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The Roots of Timba, Pt I - 1945-Deuda

cuban music, musica cubana
Dundunbanza is one of three indispensable Arsenio compilations on the wonderful Tumbao record label.

1945 Arsenio Rodríguez - Deuda -- (no clave in bolero)
xxxx xxxx xxxx xx0x

xxx0 0x0x xxx0 0x0x
MIDI example
Nilo Alfonso

notes: Arsenio's use of creative bass tumbaos even extended to the bolero, a slow rhythm used on about 25% of Arsenio's recordings. Compare the bass part for Deuda to the standard Bolero bass tumbao which has no syncopation and changes harmony on the downbeats. The underlined notes indicate where the harmony changes.

0xxx 0x0x 0xxx 0x0x typical bolero bass tumbao
xxxx xxxx xxxx xx0x (bass entrance)
xxx0 0x0x xxx0 0x0x Deuda MIDI example

Arsenio's conguero, his brother Kiki, played only a single conga, as did all congueros until Tata Güines starting using two in the 50s. Notice how the conga tumbao and martillo pattern of the bongó combine to form the Bolero pattern that's played today on two congas:

xxxx x0x0 xxxx x0x0 open tones of the congas
xxxx xx0x xxxx xx0x
open tones of bongó
xxx0 0x0x xxx0 0x0x bass tumbao
MIDI example

Deuda is one of about a dozen Arsenio recordings that featured pianist Rubén González, of Buena Vista Social Club fame.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 07:32 PM