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The Music of Ritmo Oriental - Ahora sí, voy a gozar

Ahora sí, voy a gozar

1975 Ritmo Oriental - Ahora sí, voy a gozar (Juan Crespo Maza)
bass: Humberto Perera
source: La historia de la Ritmo, Vol. 1

Ahora sí, voy a gozar is one of the greatest dance tracks ever recorded. Like Yo bailo de todo it's based on a simple 2-chord progression but it never seems repetitious because the arrangement is such a perfect blend of sophisticated syncopations and raw rhythmic power.

From a bassist's point of view, what Humberto plays on this track could be a year's study. To do it justice we'll have to depart from our usual approach of isolating tumbaos and just start from the beginning of the track.

Ahora sí, voy a gozar -- cuerpo
cuban music, musica cubana

MIDI (at tempo con efecto)
MIDI (slow motion - slight efecto at end)
transcription edited by Rob Holland

notes: The first MIDI excerpt uses the tempo map shown in red to approximate the con efecto treatment. Note the "slight pause" at the end of the first line. The second MIDI excerpt is in slow motion and only has a tempo change in the next to last line.

The notation ends with the tumbao 1 - the beginning of the montuno section.

tumbao 1
xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0
2-3 rumba clave
0xx0 x0x0 x0xx 0x0x basic tumbao 1 -- MIDI

notes: While the notation version obviously allows us to see the notes and variations, the x & 0 version lets us isolate just the rhythm and compare it to the clave and other bass tumbaos. The MIDI file is a 2-clave loop, but, like La chica mamey, it's merely a basic template for extensive and brilliant improvisation by Humberto.

¡Avísale a Teté que la Ritmo está en la calle!

Teté, Enrique Lazaga's wife and Eduardo Lazaga's mother, has sadly passed away, but la Ritmo immortalized her in song with this unforgettable passage. In Cuban slang, if a band is "en la calle" it means that they're on fire and everyone "on the street" is singing their songs. For example, in 2001, it was rumored that Van Van was falling apart, and when they came back strong, one of Lele Jr.'s first guías defiantly announced "to'el mundo tá diciendo ... que van van está en la calle otra vez." In the case of Ahora sí, voy a gozar there was no question then and there's no question now, and the amazing coro 2 section seals the deal. After suddenly surging into a folkloric 12/8 feel to introduce the new coro, another dumbfounding series of con efecto bloques unfolds, and Humberto's 12/8 variations are themselves well worth writing out and studying carefully.

Ahora sí, voy a gozar -- bloques
cuban music, musica cubana

MIDI (con efecto)
MIDI (slow motion - sin efecto)
transcription edited by Rob Holland

Ahora sí, voy a gozar -- The Bass Tumbaos
cuban music, musica cubana

The bloque section ends with tumbao 2, back in 4/4 time, and this time, it's a bombo-ponche tumbao that marks the clave with the quinto pulse on the 3-side (underlined):

xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0 2-3 rumba clave
xxx0 0x0x x0x0 xx0x tumbao 2 (audio at end of bloque examples)

The next section continues the idea of the clave-aligned bombo-ponche tumbao against coro 2, adding a funky Jamersonesque upward run every time the coro gets to que la Ritmo está en la calle, almost as if to accentuate the lyric by demostrating one of the new and exciting elements of La Ritmo's new "en la calle" style.

xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0 2-3 rumba clave
xxxx xx0x pickup to tumbao 2b
xxx0 0x0x x0x0 xxx0

xxx0 xxx0 xxx0 xx0x tumbao 2b -- MIDI

Also note the upward sequence of 4ths that Humberto throws in the 4th time through (it's in both the audio and MIDI versions):

xxxx 0x0x xxx0 xx0x
0x0 x0x0 x0x0 xx0x
4th time through tumbao 2b

For the next coro, Humberto comes up with a very unusual tumbao that's predictive of some of the sparse bass tumbaos of timba.

xx0x 0xxx 0xx0 xxx0 2-3 rumba clave
0xxx xx0x
xxx0 0x0x
xx0x xxxx 0xx0 0x0x tumbao 3 -- MIDI

There are still more variations after this -- as we said, this track is a semester's study for the serious bassist!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 07:31 PM