Mario Bauzá & the creation of Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz.
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1911, Mario Bauzá was a heavily gifted musician from an early age. At the tender age of 9, he was already skilled clarinetist, playing for the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra. By 14 he’d garnered himself a spot under Cuban pianist and bandleader Antonio Mariá Romeu.
In 1930 and at the age of 19, Bauzá traded Havana for New York City and switched his instrumental focus from clarinet to trumpet. For a brief period Bauzá would find his niche in the newly blossoming musical style Big band, working under American jazz bandleader Chick Webb.
Whilst working with Webb, Bauzá went to discover a then unknown Ella Fitzgerald and befriend eventual Jazz titan Dizzy Gillespie. After his stint with Webb, Bauzá worked for another Jazz legend, Cab Calloway. As a member of Calloway’s band Bauzá helped a then unknown Gillespie earn a spot in Calloway’s roster, launching the career of one of jazz’s biggest icons. Gillespie was known for fusing American jazz, which grew out of African American communities in the 1900s, with Afro-Cuban sounds.
Bauzá’s greatest attribution to music, however, was his inadvertent creation of Afro-Cuban or Latin Jazz. Forming his own band called “The Afro-Cubans”, Bauza would fuse traditional Latin Rhythms with jazz harmonies , improvisation, and clave - a rhythmic pattern with roots in Sub-Saharan African music traditions.
"Tanga" the first song officially thought of or considered to be Afro-Cuban jazz, was originally considered a descarga - or simply ‘Cuban music’- with jazz elements. Bauzá's creation eventually grew, becoming very popular and earning Latin jazz a permanent spot in the jazz landscape.
Message to Black America: It’s unlikely that the lawmakers or their agents will ever admit when they’re guilty of a crime. Just us. Message to Black America: It’s unreasonable to think that a syste…
"There are no natural barriers. It’s all music. It’s either hip or it ain’t." Lee Morgan
"I think a definite style comes with living and experience and traveling until you play what you are, you play yourself on the horn." - Lee Morgan
Miles Davis performs at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1970.
Jimi Hendrix wasn’t the only musician to blow peoples’ minds at the Isle of Wight Festival in August of 1970. Miles Davis ripped it up and bent the audience’s minds. The lineup was:
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Gary Bartz (sax)
Chick Corea (electric piano)
Keith Jarrett (organ)
Dave Holland (bass)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)
Airto Moreira (percussion)
The expressions on Airto Moreira’s face were priceless (although he was admittedly on LSD at the time). The video is 35 minutes long, and I strongly recommend that you put it on in the background and let it percolate while you browse the internet or work.