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The Roots of Timba - Part II - "Oye cómo suena mi bajo, qué rico"

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1977 Ritmo Oriental - Qué rico bailo yo (Rolando Vergara)
bass: Humberto Perera - arranger: Humberto Perera
source: Ritmo Oriental is Calling You

The central rhythmic motif of Qué rico bailo yo is the tresillo rhythm (0xx0 xx0x) which is used throughout the arrangement in every imaginable way:

xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0 2-3 rumba clave
xxxx xxxx 0xx0 xx0x
on the 3-side
xxxx xxx0 xxx0 xx0x on the 3-side with the first note anticipated
xxxx xxxx 0xx0 xx0x on the 3-side "con efecto"
0xx0 xx0x xxxx xxxx on the 2-side "con efecto"

Look at the underlined notes to see how each of the main tumbaos handles the tresillo motif. The anticipation in tumbao 1 makes a huge difference in the way the groove feels.

xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0 2-3 rumba clave
xxxx xxxx xxxx xx00
(bass pickups)
xxx0 0x00 xx00 xx00
xxx0 0x00 xxx0 xx00 tumbao 1 - MIDI

xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0 2-3 rumba clave
xxxx xxxx xxxx xx00
(bass pickups)
xxx0 0x00 xx00 xx00
xxx0 0xxx 0xx0 xx00 tumbao 2 - MIDI

The montuno section features a very unusual approach to the coros and guías. Before vocalist Juan Crespo Maza enters, we hear coro 1 for 8 claves, a shortened version for 4 claves, a flute solo, and then a completely different coro 2. This whole section uses tumbao 1. When Maza finally comes in, his lead vocal section lasts a full 8 claves and uses tumbao 2. Each of his extended guías is a classic. He rides the offbeats like a rumbero, touching down on the clave accents at just the right places. I find myself at an uncharacteristic loss of words to describe his singing here and explain why I love it so much, but fortunately, I don't have to ... just listen! Being able to say "just listen" is why I've given up writing printed books - internet music-writing is an idea whose time has come.

Humberto Perera's arrangement and bass performance also fall into the "must-hear-to-believe" category.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 07:32 PM