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Latin, music has been the greatest outside influence on the popular styles"" of American pop music. True enough assuming that all the earlier influences--black, European, etc.

Music of Latin America - Wikipedia

The well-known dance crazes are all here, of course tango, rumba, conga, mambo , but Roberts also explores much subtler Latin influences on ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, jazz Cubop, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie , Broadway, Hollywood, and rock Santana --a growing tinge that made Latin rhythms ""an almost subliminal part"" of U. True, there's a paucity of texture here the only humor comes from an occasional grand title, like ""I Came, I Saw, I Conga'd"" , and Roberts' research is less rigorous when dealing with the less overtly Latin music worlds Jerry Ross, co-author of ""Hernando's Hideaway,"" is identified as ""Jerry Bach"".

But, though too dense with titles and data to afford much narrative pleasure, this is a solid, comprehensive, up-to-date disco, salsa , and balanced examination--a worthy, sharply-focused addition to the shelves of serious pop-music scholarship. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.

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Email Newsletter. Log In. Toggle navigation MENU. Roberts also properly documents the impact of Brazilian music in this country, from Carmen Miranda, the woman who sang wearing six-inch heels and the fruited headdress to Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim jamming with Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz.

But the musical styling that Roberts really cares for is the Caribbean music that filtered into the New York scene. They neither understand nor feel it. So they have to be given music more for the eyes than the ears. Eighty percent visual, the rest aural.

Machito was a Cuban percussionist who migrated to New York in the s and, with trumpeter and arranger Mario Bauza, created his group. But Gillespie and Parker are not, by any means, the only jazz players who showed an interest in Latin music. Nat King Cole and some of the famous big band leaders like Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Harry James and Tommy Dorsey also played, albeit, without leaving a distinguishable mark on the genre.

Some musicologists say it is a word in the Congolese language, but whatever its origin, back in , bandleader Antonio Arcano used it to describe a rhythm in which the structure of the traditional danzon is changed by adding a tumbadora or drum to its third part, creating a rhythmically syncopated pattern. Some called this addition sabrosura or diablo or mambo. A few years later, Perez Prado took from Arcano the syncopated Cuban percussion pattern of the danzon and combined it with some orchestral ideas he heard from U.

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He called it mambo, and soon the whole world was moving to this this new and astonishingly fast-paced rhythm. Many subsequent musicians declared themselves the creators of the mambo. The truth is that Perez Prado is the one and only mambo king. Underneath all, the trombones rubricate the musical phrases, and from somewhere way back in the orchestra, the voice of the Mambo King is heard with its characteristic growl.


But Roberts is not alone in denying Perez Prado his due. No Cuban composer working for his company could use Perez Prado as arranger.

The difference between a good musician, Machito, and a great musician like Perez Prado is obvious. These were small orchestras formed with a guitar, two to four trumpets, a percussion team, bass, three singers who also played guiro, maracas and clave and a lead instrument.

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The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States

In the Conjunto Casino, for example, the lead was the piano. An exceptional tresillo player, Rodriguez played in several sextets in Havana. Around , he formed his own conjunto and soon, his group became a de facto musical school for many of the best musicians in Cuba.

A few years later he moved to Los Angeles, where he died in