american clavé 1031
Produced by Kip Hanrahan, Horacio El Negro Hernandez and Robby Ameen. Recorded and mixed December 2000 through April 2002 at Sorcerer Sound Studios, New York. Engineered by Dick Kondas (except strings, recorded at Onkio Haus Studio, Tokyo. Engineer: Masao Saotome. Mastered May 2002 at Sterling Sound Studios, New York. Mastered by Greg Calbi. Cover and liner photos of Robby Ameen, Horacio El Negro Hernandez and Dick Kondas by Yuichi Hibi. Photos of John Beasley, Yisvany Terry and Pedro Martinez by Douglas Cooper. Photo of Bobby Franceschini by Roberto Conti. Photo of Kip Hanrahan by Koshiro Yoda. Cover design by capoeira graphics and Katie Hildreth. Thanks to Walter at Output, Reston, Virginia and Abe at EWE, Tokyo.
1. Medley: Sympathy for the Devil / el Cielo (Jagger, Richards / Blades, Ameen, Hernandez) Ruben Blades – lead vocal, coro | Bobby Franceschini – saxes, arrangement | Xiomara Laugart – coro | Pedro Martinez – coro | Brian Lynch – trumpet | Luis Perdomo – piano | Ruben Rodriguez – bass | Richie Flores – congas | Horacio el Negro Hernadez – drums | Robby Ameen – drums.
2. 3 for Africa (Beasley, Ameen, Hernandez) John Beasley – Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes | Larry Baeder – chorus | Charlie Torres – chorus | Fernando Saunders – chorus | Horacio Hernandez – chorus, percussion, drums | Robby Ameen – drums
3. Un Golpecito Na’Mas (Hernandez) Horacio el Negro Hernandez – percusiion, coro | Orlando Puntilla Rios – lead vocal, coro, quinto | Xiomara Laugart – coro | Roman Diaz – percussion
4. Richie’s Brain (Flores) Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums | Robby Ameen – drums
5. Hit This, Split This (Beasley, Christopher Sawyer, Ameen, Hernandez) Innersoul – vocal | Kelley Sae – chorus | John Beasley – Hammond B3, piano | Larry Baeder – guitar | Robby Ameen – drums | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums, electronic percussion
6. All Jazz Era (al-jazeera) (Ameen, Hernandez) Bobby Franceschini – tenor saxophone | Essiet Essiet – bass | Lincoln Goines – bass | Robby Ameen – drums | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums
7. Blue, Red & White (Ameen, Beasley) John Beasley – Hammond B3, tympani | Ann Guichard – voice | Robby Ameen – drums, voice | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums, voice
8. The Moon Shows Red (Tzuki…) (Takami Watanabe) Takamit Watanabe – arrangement, string direction | Jerry Gonzalez – Trumpet | Hiroyuki Koike Quartet: Hyroyuki Koike – 1st violin | Rie Koike – 2nd violin | Tamio Suzuki – viola | Tomio Yajima – cello | Robby Ameen – drums | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums
9. La Timaba Francesca (Terry, Daulne, Ameen, Hernandez) Marie Daulne – vocal | Yosvany Terry – saxes, arrangement | Xiomare Laugart – coro | Pedro Martinez – coro | Brian Lynch – trumpet | Luis Perdomo – piano | Ruben Rodriguez – bass | Richie Flores – congas | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums | Robby Ameen – drums
10. Far From Beirut (Lino 5) (Hernandez, Beasley) John Beasley – piano, organ, keyboards | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – percussion, drums | Robby Ameen – percussion, drums
11. We Got The Fu*k (Hernandez) Bobby Franceschini – saxes, horns arrangement | Brian Lynch – trumpet | Larry Baeder – guitar, chorus | Charlie Torres – bass, chorus | Fernando Saunders – chorus | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – drums, chorus | Robby Ameen – drums
12. La Timba No Es Como Ayer (Hernandez, Ameen, Martinez) Pedro Martinez – vocal | Robby Ameen – timpani, drums | Horacio el Negro Hernandez – clavé, drums
13. Apres Midi de Robby & Negro (Takami Watanabe) Takami Watanabe – piano, arrangement, string direction | Jerry Gonzalez – trumpet | Hiroyuki Koike – 1st violin | Rie Koike – 2nd violin | Tamio Suzuki – viola | Tomio Yajima – cello
14. Hit This, Split This – Producer’s Mix (Beasley, Ameen, Hernandez)
15. Argentine Birds in the Morning – Producer’s Discretion (Hernadez, Ameen)
I guess we could start tracing this music to Negro in Cuba
in the early nineteen-eighties, when, still a kid, he was arrested for playing Jack Bruce’s “Sunshine of Your Love” in Havana. Jack was thrilled, in fact, to find out about that music still being subversive somewhere in the world. But the deep subversive element of the story is also Negro defying rules and expectations and playing what he needed to play, in spite of the consequences. Given his intoxicatingly musical touch of subversive musical adventures (now, outside of Cuba, the adventure and chances, and their effect, are bigger and more fluid), and the defiance is just a small part of his musical genius. His musical ideas are spectacular. But, of course, there’s more.
I’ve long thought that the drum section of fellow master Robby Ameen and Negro, a section at the heart of most recent american clavé projects, transcended any other rhythmic center of gravity. I mean, you laugh at all the clownish rock and pop bands with two drums that work hard to make them sound like one. What the fuck’s the point of that? Why not get one drummer? In the case of the Robby/Negro tandem, the eight limbs sound like an orchestra of tones and rhythm. Yeah, it reminds you of why it’s good to be alive. The defiance is there: although Negro and Robby are perhaps the greatest masters of Latin music and rhythms on the trap drums, the dominant language is contemporary funk, hip hop, jazz, and the need not to be shackled to any expectations (except quality?). Although, of course, it’s all informed by Cuban and other Latin rhythms, it’s not subordinate to them. As Robby mentioned, it shouldn’t be another Deep Rumba record (although Negro did invent the most original rumba rhythm in decades with “Un Golpecito ‘na Mas”, no bullshit). And the ideas are brilliant, and the defiance is still there, and the music swings.
There’s another dimension that’s audible here, that contributes to the swing: Negra made it a point to mention that you’re listening to music born of deep friendship. There’s a creativity, a real visceral musical abandon and thrill, a breathless inventiveness, that emerges from a band and working situation bteween lifetime friends. Professional posturing and a (sometimes) malicious competition that deadens the space between players on many mercenary dates departs the roo, is and replaced by a real, audible, joy of sharing discoveries and being delighted by ideas. And if real music is joy, well then… — Kip Hanrahan
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)