Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This blog informs you about the rich musical history of Latin Jazz.

The creation of Latin Jazz (Mario Bauza & Tanga)

   " The creation of Latin Jazz began on Sunday evening, May 28 1943, while the Machito orchestra appeared at the La Conga Club in midtown Manhattan. A tune just had ended and Mario Bauza, the musical director, yelled out the number  of a music chart he wanted next, While the sideman searched for the chart,pianist Luis Verona had the next tune's music ready. All of a sudden he began playing the piano vamp introduction to the tune "El Botellero" (the bottlemaker). Then without warning, bassist Julio Andino began plucking his  bass strings. Bauza listened as he stared into space, and after a few moments he began stomping his feet to kick off the next number.
The following evening, the bands day off, the band reunited  for its weekly rehearsal at 110 Street & 5th Avenue's Park Place Ballroom. Bauza started the rehearsal by urging Verona to play the same "Botellero" piano vamp.
He then sang out what Andino should play along with sounds he wanted from the the reeds and brass sections. The broken  scale sounds soon took forms as jazz melody. Bauza began blowing jazz riffs on top of of the melody, then nodded to his alto saxist to ad lib. At the end of two hours, Bauza successfully merged Cuban music with jazz and a new industry came into being.
Dizzy Gillespie, an onlooker, behaved madly... he acted as though he could'nt believe what he had just heard (He wanted to capture that sound and was given that chance four years later when he met Cuban drummer Chano Pozo) Gillespie excitedly asked Bauza what he was going to title the song. Another onlooker remarked that the sound was exiting as "Tanga" (the African word for marijuana) The tune was called Tanga. Afro-Cuban Jazz was copyrighted by Peer International and the new sound of Latinized Jazz joined the family of Cuban rhythms.
There have been several versions of "Tanga" the most memorable one which featured tenor saxist Flip Phillips for Norman Grantz's 1949 recording for the Verve LP "The Jazz Scene". In 1989, Dr Bauza,commisioned Latin Jazz's most revered orchestrator, Arturo " Chico" O'Farrill to expand "Tanga" into four movements, Months later it was performed at a church in Harlem and the raucous standing ovation determined that it would be recorded. Messidor Musik made it possible for music aficionados around the world to enjoy "Tanga", (consider the national anthem of Latin Jazz), now in five movements.
The history of Latin Jazz and this collector's item recording became a reality because one Sunday evening at La Conga Club, in 1943, the alert mind and ears of  Dr. Mario Bauza heard a sound. The following day he turned that sound into music when he united Cuban music and North American jazz forever".

Max Salazar (Latin Beat Magazine) February 1992

 c. William P. Gottlieb,  


                    Mario Bauza

                   THE BIRTH OF CUBOP  
                         Dizzy & Chano

It was 4 years later after witnessing Mario Bauzas' Latin Jazz creation at the La Conga Club that jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie would finally get his opportunity to create his own unique sound.

Dizzy became familiar and interested in Cuban music from occasional work with Cuban Flautist, Alberto Socarras and the Alberto Iznaga Cuban Orchestras. It was in the late 30's Dizzy became acquainted with Mario Bauza, who in 1939 helped Dizzy secure  a trumpet seat in the Cab Calloway Orchestra.   

In 1946 Dizzy started his own Jazz Be-Bop big band.  When Dizzy decided to add percussion to his band, he confronted friend and colleague Mario Bauza to recommend a percussionist.

Bauza introduced him to Luciano "Chano" Pozo, a percussionist who recently arrived in New York City from Cuba. Dizzy eventually hired Chano Pozo,  A decision that lead to one of the greatest moments and most significant turning point in the history of Jazz. Dizzy and Chano Pozo would bring a new rhythm structure to jazz by combining Be-Bop with Cuban rhythms and gave it the name Cubop.....

During their collaboration, they recorded several classic compositions ,  including " Manteca" that was regarded as the embodiment of Cubop.

Copyright© 2008  Latin Perspective. All rights reserved.

Chano     y      Dizzy


James Moody,
Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie.


Latin influences in the                     
birth of jazz in New Orleans            click_here_4_Jazz_Archivist

Cuban influences on
New Orleans music.                        click_here_4_Jack_Steward_essay




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