Taiwan Carol is a worldwide leader in microphones, wireless audio, public address systems and mobile audio technology. Constantly striving to improve your audio experience, Taiwan Carol employs the finest sound technology along with their 134 patents and

Indice - Table of contents

New Stuff[hide]

Resenas: Vacilón Santiaguero (Circle 9 ...
Grupos: Pupy y los que S... : Discography - 1995- F...
Reportes: From The St... : Cubadisco 2...
Staff: Bill Tilford
Reportes: From The St... : Jazz Plaza ...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : Irakere 50th Annivers...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : Irakere
Resenas: Joey Altruda Presents: El Gran ...
Timbapedia: 09. Interviews -... : Carlos del Pino ...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Grupos: Tirso Duarte
Grupos: Tirso Duarte : Discography

Photos of the Day [hide]

cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana
Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
Authentic Latin Music Catalog for SYNC - TV & Film Music

SpanishEnglishEntrevista con Enrique Lazaga - Page 7 - Pt. 2 - agosto 2007

Part II - August, 2007
cuban music, musica cubana

La Ritmo's exciting new style of playing emerged around the time an EP came out with  Sabroseao con la Ritmo, Qué historia, Quiéreme mucho, and Chica te quiero ver.

Can you confirm that these four songs came before Mi socio Manolo?


Was this the beginning of the new style and was Sabroseao a big hit on the radio?

Well it was really with Mi socio Manolo, La chica mamey, Se baila así, Se baila de todo that La Ritmo Oriental established themselves.

--Those were the most popular songs that the group played in the early days?

Yes, Mi socio Manolo. But, La Rimo Oriental really consolidated its popularity and its style with Yo Bailo de todo and Se baila así —which everybody called Juana no me quiere porque no sé bailar—, La chica mamey, Quién dice, Avísale a teté, La panetela, and some others like El Matrimonio Feliz.

---Did the radio play a big role in the popularity of the group?

We had the number one spot on the radio locked down. Our music was played a lot. At the time there were other groups such as La Monumental, Los Latinos that also enjoyed good play along with Los Van Van, but it was La Ritmo Oriental that was really hitting hard at that time.

You said that Mi socio manolo was never released as a 45, but it was a big hit on the radio, right? Was that only after the LP was released, or did you give the recording to the radio station beforehand?

Look, every year before the carnivals, before the summer parties, the carnivals throughout the island, all the bands used to go the ICRT [the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television] to record a song that they were going to play for the carnivals. Then the ICRT would send the recording to all the radio stations throughout the country. That’s when we recorded Mi soico Manolo, other groups recorded their song and that’s how it was.

--So that song was recorded specifically for the carnivals, for the summer?

Yes, for the summer, we recorded it at Radio Progreso and later we included it on the record.

And you guys always played at the Havana Carnivals?

La Ritmo Oriental played in all the carnivals throughout the country, Camaguey, Santiago, Bayamo, Palma Soriano, Guantánamo…

And how did the band get around?

In those times we traveled by plane. We always traveled by plane, because it was a long ways in between cities. But after they built the Ocho Vias highway, we used to travel to Santa Clara and Cienfuegos by road, and by plane to the rest of the provinces Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Holguín, La Isla de la Juventud.

-- By Rufo do you mean Rodulfo Vaillant?


--You said he wrote Quién dice, but EGREM lists it as a Juan Crespo composition.

No, that was by Rodulfo Vaillant, a composer from Santiago de Cuba, Quien dice is the song that people call La Gorda.

--The song that the Charanga Habanera did a version of a few albums back.

Yes, La Gorda, yes.

 -You said that Que se sepa bien mi amor isn’t one of your songs, but according to EGREM it is!

Yes, that’s because I think that it has another title, Que se sepa bien mi amor…that has another title that I can’t remember because that was a long time ago…That song is Juan Crespo Maza’s…Dónde estás mi amor? That’s what it’s called and it is Juan Crespo Maza’s. That was a song that was played a lot on the radio before we became really popular, before Mi socio Manolo.

-Can you describe those early recording sessions at EGREM when Mi socio Manolo and other songs were recorded? Did you do a lot of takes? Did you do any overdubbing?

No, no, no. Because, look, as I was telling you are orchestra possessed quite a high technical level and at the same time the recording industry was changing and what’s called tracks, recording tracks started to become the norm. So the rhythm was recorded and then the violins followed by who knows what and then the vocals and then came the mix. The same as is done today, although today the technology is much more advanced, at that time I think we had four tracks. Yes, EGREM had four tracks. We began to record with four tracks and things started coming out faster, because when you are recording by tracks you can make mistakes. And then when everyone has done their part you can put it all together. Not like before when one person would make a mistake and you would have to stop everyone and everyone would have to start all over again. That’s the advantage of tracks; although, on the other hand…I mean afterwards you would get used to it, but at first it had a cold feeling to it, because you know that swing…The great thing about recording all together is you get that swing, when you record separately you loose a bit of that swing. But then we started to adjust to it, we got used to it and things came out well. It’s a process of adapting to the new technology.

--And did you guys use overdubbing?

Yes, after the recording is made, alter all the different parts are recorded, than the mixing process begins, putting all those instruments together and putting on the finishing touches. This is the most important stage of the recording, the mix.

-After the album, in 1974,  with Mi socio Manolo, came the 1975 album with Yo bailo de todo, La chica mamey, Ahora sí voy a gozar, etcetera. As great as the first album was, this one seems to have reached an even higher level of creativity and inspiration. Can you talk a little about that period? How did the band respond to the first wave of popularity?

Yes, of course, the orchestra had grown and enjoyed immense popularity throughout the country. We responded to the popularity by making more songs, playing more dances, and the people accepted us and our effort with incredible warmth with something special […] Like I tell people, nowadays our music has degenerated into something generic, mono-thematic, the only people who can dance to it are the young people, us old guys can’t dance to that music, we aren’t strong enough to dance that kind of music...And the music we made, despite the fact that it was rhythmically aggressive, was danced to by the young, old and children, everybody danced to it. But not now, nowadays the music is very aggressive, really strong. I can’t dance to it; I need to go into training to be able to dance to it.

But we were very much inspired by our popularity. Popularity is a double-edged sword, because it forces a commitment and you have to be on top of it because you do one bad song and right a way you head downwards. We really strived to maintain that quality so much so that when the Ritmo Oriental didn’t start its decline until the 1990s when the new style began…everything is like that, everything changes, the new style with brass instruments, the Charanga Habanera, etc., Los Van Van, Paulito, etc. with a new vision and a new version of what whas Cuban music which they called timba. Because we had something that we used to call timba…but know they call something else timba, and it is a new vision. We were a charanga and in our time we would go up against anyone, because as we used to say it was al pelo, whatever, whenever. Not now, now the dances are for 10,000 or 20,000 people in the middle of the street, with a series of sound technicians, you have to play really loud…and that was it, our time was up.

--Without la Ritmo Oriental what is called timba today would not exist.

No, it would not exist, but that is the law, it is a dialectical thing. La Ritmo Oriental would never have been if not for Aragón, and for Aragón to exist, before them there had to exist Arcaño, and for Arcaño to exist Antonio María Romeo had to first exist and so on, if not, nothing would ever change. And tomorrow new things will come out.

-- You guys aggressively changed the music scene. In that search of new frontiers and change, I don’t think anyone came close to the Ritmo Oriental at the time.

No, of course not. Look, independently of any situation, it was an orchestra that had a lot of experience. We started and started; we were working for six, seven or eight years straight at the Tropicana Cabaret for their dances. That gave us lots of experience. When we started out in the orchestra we were almost empirical musicians, musicians that had studied a bit in the street, but who later, after the escuelas de superación [adult education schools] were opened, went and studied formally. And that’s how it was. Our timbale player graduated as a drummer, a kit drummer. The majority of all the musicians at the time went to school and even though at that time the school we went to didn’t hand out diplomas, everyone reached the masters level in music theory, as did for example our flutist, Policarpo Tamayo, a really good flutist who is now with Buena Vista and with la Charanga de Oro.

Our orchestra really had a high degree of technical skill. And so all of this committed people even more, and every time we did something…because remember that the Cha Cha Cha was a rhythm that shook the world, it was a rhythm that went around the world but…the vocals were sung in unison, it was one thing…that is where the secrets and mysteries of music lie, it was so good because it was so simple. So we, as young musicians at the time, as those of today, we were in search of new creations, looking for new horizons and we rose up. We were the first to create bloques con efecto, we started to make arrangements in 4/4 time, we started to make orchestrations, we started to combine voices and so on, until we arrived at the music of today.

Saturday, 15 March 2014, 08:18 PM