimented with the genre to liberate it a bit from just being dance music.
    I remember Fania all stars (they recorded with Jan Hammer on Hammond), Ray Baretto, Willie Colon, and the Cuban band Groupo Irakere
    You and Vic really know your shit about this kind of music; respect! I'm more knowledgeable about Brazilian music, but even with that, I feel like a novice. There's just so much great music from all over the world to be mined... and not enough time (or money) in one lifetime.

    I remember hearing an Irakere album and being very impressed circa the early '80s, but I didn't explore them and their legacy any further, aside from being aware that Paquito d' Rivera and Arturo Sandavol came from that band. Just read a very interesting Wiki article about them:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irakere They mention this tune in the article, which is an interesting amalgam of bebop, rock and afro/carribean:


    The more you learn about salsa and latin jazz, the more interesting it becomes, because it really is fusion music, just not exactly of the Mahavishnu or Return To Forever variety that people generally associate with "fusion" (although there's some degree of intersection there). What's kind of fascinating to me is how much of an international collaboration it is; salsa and latin jazz wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't for Cubans and Puerto Ricans migrating to NYC.

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    ^ thanks - and you are completely right about the genre.

    My wife gave me this album 25 years ago. Its less challenging stylewise (no acid), but its great music. One of Anthony Jacksons best works IMO.



    Michel Camilo piano, Anthony Jackson Bass, Joel Rosenblatt drums, Dave Weckl drums

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    ^ thanks - and you are completely right about the genre.

    My wife gave me this album 25 years ago. Its less challenging stylewise (no acid), but its great music.
    Oh yeah, I've had that album for about that long myself! And I've got about 5 other Michel Camilo albums. He's a monster, as are the musicians he always chooses to play with.

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