Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Welcome to my musical journey. If you're a Zune player listener hello fellow Zuner, and you're part of my Zune social. I'm glad you arrived. I hoping your visit here will be enriching, and entertaining.

Were going to explore the roots of the American music Rythm And Blues better known as R&B

I love R&B and Soul and other music thats equated to it.

Jerry Wexler of Billboard magazine coined the term rhythm and blues in 1948 as a musical marketing term in the United States.[1] It replaced the term "race music", which originally came from within the black community, but was deemed offensive in the postwar world.[2][3] Writer/producer Robert Palmer defined rhythm & blues as "a catchall term referring to any music that was made by and for black Americans".[4] He has used the term R&B as a synonym for jump blues.[5] Lawrence Cohn, author of Nothing but the Blues, writes that rhythm and blues was an umbrella term invented for industry convenience. According to him, the term embraced all black music except classical music and religious music, unless a gospel song sold enough to break into the charts.[6]

"Lets talk history." As you will soon find out on the other pages that I love musical history. I talk it about alot, during musical jam sessions with fellow musicians and freinds. I write songs in that genre as well as others.

Late 1940s

In 1948, RCA Victor was marketing black music under the name Blues and Rhythm. In that year, Louis Jordan dominated the top five listings of the R&B charts with three songs, and two of the top five songs were based on the boogie-woogie rhythms that had come to prominence during the 1940s.[7] Jordan's band, the Tympany Five (formed in 1938), consisted of him on saxophone and vocals, along with musicians on trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums.[8] Lawrence Cohn described the music as "grittier than his boogie-era jazz-tinged blues".[9] Robert Palmer described it as "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat".[10] Jordan's cool music, along with that of Big Joe Turner, Roy Brown, Billy Wright, and Wynonie Harris, is now also referred to as jump blues. Also in 1948, Wynonie Harris' remake of Roy Brown's 1947 recording "Good Rockin' Tonight" hit the charts in the #2 spot, following band leader Sonny Thompson's "Long Gone" at #1.[11][12]
In 1949, the term rhythm and blues replaced the Billboard category Harlem Hit Parade.[6] Also in that year, "The Huckle-Buck", recorded by band leader and saxophonist Paul Williams, was the #1 R&B tune, remaining on top of the charts for nearly the entire year. Written by musician and arranger Andy Gibson, the song was described as a "dirty boogie" because it was risque and raunchy.[13] Paul Williams and His Hucklebuckers' concerts were sweaty riotous affairs that got shut down on more than one occasion. Their lyrics, by Roy Alfred (who later co-wrote the 1955 hit "(The) Rock and Roll Waltz"), were mildly sexually suggestive, and one teenager from Philadelphia said "That Hucklebuck was a very nasty dance."[14][15] Also in 1949, a new version of a 1920s blues song, "Ain't Nobody's Business" was a #4 hit for Jimmy Witherspoon, and Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five once again made the top 5 with "Saturday Night Fish Fry".[16]
Early to mid 1950s

Working with African American musicians, Greek American Johnny Otis, who had signed with the Newark, New Jersey-based Savoy Records, produced many R&B hits in 1951, including: "Double Crossing Blues", "Mistrustin' Blues" and "Cupid's Boogie", all of which hit number one that year. Otis scored ten top ten hits that year. Other hits include: "Gee Baby", "Mambo Boogie" and "All Nite Long".[17] The Clovers, a vocal trio who sang a distinctive sounding combination of blues and gospel, had the #5 hit of the year with "Don't You Know I Love You" on Atlantic Records.[18][19][20] Also in July 1951, Cleveland, Ohio DJ Alan Freed started a late-night radio show called "The Moondog Rock Roll House Party" on WJW-AM (850).[21] Freed's show was sponsored by Fred Mintz, whose R&B record store had a primarily African American clientele. Freed began referring to the rhythm and blues music he played as rock and roll.
Ruth Brown, on the Atlantic Records label, placed hits in the top 5 every year from 1951 through 1954: "Teardrops from My Eyes", "Five, Ten, Fifteen Hours", "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" and "What a Dream". Faye Adams‘s "Shake a Hand" made it to #2 in 1952. In 1953, the R&B record-buying public made Willie Mae Thornton's original recording of Leiber and Stoller's Hound Dog the #3 hit that year.[22] That same year The Orioles, a doo-wop group, had the #4 hit of the year with Crying in the Chapel.[23]
In 1954 The Chords' "Sh-Boom" became the first hit to cross over from the R&B chart to hit the top 10 early in the year. Late in the year, and into 1955, "Hearts of Stone" by The Charms made the top 20.[24]
Fats Domino made the top 30 of the pop charts in 1952 and 1953, then the top 10 with "Ain't That a Shame".[25] R&B was an upfront use of gospel music conventions in an R&B context. Ray Charles came to national prominence in 1955 with "I Got a Woman". Big Bill Broonzy said of Charles' music: "He's mixing the blues with the spirituals... I know that's wrong."[26]
At the urging of Leonard Chess at Chess Records, Chuck Berry had reworked a fiddle tune with a long history, "Ida Red". The resulting "Maybellene" was not only a #3 hit on the R&B charts 1955, but it also reached into the top 30 on the pop charts. Alan Freed, who had moved to the much larger market of New York City, helped the record become popular with white teenagers. Freed had been given part of the writers' credit by Chess in return for his promotional activities; a common practice at the time.[27] Also at Chess Records in 1955, Bo Diddley's debut record "Bo Diddley"/"I'm A Man" climbed to #2 on the R&B charts and popularized the Bo Diddley beat.
I know this D.J. / musical host for the Everett WA community radio station, who owns some of these rare recordings in their original release formats. What jewels they are.
Late 1950s

In 1956, an R&B "Top Stars of '56" tour took place. With headliners Al Hibbler, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and Carl Perkins, whose "Blue Suede Shoes" was very popular with R&B music buyers. Some of the performers completing the bill were Chuck Berry, Cathy Carr, Shirley & Lee, Della Reese, the Cleftones, and the Spaniels with Illinois Jacquet's "Big Rockin' Rhythm Nand. Cities visited by the tour included Columbia, SC, Annapolis, MD, Pittsburgh, PA, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, NY, into Canada, and through the mid Western US ending in Texas. In Columbia the concert ended with a near riot as Perkins began his first song as the closing act. Perkins is quoted as saying, "It was dangerous. Lot of kids got hurt. There was a lot of rioting going on, just crazy, man! The music drove 'em insane." In Annapolis 70,000 to 50,000 people tried to attend a sold out performance with 8,000 seats. Roads were clogged for seven hours.[28]
Film makers took advantage of the popularity of "rhythm and blues" musicians as "rock n roll" musicians beginning in 1956. Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Big Joe Turner, The Treniers, The Platters, The Flamigos, all made it onto the big screen.[29]
Two Elvis Presley records made the R&B top five in 1957: "Jailhouse Rock"/"Treat Me Nice" at #1, and "All Shook Up" at #5, an unprecedented acceptance of a non-African American artist into a music category known for being created by blacks.[30] Nat King Cole, a former jazz pianist who had had #1 and #2 hits on the pop charts in the early 1950s ("Mona Lisa" at #2 in 1950 and "Too Young" at #1 in 1951), had a record in the top 5 in the R&B charts in 1958, "Looking Back"/"Do I Like It".
In 1959, two black-owned record labels, one of which would become hugely successful, made their debut: Sam Cooke's Sar, and Berry Gordy's Motown Records.[31] Brook Benton was at the top of the R&B charts in 1959 and 1960 with one #1 and two #2 hits. Benton had a certain warmth in his voice that attracted a wide variety of listeners, and his ballads led to comparisons with performers such as Cole, Sinatra and Tony Bennett.[32] Lloyd Price, who in 1952 had a #1 hit with "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" regained predominance with a version of "Stagger Lee" at #1 and "Personality" at #5 for in 1959.[33][34]
1960s and later

Sam Cooke‘s #5 hit "Chain Gang" is indicative of R&B in 1960, as is Chubby Checker's #5 hit "The Twist".[35][36] By the early 1960s, the music industry category previously known as rhythm and blues was being called soul music, and similar music by white artists was labeled blue eyed soul.[37] Motown Records had its first million-selling single in 1960 with The Miracles' "Shop Around", and in 1961, Stax Records had its first hit with Carla Thomas' "Gee Whiz! (Look at His Eyes)".[38][39] Stax's next major hit, the Mar-Keys' instrumental "Last Night" (also released in 1961) introduced the rawer Memphis soul sound that Stax became known for.[40] In the 1960s, R&B and soul influenced British bands such as The Animals, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Creation, The Action and The Beatles. In Jamaica, R&B influenced the development of ska.[41][42][43]
By the 1970s, the term rhythm and blues was being used as a blanket term to describe soul, funk, and disco.
In the 2000s, the initialism R&B is almost always used instead of the full rhythm and blues, and mainstream use of the term usually refers to contemporary R&B, which is a modern version of soul and funk-influenced pop music that originated as disco faded from popularity.
The gospel revival and doo-wop merged into the great season of soul music. Soul music was enabled by the commercial boom of "race" music, that had led to the creation of channels and infrastructures run by black enterpreneurs for black artists. This class of black enterpreneurs hired and trained a generation of session musicians, producers and arrangers (not to mention songwriters) who were specifically meant to serve the needs of black music. Sould music was also enabled by an unstoppable trend towards black and white integration, as more and more white folks accepted the idea that black culture was not evil or degrading, simply different (African instead of European). The sociopolitical inroads made by jazz also helped legitimize black pop music with the white masses. Soul music was also, indirectly, helped by rock music, precisely because rock music made white pop music sound so obsolete. Rock music buried white pop music but did not quite offer an alternative. On the other hand, rock music legitimized black pop music (rock music was basically a white version of rhythm'n'blues), and black pop music did offer an anternative to the Italian crooners and the likes.
As the civil rights movement staged bigger and bigger demonstrations and increased African-American pride, soul music became more than party music for young blacks: it became a rallying flag for the black nationalist movement. While never truly political in nature, soul music's ascent in the pop charts came to represent one of the first (and most visible) successes of the civil-rights movement.
Soul music was born thanks to the innovations of a generation of post-war musicians who, essentially, turned gospel music into a secular form of art.
Los Angeles-based vocalist (inspired by Charles Brown and therefore Nat King Cole) and pianist Ray Charles Robinson, soon to become the most famous blind person in America, succeeded by setting mundane lyrics to gospel tunes, famously in I Got A Woman (1955), and coined a hybrid blues-jazz-gospel group sound with the lengthy What'd I Say (1959), before turning into one of the first crossover black artists with Hoagy Carmichael's Georgia On My Mind (1960), Percy Mayfield's Hit The Road Jack (1961), Don Gibson's I Can't Stop Loving You (1962), Fred Rose's Take These Chains From My Heart (1963), an ideological turn illustrated by the best-selling album Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music (1962).
Georgia's vocalist James Brown and his band (featuring Jimmy Nolen on guitar, the inventor of the 16-note strumming style that defined funk music once and for all, Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis on alto sax, Maceo Parker on tenor sax, Fred Wesley on trombone, and, in the 1970s, William "Bootsy" Collins on bass), clarified the relation between sexual lust and religious fervor via Please Please Please (1956), Try Me (1958) and I'll Go Crazy (1960). It took several years for the rest of soul music to catch up with his intuition, but eventually his monotonous and anti-virtuoso style created a new kind of music. Brown coined a frenzied style of choppy rhythms and jazzy horns, coupled with stage histrionics and a grotesquely choreographed show, first documented on Live At The Apollo (1962). At the same time, his visceral falsetto shrieks amid guttural lascivious wails (and lyrics full of sexual innuendos) invented a new narrative form. With Out Of Sight (1964), Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (1965), I Got You (1965) and Cold Sweat (1967), Brown coined a purely-percussive style of soul, the predecessor of "funk". and associated himself with black nationalism starting with Say It Aloud I'm Black and Proud (1968). The novelties Give It Up (1969), Mother Popcorn (1969) and Superbad (1970) further streamlined the idea and led to the quintessential Brown-ian funk songs, Sex Machine (1970), with Bootsy Collins on bass (and a piano figure that virtually invented house-music), and King Heroin (1972). The deadly combination of psychotic falsetto, metallic guitar strumming, fractured bass lines, noisy horn section and pulsing polyrhythm was dance-music to the square.
Chicago-raised Sam Cooke, who had already contributed Be With Me Jesus (1955) and Touch the Hem Of His Garment (1956) to the Soul Stirrers, used his crisp melismatic tenor to deliver Bumps Blackwell's You Send Me (1957), one of the biggest hits of the era, and some of the most imitated ballads of the pop-soul genre: Lou Adler's Only Sixteen (1959), Lou Adler's Wonderful World (1960), and then, after producers Hugo (Peretti) & Luigi (Creatore) adopted him, Twistin' The Night Away (1961), Cupid (1961), Bring It On Home To Me (1962), Another Saturday Night (1963), the prophetic A Change Is Gonna Come (1964).
Detroit-born Jackie Wilson, McPhatter's substitute in the Dominoes and perhaps the greatest vocal gymnast of the era, benefited from three Berry Gordy compositions, Reet Petite (1957), To Be Loved (1958) and especially Lonely Teardrops (1958), that formed the model for lavishly arranged melodramatic ballads exuding his sexual charisma such as A Woman A Lover A Friend (1960), Doggin' Around (1960), Baby Workout (1963) and the acrobatic, multi-octave Danny Boy (1965).
Brown and Charles (the two sound stylists) were raised in the South, whereas Cooke and Wilson (the two vocal virtuosi) were fully urban.
Another of the soul pioneers, Detroit-based vocalist "Little Willie John" Woods introduced the quavering gospel falsetto (that James Brown learned from him). The melancholy of Need Your Love So Bad (1956), perhaps his most intense performance, and Sufferin' With The Blues (1956) established the quintessential soul mood, while his versions of Otis Blackwell's Fever (1956) and of Titus Turner's All Around The World (1958) created an even more passionate style of singing.
New York gospel singer Roy Hamilton, who had achieved stardom status with his interpretation of Alex North's Unchained Melody (1955), created a gospel-tinged pop style, best epitomized by later material such as Don't Let Go (1958), that was influential on soul
Soul music was perceived a music of vocalists, but songwriters were, from the beginning, no less important to define the style.
Chuck Wills was a delicate and evocative singer from Atlanta, who penned his own My Story (1952), You're Still My Baby (1954), I Feel So Bad (1954) and It's Too Late (1956), before striking gold with CC Rider (1957), an adaptation of Ma Rainey's standard from the 1920s.
South Carolina-born baritone Brook Benton (Benjamin Peay), a former member of the Golden Gate Quartet, was the main songwriter of this generation, dishing out A Lover's Question (1958), a hit for Clyde McPhatter, It's Just A Matter of Time (1959), Thank You Pretty Baby (1959), So Many Ways (1959), The Ties that Bind (1960), The Same One (1960), Kiddio (1960), etc.
Another South Caroliner, Don Covay moved away from his dance novelties Bip Bop Bip (1959) and Pony Time (1961) to pen soul ballads such as You Can Run (1962) for Jerry Butler, Letter Full Of Tears (1962) for Gladys Knight, his two classics Mercy Mercy (1964) and See Saw (1965), and the mega-hit Chain Of Fools (1967) for Aretha Franklin.
Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke's guitarist, wrote Lookin' For A Love (1962) and It's All Over Now (1964) that crossed over into rock'n'roll, and later would reinvent his career as a romantic soul balladeer with That's the Way I Feel About 'Cha (1971) and Woman's Gotta Have It (1972).
Nina Simone (Eunice Waymon), the "high priestess of soul", an eclectic interpreter of both blues, jazz and pop classics, composed My Baby Just Cares For Me (1958), Mississippi Goddam (1963), Four Women (1966), and Young Gifted And Black (1969). Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (1964) was written for her by songwriters Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus. As the controversial lyrics of these songs prove, the angry young woman of soul music also represented the link with the folksingers of the "Movement".
Chicago's soul music was dominated by the artistic persona of guitarist, songwriter, arranger and vocalist Curtis Mayfield (1), whose Impressions created a smooth, majestic, orchestral, jazzy style with carefully crafted vocal and horns arrangements to accompany his allegorical messages: For Your Precious Love (1958), one of the candidates to first soul record, Gypsy Woman (1961), the rumba-like It's All Right (1963) the anthemic Keep On Pushin' (1964) and People Get Ready (1965), the baroque Choice of Colors (1969). As a solo artist, Mayfield pioneered the format of the extended message-oriented psychedelic funk-pop shuffle on his concept albums Curtis (1971) and Roots (1972), and then applied the idea to the danceable soundtrack for the film Superfly (1972).
Soul music retained its vocals-driven image, typical of all pop music, but, like so much pop music, its hits became increasingly dependent on the skills of the arrangers and producers. In other words, soul music mutated transparently from a vocal style into a sound style.
This mutation took place mainly in four places: New York, Memphis, Detroit, Philadelphia. And it corresponded with four independent labels, respectively: Atlantic (founded in 1947 by white songwriter Ahmet Ertegun), Stax (founded in 1959 by white country fiddler Jim Stewart), Tamla Motown (founded in 1959 by black enterpreneur Berry Gordy), and, much later, International (founded in 1971 by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff).
The sound of Atlantic was largely the invention of producer (and former critic) Jerry Wexler, hired in 1953. The peak of Atlantic's reign on soul music came when (1967) Wexler started working with arranger Arif Mardin and engineer Tom Dowd.
Former Philadelphia preacher Solomon Burke transferred the fervor of his sermons into the stirring rhythms of black dance music. Needless to say, his live shows became legendary for their delirious intensity, second only to James Brown. His material ranged from Virgil Stewart's Just Out Of Reach (1961), possibly the first country crossover by a soul artist, to Bert Berns' Cry To Me (1961), Gene Pitney's If You Need Me (1963), Alain Toussaint's Got To Get You Off My Mind (1964), Bert Berns' Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (1964), his own The Price (1964), perhaps his vocal masterpiece, and Don Covay's Tonight's The Night (1965).
Wexler's greatest discovery was Aretha Franklin, a Detroit gospel singer whom Wexler turned into the female counterpart of Ray Charles, pitting her exuberant and aggressive vocals (that mixed blues phrasing and melisma) and her romantic lyrics against sensual and agitated rhythms. But Franklin's strategy was, in a sense, the opposite of Charles': instead of secularizing sacred music, Franklin sanctified her own private life. Charles transferred religious love into bodily love, while Franklin exalted bodily love as a vehicle to salvation or redemption. She staged with church fervor the most intimate female emotions, such as the need to be loved, the frustration of not being loved, and the ecstasis of being loved. Compared with the attitude, the material was negligible, and it came from disparate sources (blues, pop, soul): Ronnie Shannon's I Never Loved A Man (1967), Otis Redding's Respect (1967), which she transformed into a piano-based anthem of female pride, Ronnie Shannon's Baby I Love You (1967), Don Covay's Chain Of Fools (1967), Carole King's and Gerry Goffin's A Natural Woman (1967), which acted as the complementary anthem to Respect, her own Since You've Been Gone (1968), her own Think (1968), Burt Bacharach's I Say A Little Prayer (1968).
Vocalists of other big cities shared the same spirit.
Fontella Bass was perhaps the most vibrant soul singer of the Chicago area, breathing life into Oliver Sain's Don't Mess Up A Good Thing (1965) and Raynard Miner's Rescue Me (1965), with the young Maurice White on drums, before joining the jazz avantgarde (the Art Ensemble Of Chicago). Predating Franklin, her touch was bluesier and less poppy.
Los Angeles-based vocalist Dobie Gray (Leonard Ainsworth) recorded in a sandpaper voice Billy Page's The In Crowd (1965), the quintessential mod anthem, Out On The Floor (1966), and Mentor Williams' Drift Away (1973).
The sound Of Stax, an elegant hybrid of rhythm'n'blues and country'n'western with simple arrangements and sober rhythms, was largely the sound of its session musicians (and their first producer, Chips Moman). The Mar-Kays' instrumental hit version of Chips Moman's Last Night (1961) pretty much set the standard for all subsequent Stax productions: punchy horns section (two trumpets and two saxophones) and powerful rhythm section (groovy organ, staccato guitar, bass and drums). The band's guitarist, Steve Cropper, one of the most original guitarists since Lowman Pauling, whose stinging riffs bridged country and blues, joined saxophonist and keyboardist Booker Jones and drummer Al Jackson to form Booker T. & The MGs, that released the similar instrumental shuffle Green Onion (1962), while trumpet player Wayne Jackson formed the Memphis Horns. These remained the house bands for all Stax musicians.
Among the classics crafted by this "team" were: Carla Thomas' Gee Whiz (1961), produced by Chips Moman, and B-A-B-Y (1966), written by Isaac Hayes, songwriter William Bell's You Don't Miss Your Water (1962), Rufus Thomas' dance novelties, such as Walking The Dog (1963) and Do The Funky Chicken (1970), Eddie Floyd's Knock On Wood (1966), a Cropper composition, Arthur Conley's Sweet Soul Music (1967), an Otis Redding rewrite of Sam Cooke's Yeah Man that sounded like the label's aesthetic manifesto, Albert "King" Nelson's Born Under A Bad Sign (1967), a William Bell song that crystallized the Stax ensemble sound, the hits for Johnnie Taylor (another ex-Soul Stirrers), such as Isaac Hayes' I Had A Dream (1967) and Who's Making Love (1968), and those for Sam (Moore) and Dave (Prater), Hold On (1966) and Soul Man (1967), both composed by Isaac Hayes, etc.
The Memphis sound was epitomized by Wexler's productions for Wilson Pickett, setting the singer's wicked and visceral delivery against Steve Cropper's lean/mean guitar and against the house band's majestic explosions of sound (frantic horns, gospel choir, fearsome drums). Steve Cropper composed his classics In The Midnight Hour (1964) and 634-5789 (1966). Then came equally invigorating performances for Chris Kenner's Land Of 1000 Dances (1966), and Bonnie "Mack" Rice's Mustang Sally (1967). Funky Broadway (1967) was the cover of a genre-defining song, already written and performed n James Brown's vein by Arlester "Dyke" Christian, the voice and the brain behind Dyke & The Blazers.
The moving voice of Georgia-born Otis Redding, who died at 26, created a new emotional standard for southern soul. Equally important were the tight arrangements of guitarist Steve Cropper, in which the instrumental backing de facto replaced the gospel choir, turning the traditional call-and-response structure into a dialogue between voice and horns, and between voice and guitar. His own These Arms Of Mine (october 1962) and Pain In My Heart (september 1963), which was a cover of Irma Thomas' Ruler of My Heart (1962), Steve Cropper's Mr Pitiful (december 1964), his own Respect (july 1965), a metaphorical declaration of black pride camouflaged as a sexual plea, opened an almost metaphysical dimension to soul music, backed by one of the greatest rhythm sections of the time (Cropper on guitar, Booker T. Jones on piano, Donald Dunn on bass, Al Jackson on drums, and occasionally Isaac Hayes on organ). His version of Jerry Butler's I've Been Lovin' You Too Long (april 1965) became the quintessential seduction song. The last two gems that he composed with Cropper, Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa (august 1966) and Dock Of The Bay (december 1967), were increasingly tender, ethereal and extraterrestrial.
Overton Wright cried and sobbed in That's How Strong My Love Is (1964), You're Gonna Make Me Cry (1965), and Eight Men Four Women (1967), three of the most melodramatic performances of southern soul, as well as wailing in the intense and haunting Willie Mitchell productions of Ace Of Spades (1970), A Nickel and a Nail (1971), and I'd Rather Be Blind Crippled and Crazy (1973).
Another influential Memphis singer, James Carr recorded Baker and McCormick's Pouring Water On A Drowning Man (1966) and especially Chips Moman's poignant Dark End of the Street (1967), as well as two Obie McClinton compositions, You've Got My Mind Messed Up (1966) and A Man Needs A Woman (1968).
If Memphis was the epicenter, it certainly wasn't the only source of southern soul.
The queen of New Orleans soul was Irma Thomas, who penned three self-written gems such as Don't Mess With My Man (1961), Ruler Of My Heart (1962) and Wish Someone Would Care (1964), as well as premiering Jerry Ragavoy's Time Is On My Side (1964).
Joe Tex (Joseph Arrington), from Texas, sang witty stories in a rather limited falsetto against Memphis-style arrangements, alternating his singing with sermon-style raps. Hold What You've Got (1964) was the first southern soul song to become a national hit, followed by The Love You Save (1965), the dance novelty Skinny Legs And All (1967) and I Gotcha (1972). His album From the Roots Came the Rapper (1971) was one of the first instances that a street poet was called a "rapper", and included extended versions of Burt Bacharach's I'll Never Fall In Love Again and Jim Doris' Oh Me Oh My.
The purest phrasing was Percy Sledge's, the devoted Alabama tenor of When A Man Loves A Woman (1966), composed by Jimmy Hughes' organist Andrew Wright and bassist Calvin Lewis, and featuring "church" organ by Dewey Oldham, who composed Sledge's other two jewels, It Tears Me Up (1966) and Out Of Left Field (1967). Another impeccable demonstration of his country-soul style was Take Time To Know Her (1968).
The next big thing to happen to southern soul was Isaac Hayes' extended orchestral raps, that debuted on Presenting (1967) with a lengthy cover of Erroll Garner's Misty, and that matured on the four-song album Hot Buttered Soul (1969), including colossal covers of Jimmy Webb's By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Burt Bacharach's Walk On By. This style of subdued singing and lavish production was further revolutionized by the soundtrack to the film Shaft (1971), that added a strong funky undercurrent, setting the stage for disco-music.
Willie Mitchell organized another artistic colony in Memphis by hiring veterans of Booker T. And The Mg's and producing the mellow hits of singer-songwriter Ann Peebles, notably Slipped Stumbled and Fell In Love (1971), I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (1973) and I Can't Stand The Rain (1974).
Mitchell's southern-soul productions also propelled the erotic hymns of Al Green: Green's own Tired Of Being Alone (1971) and Mitchell's Let's Stay Together (1971), Look What You Done To Me (1972), I'm Still In Love With You (1972), as well as Green's own Take Me To The River (1974). These productions expressed the ultimate contradiction of soul music, the tension between sex and God.
The sound of Detroit's soul music was the sound of Berry Gordy's Tamla Motown, the greatest success story of a black enterpreneur in the music business.
Gordy borrowed the concept from the assembly lines of Detroit's car industry: Tamla's hits were manufactured on industrial scale by a team of skilled professionals. Composers and producers included the trio of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (alias H-D-H), the duo of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, as well as Norman Whitfield and Smokey Robinson. Session musicians (the Funk Brothers) included bassist James Jamerson (one of the most influential bassists of all times), drummer Benny Benjamin, saxophonist Hank Crosby, trombonist Paul Riser, trumpet player Herbie Williams, guitarists Robert White, keyboardists Joe Hunter and Earl VanDyke.
Gordy's "Motown sound" was the least "black" and most "white" of the various soul styles. His hits were catchy and elementary. Arrangements overflew with strings and other orchestral instruments. Rhythms were driving and infectious. The vocals and the instrumental backdrop had little of the psychological sophistication of southern soul: Tamla's hits were emphatic and epic. The "call-and-response" structure was largely abandoned, and the new center of the song became the melodic "hook". The lyrics targeted the lifestyle of teenagers.
The first hits were, actually, plain party music: Barrett Strong's Money (1960), written by Berry Gordy, the Miracles' Shoparound (1960), written by Smokey Robinson, the Contours' Do You Love Me (1962), written by Berry Gordy, Martha (Reeves) & The Vandellas' Dancing In The Street (1964), written by William Stevenson, pianist Frederick "Shorty" Long's Devil With A Blue Dress On (1964), and saxophonist Junior Walker's instrumental Shotgun/ Hot Cha (1965).
H-D-H, the greatest tunesmiths of the era, also wrote Heat Wave (1963) and Nowhere To Run (1965), whose booming arrangement was an exercise in excessive rapture, for Martha & The Vandellas, Please Mr Postman (1961) for the Marvelettes, Can I Get A Witness (1963) and How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You (1964) for Marvin Gaye, and virtually all the hits for the Supremes, a female trio (the most commercially successful in history), and for the Four Tops, a male quartet.

The simple, infectious melodies of the Supremes embodied the romantic exuberance of the Sixties: Where Did Our Love Go (1964), Baby Love (1964), Stop In The Name Of Love (1965), I Hear A Symphony (1965), My World Is Empty Without You (1965), You Can't Hurry Love (1965). On her own, Diana Ross indulged in vocal tours de force for Ashford's and Simpson's Ain't No Mountain High Enough (1970), Gerry Goffin's pathetic Do You Know Where Are You Going To (1975), and Pam Sawyer's and Marilyn McLeod's erotic disco monolith Love Hangover (1976).

The Four Tops excelled both at melodrama, as in Baby I Need Your Loving (1964) and Reach Out I'll Be There (1966), both marked by Levi Stubbs' blues lament and highly emotional harmonies, besides H-D-H's cataclysmic arrangement (the latter a concerto for piano and strings), and at sprightly party dance music, such as I Can't Help Myself (1965) and Same Old Song (1965). With the mystical overtones and morbid introversion of Standing In The Shadows Of Love (1966) and Bernadette (1967) they transcended passion and ghetto.
The H-D-H trio rank among the greatest pop phenomenon of all times. Their songs were a simplified form of soul music, but these were the kind of black music that white radio stations had no problem broadcasting. They were meant to inspire dances at private parties, they complied with the conventions of the romantic ballad, they were sung by polite singers, and they implied no more than the usual stories of falling in love and heartbreak. There were none of the controversial elements of the Afro-American culture that had alarmed white American parents when their children were listening to rhythm'n'blues.

Norman Whitfield penned some of the most dramatic and creative productions, from the epochal I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1967), a concentrate of anxiety (largely packed by the instrumental choreography of piano, guitar, drums, strings and horns), sung by Marvin Gaye and later Gladys Knight And The Pips, to most of the Temptations' classics, from Edwin Starr's War (1970) to Rare Earth's I Just Want To Celebrate (1971).

The Temptations, featuring baritone David Ruffin and tenor Eddie Kendricks, were more stylish than the Four Tops thanks first to the baroque productions of Smokey Robinson's My Girl (1965) and Since I Lost My Baby (1965), and then to the psychedelic visions of Norman Whitfield: Cloud Nine (1968), Runaway Child (1969), I Can't Get Next To You (1969), Psychedelic Shack (1970), Ball Of Confusion (1970), and the suite Masterpiece (1973), ever more bizarre despite lighter fare such as the ballad Just My Imagination (1971) and the funky Papa Was A Rolling Stone (1972).

William "Smokey" Robinson was both a gifted melodic composer, a fluent vocalist, a consummate poet and a creative arranger. He composed the Miracles' Shoparound (1960), Mary Wells' My Guy (1964), the Temptations' My Girl (1965) and Since I Lost My Baby (1965), Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar (1965), One More Heartache ((1966), and I'll Be Doggone (1965). The Miracles were his own group, and they delivered his best material: You Really Got A Hold On Me (1963), The Tracks Of My Tears (1965), I Second That Emotion (1967) and the baroque, breathtaking The Tears Of A Clown (1970). Robinson did not merely create catchy refrains, he created mini-dramas or mini-symphonies. He also became the epitome of the romantic soul vocalist of the post-Cooke era.

One of the most expressive male vocalists of the era, Marvin Gaye (1), capable of impersonating both the party dancer, the romantic lover, the hostile mod/punk and the political activist, breathed life into H-D-H's Can I Get A Witness (1963) and How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1964), Smokey Robinson's I'll Be Doggone (1965), One More Heartache ((1966) and Ain't That Peculiar (1965), Norman Whitfield's I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1967), Ashford's and Simpson's Ain't No Mountain High Enough (1967). Gaye the songwriter exploded in 1971, with the socially aware and orchestrally-arranged concept album What's Going On (1971), one of the albums that shifted the emphasis from the "song" to the ambience. The less intense and dense Let's Get It On (1973) was more sound-oriented and returned to his erotic persona, a transition towards the abstract melodic fantasies of I Want You (1976), co-written with Leon Ware.

Stevie "Wonder" Judkins/Morris (3), the blind multi-instrumentalist enfant prodige of Henry Cosby's Fingertips (1963), Henry Cosby's and Sylvia Moy's Uptight (1966) and My Cherie Amour (1969), Ron Miller's and Bryan Wells' A Place In The Sun (1966) and Yester-me Yester-day (1969), grew up to become an adventurous composer and arranger. Wonder crafted concept albums that moved from the format of the extended song towards the format of the electronic-funk-jazz-pop jam via production tours de force: Music Of My Mind (1972), a collaboration with electronic musicians Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil of the Tonto's Expanding Head Band, the first collection written, produced and played (mostly) by himself (already a veteran at the age of 22); Talking Book (1972), with the funky work-out Superstition and the romantic You Are The Sunshine Of My Heart; Innervisions (1973), a social fresco of symphonic proportions; the monumental and ambitious Songs In The Key Of Life (1976); and the mostly instrumental Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants (1979). Till the end, his artistic life was schizophrenic in its attempt to please both the masses, with catchy tunes such as I Just Called To Say I Love You (1984) and Part-time Lover (1985), and his spiritual alter-ego.
In 1973 Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles, a sign that an era had finished.
The importance of soul music
During the 1970s, Tamla Motown was replaced at the helm of soul music by Philadelphia International. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff added lavish orchestrations and disco rhythms to the new wave of Detroit's soft soul music. Their house band, the MFSB, was their equivalent of the MG's. Their sound was defined via the Intruders' Cowboys to Girls (1968), Jerry Butler's Only The Strong Survive (1969), the O'Jays' Back Stabbers (1972), female trio Three Degrees' When Will I See You Again (1974), and, above all, If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972) and Don't Leave Me This Way (1976) by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, featuring the young Teddy Pendergrass. The other local producer-composer, Thom Bell, created an even softer sound via the Delfonics' La-La Means I Love You (1968), the Stylistics' Betcha By Golly Now (1972), the Spinners' I'll Be Around (1972), etc. In 1974, Philadelphia ruled the charts (Bell had eleven hits, Gamble & Huff had ten).
With the cerebral and elegant productions of Isaac Hayes' Hot Buttered Soul (1969), Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (1971), Curtis Mayfield's Superfly (1972), and Stevie Wonder's Music Of My Mind (1972), soul music had recognized its crisis, and entered a new era. Instead of the assembly-line approach and the song format of the early era, the new era valued an author-oriented approach and the suite format.
A typical product of the era was Los Angeles' multi-instrumentalist Shuggie Otis, the son of Johnny Otis, who embraced the aesthetics of Sly Stone and Marvin Gaye on his fourth album, Inspiration Information (1975), a work that he composed, played and produced on his own, a stylistic tour de force, heavy on drum-machine and keyboards as well as strings and horns, that concocted an orchestral and sometimes electronic blend of funk, soul and psychedelic-rock.
However, the 1970s were a decade of steady decline for soul music. First it was funk music that reduced the market for soul musicians (and, in fact, many of them simply adopted the funky beat). Then it was disco music that made soul music sound antiquated as party music. Finally, hip-hop music introduced a completely new paradigm (both vocal and rhythmic) for black music.
The golden age of hip-hop music

Generally speaking, the rule for hip-hop music of the 1990s was that behind every successful rap act there is a producer. Rap music was born as a "do it yourself" art in which the "message" was more important than the music. During the 1990s, interest in the lyrics declined rapidly, while interest in the soundscape that those lyrics roamed increased exponentially. The rapping itself became less clownish, less stereotyped, less macho, and much more psychological and subtle. In fact, rappers often crossed over into singing. Hip-hop music became sophisticated, and wed jazz, soul and pop. Instrumental hip-hop became a genre of its own, and one of the most experimental outside of classical music.

The most significant event of the early 1990s was probably the advent of Wu-Tang Clan (1), a loose affiliation of rappers, including Gary "Genius/GZA" Grice, Russell "Ol' Dirty Bastard" Jones, Clifford "Method Man" Smith and Dennis "Ghostface Killah" Coles, "conducted" (if the rap equivalent of a classical conductor exists) by Robert "RZA" Diggs, the musical genius behind Enter the Wu-Tang (1993), a diligent tribute to old-school rap. It was RZA's three-dimensional sound experience and his cerebral gutter beats (and occasional philosophical/mystical tone-poems) that gave meaning to the voices of those rappers, although the sumptuous arrangements of Wu-Tang Forever (1997) threatened to take away precisely that meaning. This "clan" (not "gang") spun off a number of successful solo careers. Both Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to the 36 Chambers (1995), Method Man's Tical (1994), Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995) and GZA/Genius' Liquid Swords (1995), the most dramatic and cinematic of the bunch, were produced by RZA. However, when the Wu-Tang Clan began a rapid artistic decline, it was Ghostface Killah who emerged as the voice of his generation with the brutal, death-obsessed cinematic storytelling of Supreme Clientele (2000) and Fishscale (2006).

The Wu-Tang clan were one of the few East Coast acts that stood up to the past standards of the city's hip-hop. A number of New Jersey acts, in particular, cast a doubt on the future of hip-hop: the duo P.M. Dawn, with Of the Heart of the Soul of the Cross (1991), Naughty By Nature, with Naughty By Nature (1991), Kris Kross (the pre-puberal duo of Chris "Daddy Mack" Smith and Chris "Mack Daddy" Kelly), produced by teenager Jermaine Dupri, with the disco energy of Totally Krossed Out (1992), and the trio of the Lords of the Underground, with Here Come the Lords (1993), produced by Marley Marl. Washington multi-instrumentalist Basehead (Michael Ivey), with Plays With Toys (1992), was also crossing over into pop and soul territory. Trevor "Busta Rhymes" Smith's The Coming (1996) was as bizarre as accessible (basically an extension of the absurdist style of Public Enemy's William "Flavor Flav" Drayton). The nonsensical dialectics of Das Efx (Andre "Dre" Weston and Willie "Skoob" Hines) on Dead Serious (1992) was only functional to creating novelty acts.

Main Source's Breaking Atoms (1991), Poor Righteous Teachers' second album Pure Poverty (1991), permeated by Islamic philosophy, Mecca and the Soul Brother (1992) by producer Pete Rock (Phillips) & rapper C.L. Smooth (Corey Penn), Reggie "Redman" Noble's Whut? Thee Album (1992), Enta Da Stage (1993) by short-lived trio Black Moon, and New Kingdom's tribal-psychedelic Heavy Load (1993) were among the few albums that dared to experiment. East Coast hip-hop was losing to the West Coast. If nothing else, Nasir "Nas" Jones' Illmatic (1994) and Kendrick "Jeru the Damaja" Davis's The Sun Rises in the East (1994) briefly brought back party-rap's original sound.
New York's duo Organized Konfusion (Larry "Prince Poetry" Bakersfield and Troy "Pharoahe Monch" Jammerson) refined the dramatic/poetic skills of rap music, from the ghetto vignettes of Organized Konfusion (1991) to the psychologial hip-hopera The Equinox (1997)
Philadelphia's The Goats (1), led by Oatie Kato (Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams), orchestrated the "hip-hopera" Tricks of the Shade (1992), a concept album built around the evils of the American way of life, with both samples and a live band, deep grooves and a canvas of jazz, funk and rock.
"Prince Paul" Huston (1), the producer of De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising and the equally psychedelic My Field Trip To Planet 9 (1993) by Justin Warfield, penned Gravediggaz's gothic 6 Feet Deep (1994) with Wu-Tang Chan's Robert "RZA" Diggs, and the solo albums Psychoanalysis: What Is It? (1997) and especially the concept album A Prince Among Thieves (1999).
Philadelphia-born Roots' collaborator Ursula Rucker was a black spoken-word artist who coined a new form of art with her single Supernatural (1994), a dance hit created by a-capella vocals. After being a mere novelty on other people's songs, she emancipated her voice and her stories of black women on Supa Sista (2001).
Alien to the street culture of much hip-hop, New York's J-Live (Justice Allah) was one of the MCs who turned rhymed storytelling into a veritable art, both on The Best Part (1996), released five years after being recorded, and All Of The Above (2002).
On the West Coast, "gangsta-rap" was the dominant theme. Schoolly D had invented it in 1984, but, starting with Ice-T in 1986, it was in Los Angeles that the form found its natural milieu. In 1992, when racial riots erupted (following the police beating of a black gangster), Los Angeles was said to have 66 gangs of teenagers, mostly black, with daily shootings among them. They reached a temporary truce in april. It is not a coincidence that "gangsta rap" became a national phenomenon in the following twelve months. Gangsta-rap was not so much about gangster lives as about a metaphorical, solemn, doom-laden recreation of the noir/thriller atmosphere of the urban drug culture. It was more than a mere depiction of their lives, just like psychedelic music had been more than a mere reproduction of the hallucinogenic experience. Gangsta rap was about the mythology and the metaphysics of the gang life, with sexual and criminal overtones. As Greg Kot wrote, "The gangster rappers depict a world in which gangbangers and crack-heads fester in a cesspool of misogyny, homophobia and racism". Invariably dismissing women as teasers or sluts, these rappers indirectly revealed the sordid and desperate conditions of the women of the ghettos. Their justification was that they were not promoting that kind of violence, but merely documenting it: gangsta-rap was a documentary of daily life in the ghetto. Furthermore, the arrogance of these self-appointed super-heroes was often accompanied by a fatalistic mood: gangsta-rap was not about immortality, albeit about survival. N.W.A. (1), or "Niggaz With Attitude", formalized "gangsta-rap" on Straight Outta Compton (1988), and two of its former members, O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson with AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (1990), a total immersion in a nightmarish atmosphere, and Andre "Dr Dre" Young (1) with The Chronic (1992), featuring rapper Calvin "Snoop Doggy Dogg" Broadus, and later with 2001 (2000), gave it its masterpieces. The latter, heavily influenced by George Clinton's psychedelic funk, also coined a subgenre called "G Funk".
Houston's Geto Boys, featuring young rapper Brad "Scarface" Jordan, were one of the first crews from the South to become known nation-wide, thanks to the the terrifying gangsta-rap of their second album Geto Boys (1990). Robert-Earl "DJ Screw" Davis, who died at 30 of an overdose, became a Houston legend by slowing down ("screwing") rap hits into psychedelic, dilated melodies.

Gangsta-rap became mainstream via albums such as Doggystyle (1993) by Los Angeles native Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Doggy Dogg (1), produced by Dr Dre, and Me Against The World (1995), the third album from Oakland's 2Pac (aka Tupac Shakur, born Lesane Parish Crooks), produced by Sam Bostic, which was followed by All Eyez on Me (1996), the first double album of hip-hop music.
As gangsta-rap generated sales, rappers found it almost obligatory to spin the usual litany of hard-boiled tales of drugs, sex and murder.
One of the main sources of creativity for the Los Angeles scene was the the Freestyle Fellowship crew, responsible for the elaborate collages of To Whom It May Concern (1991) and especially Inner City Griots (1993). The second album, A Book Of Human Language (1998), by Aceyalone, a founding member of the "Freestyle Fellowship" crew, was lavishly arranged by Matthew "Mumbles" Fowler, and retained a literate approach that contrasted with the old "gansta" style. Magnificent (2006) featured beats by Jon "RJD2" Krohn.
Los Angeles was also the birthplace of Latino hip-hop, which debuted with Escape From Havana (1990) by Cuban-born Mellow Man Ace (Sergio Reyes) and Hispanic Causing Panic (1991) by Kid Frost (Arturo Molina). Kid Frost's La Raza (1990) and Mellow Man Ace's Mentirosa (1990) became the reference standards for all subsequent Latin rappers. The artistic peak of West-Coast rap was probably reached by a semi-Latino group, Cypress Hill (1), the project of producer Lawrence "Muggs" Muggerud and rapper Louis "B Real" Freeze, with their hyper-depressed trilogy of Cypress Hill (1992), Black Sunday (1993) and Temples of Boom (1995). The large Latino collective Ozomatli offered ebullient salsa-funk-rap on Ozomatli (1998), featuring wizard turntablist Cut Chemist (Lucas MacFadden).
Oakland was the headquarter of most black rappers from the San Francisco Bay Area. The main acts were the crew Digital Underground (1), the brainchild of Greg "Shock G" Jacobs and the main hip-hop purveyors of George Clinton's eccentric "funkadelia", notably on Sex Packets (1990); and rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien (Teren Delvon Jones), also inspired by the P-funk aesthetics on I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991). The Mystic Journeymen, formed by rappers Pushin' Suckas' Consciousness (PSC) and Vision The Brotha From Anotha Planet (BFAP), were important not so much for their 4001: The Stolen Legacy (1995), but as founders of the Oakland collective "Living Legends".

San Francisco produced some of the most virulent agit-prop rap of all times: the Beatnigs (1), with Beatnigs (1988), Consolidated (1), with The Myth Of Rock (1990), and the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy (1), with Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury (1992).
Gangsta-rap reached the East Coast with Onix's Bacdafucup (1992) and The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace)'s Ready to Die (1994), produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs and others. Fat Joe (Joseph Cartagena), the first major Latino rapper from the Bronx, also embraced the gansta-rap aesthetic, notably on his second album Jealous One's Envy (1995). Fat Joe was the most notorious member of New York's rap collective D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates), formed by Joe "DJ Diamond D" Kirkland and first tested on Diamond D's Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop (1992). The other notable member, Lamont "Big L" Coleman (shot to death in 1999), released perhaps the best of their albums, Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995), produced by Anthony "Buckwild" Best.

Progressive rap of the kind pioneered by Public Enemy thrived with works such as Arrested Development (1)'s 3 Years 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life (1998), the product of Atlanta-based rapper Todd "Speech" Thomas and disc-jockey Timothy "Headliner" Barnwell; Movement Ex's Movement Ex (1990), a concentrate of stereotyped conspiracy theories from Los Angeles; Oscar "Paris" Jackson's second album Sleeping With the Enemy (1992), from the Bay Area; Public Enemy associate Sister Souljah (Lisa Williamson)'s 360 Degrees of Power (1992); Brand Nubian's One For All (1990); X-Clan's To the East Blackwards (1990) from New York, KMD's Mr Hood (1991), featuring rapper Daniel "Zen Love" Dumile (later known as MF Doom), and Return Of The Boom Bap (1993) by former Boogie Down Productions mastermind KRS-One (Lawrence Krisna Parker). These groups harked back to the radical, militant, Afro-nationalist ideology of the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. They basically represented the "positive" alternative to gangsta-rap: instead of advocating rape and murder, they confronted issues of both local and global politics. Even feminism found its hip-hop voice: Yolanda "Yo-Yo" Whitaker, who debuted with Make Way for the Motherlode (1991) and founded the "Intelligent Black Woman's Coalition" to promote self-esteem among women.
This subgenre reached a fanatical peak with Steal This Album (1998) by Oakland's duo The Coup, that reads like Mao's "Red Book" or a Noam Chomsky pamphlet.

This was also the decade of "jazz-hop" fusion. Jazz-hop fusion had distinguished precedessors. Some consider Miles Davis' On The Corner (1972) the precursor of hip-hop. For sure, in the 1990s the Last Poet, a Harlem-based trio of former jail convicts converted to Islam (led by Jalal Mansur Nuriddin), were using "spiel" (as rap was called in those days) over a jazz background: their political sermons inspired by Malcom X relied on the arrangements of jazz producer Alan Douglas on The Last Poets (1970), which became a hit, and developed into "jazzoetry" on Chastisement (1972).

Within the rap nation, jazz-hop was pioneered by: Grandmaster Flash's remixes of jazz master Roy Ayers; scratcher Derek "D.ST" Howells's collaboration with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Rockit (1983); the Jungle Brothers' Straight Out the Jungle (1988), possibly the first example of full-fledged jazz-hop fusion; And Now The Legacy Begins (1991), the eclectic multi-stylistic manifesto of Toronto-based duo Dream Warriors (with the prophetic My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style); A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory (1991), which featured guest musician Ron Carter; Chuck D Ridenbour's big-band tribute to Charlie Mingus (1992). Jazz returned the favor with post-bop saxophonist Greg Osby's 3D Lifestyles (1993), with Miles Davis' very last recording, Doo-Bop (1992), and with the "acid-jazz" scene of San Francisco (Broun Fellinis, Alphabet Soup).

Besides being one of the first groups to follow in the footsteps of Public Enemy's militant hip-hop, Gang Starr (1), rapper Keith "Guru" Elam and producer Christopher "DJ Premier" Martin, pioneered the mature exploitation of jazz on Step In The Arena (1990) and Daily Operation (1992), and then ventured beyond jazz-hop on Moment of Truth (1998). Martin's extensive use of jazz sampling and percussion loops revolutionized the way "raps" ought to be orchestrated.
Jazz-hop became the sensation of 1993 with Guru (1)'s own Jazzmatazz Volume 1 (1993), US3's Hand on the Torch (1993), for which British producer Geoff Wilkinson mined the Blue Note catalog, the Digable Planets' Reachin' (1993), from Boston, Pharcyde's dadaistic, carnivalesque Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde (1993), from Los Angeles, and Plantation Lullabies (1993) by Washington's Me'Shell Ndege' Ocello (Mary Johnson). The trend was amplified in the following years by albums such as One Step Ahead of the Spider (1994), the third album by Dallas' white rapper Mark Griffin, better known as MC900 Ft Jesus (1), the Fun Lovin' Criminals' Come Find Yourself (1996).

Philadelphia's Roots (1) approached jazz not via samples but through live instrumentation, led by the rhythm section of drummer Ahmir-Khalib "?uestlove" Thompson and bassist Leon "Hub" Hubbard and by keyboardist Scott Storch, on Do You Want More (1994), the album that introduced spoken-word artist Ursula Rucker. A quantum jump in arrangements (notably James "Kamal" Gray's electronic keyboards) made Phrenology (2002) a case in point for the marriage of technology, composition and performance, transforming hip-hop music into avantgarde architecture; and its successors Game Theory (2006) and Rising Down (2008) refined their invention (catchy, agitprop, beat-based, cross-stylistic music) by wedding those lush production values with dark, high-energy vibrations.
The horizon further expanded with Chicago's Common Sense (Lonnie Rashied Lynn), who evolved from the mellow jazz-hop of Resurrection (1994) to Electric Circus (2003), an experiment reminiscent of psychedelic and progressive-rock, and with New York's Dante "Mos Def" Smith (1), who reacted to gangsta-rap by bring back the serious-minded philosophy of the "Native Tongues" posse while at the same time accomodating rock, soul and funk on the phantasmagoric Black on Both Sides (1999).

Basically, hip-hop music had fragmented along three seismic faults of rebellion: one could vent negro anger as a gangsta, as an Afronationalist militant or... by playing jazz music.

By the mid 1990s, hip-hop had dramatically evolved from an art of "messages" that were spoken in a conversational tone over an elementary rhythmic base to an art of cadenced speech in an emphatic and melodramatic tone over an intricate rhythmic collage. Regardless of the "message" that was now being broadcasted, the sense of black self-affirmation had moved to the forefront. The main continuity with the original form of Grandmaster Flash was in the "urban" setting of the music: except for free-jazz, no other form of black music had been so viscerally tied to the urban environment.
During the 1990s, hip-hop spread outside of its traditional bases (New York and Los Angeles), reaching the far corners of the globe.
Acid-rap, a morbid style related to Gravediggaz's horrocore, was coined by Detroit's rapper and producer Esham (Rashaam Smith), both on his solo album Boomin' Words From Hell (1990), recorded when he was 15, and on the harsh and disturbing Life After Death (1992), credited to his group NATAS ("Satan" spelled backwards).

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994) by Atlanta's Outkast (2), the duo of Andre "Dre" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, was representative of the rise of southern hip-hop, with its emphasis on soul melodies and pop arrangements. Outkast turned hip-hop into a new form of space funkadelia on their sumptuous kaleidoscopes of aural ecstasy, Aquemini (1998) and Stankonia (2000) Another product of the Atlanta school was Goodie Mob's Soul Food (1995), fronted by vocalist Thomas "Cee-Lo Green" Callaway and credited with starting the "Dirty South" movement"; while Master P assembled the No Limit posse in New Orleans.
In Britain, Fundamental, the brainchild of Aki "Propa-ghandi" Nawaz, attempted an original and brutal fusion of hip-hop, industrial music and world-music on Seize The Time (1994), propelling his agit-prop raps with a style reminiscent of Tackhead, Consolidated and Public Enemy. And Asian Dub Foundation, a London-based sound system of ethnic Indian musicians halfway between Tackhead and Clash, concocted the militant ethnic-punk-folk-dance music of Rafi's Revenge (1998).

Irish communist rappers Marxman sounded like the British version of Public Enemy on 33 Revolutions Per Minute (1992), but without the musical talent.
MC Solaar (Senegal-born Claude M'Barali) catapulted French hip-hop to the forefront of the international scene with the brilliant Qui Seme le Vent Recolte le Tempo (1991) and Prose Combat (1994).
Assalti Frontali, the leading hip-hop posse of Italy, unleashed the confrontational manifestos Terra di Nessuno (1992) and the hardcore-tinged Conflitto (1996).
Instrumental hip-hop
Crucial for the development of an atmospheric pseudo-dance genre was instrumental hip-hop.
Instrumental hip-hop was largely legitimized by a Los Angeles native resident in London, DJ Shadow (1), born Josh Davis. A legendary turntablist, Davis used prominent bass lines and scratches to detonate his extended singles Entropy (1993) and In/Flux (1993), and basically bridged classical music and hip-hop on elaborate, multi-part compositions such as What Does Your Soul Look Like (1995). Endtroducing (1996) was possibly the first respectable album of all-instrumental hip-hop, entirely composed on the sampler but nonetheless lushly orchestrated.
The dub-tinged soundscapes of New York's Skiz "Spectre" Fernando (2) were best deployed on the imposing gothic, post-apocalyptic trilogy of The Illness (1995), The Second Coming (1997) and The End (1999), each of them the hip-hop equivalent of a William Blake poem.
Japanese dj DJ Krush added a jazzy tinge to the idea on Strictly Turntablised (1994) and Ki-Oku (1998), featuring trumpeter Toshinori Kondo.
With DJ Shadow, Spectre and DJ Krush operating in three different regions, the genre of instrumental, sample-based hip-hop became an international koine.


Okay were going to explore one of my favorite musical formats. Latin Music of the America's. Let me give you a little insight of my DNA connection with this music. I grew up in a Latin and African American house hold. I didn't heaer alot of Latin Music in my early days. We wont talk about how early that is. But anyway, my first influence to music was Jazz and R&B. My Latin carazon progressed in my teen age and twenties. I remember this New Years Eve party I went to New York in the 70's and Eddie Palmeri and his Orchestra was playing then followed by the late Queen Of Salsa Celia Cruz . Its fair to say that evening was a injection in the arm and became a musical transplant. My ears were wide open and haven't closed since. Before I knew it I soon inherited a set of congas and I was learning Latin rythms in studios in Harlem with some of the finest Cuban percussionist and speaking spanglish better that than the Newricans I hung out with. I met a couple of the big names of that time. Like Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, El Grupo Classico. Shiela E. got to know quit well long before Prince did. But thats a private story.
I even wrote a few Spanish songs to open some bedroom doors. If know what I mean :P Yes I saw the birth of Salsa and it became one my musical children.
"Okay lets do some history. Class is now session. I'm your profesor Jazzfrederick. I bet you thought I was going to give you my real name. Welcome to Latin Music 101"
"If you open your history books to page 16 and read."

The history of the Moorish empire prior to Spain extends from the ancient Moabites, and extends across the great Atlantic into north, south and Central American thus the Moorish domination of the seas. It is important to point out that as time goes on what is now known as Latin America is highly influenced by European colonization and the slave trade with Africa. Currently, Latin America, the countries of the Western Hemisphere south of the United States, include the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Central and South America and contain an amalgamation of cultural influences, namely European, The Moors, Mexican, and other African tribes. Europe contributed the religions two main languages, Spanish and Portuguese. Much of the native Moorish culture, which was in place before the arrival of the Spaniards and Christopher Columbus, was suppressed due to forced assimilation; the rest was combined with the arrival of slaves and other cultures in the 16th century. Through this rich cultural mix, a distinct Moorish or commonly referred to as Afro-Caribbean culture has emerged.

The element in Moorish, African & Caribbean music that many find most distinctive, is its rhythms are derived from Moorish, and other Africans via the slave trade (1550-1880), which is believed to have brought an estimated two million people of Moorish descent, while in fact the Moors had domination and inhabitation for over 2000 years in what is now know as the west into the Caribbean Islands. Unlike the Moors of North American and some that were enslaved, who in 1776 were forbidden from playing drums (except for areas such as New Orleans Congo Square), Caribbean slaves were liberally allowed to play their drums, which of course were not only for recreation and entertainment, but used as a means of communicating. These were considered talking drums, carrying current, as well as timeless messages; message of history, struggle, and unspeakable joy. All this was accomplished through the replaying of these traditional Moorish and African rhythms, sung on a drum.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries these rhythms spread, developed, and canonized throughout the Caribbean, around the same time that another American art form was beginning its conception. This North American art form was also going to contain a rich cultural mix. It would incorporate blues intonation, African drums and rhythms, Indian cymbals, European instruments, harmony, and musical forms with a syncopated beat namely jazz.

Every country and every island in the Caribbean developed its own unique musical culture, be it folk idioms or a national conservatory styles. Four countries, namely Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico have had the most significant influences on music in the United States (Cuba having the most enduring). These influences included Latin rhythms and/or dances that infatuated the United States, like the habanera, bolero (Cuba),samba, bossa nova (Brazil), tango (Argentina), and mariachi (Mexico).

As these rhythmic structures and their dances canonized, they began effecting music making everywhere, from the concert hall, to the New Orleans Street parade, to Broadway and Tin Pan Alley. As goods including people, were traded through the convenient and busy port of New Orleans, Louisiana, musically inclined workers on Caribbean ships were afforded the opportunity to exchange new rhythms, dances, and songs with the various Creole and African dancers and musicians at public performance spaces ice Congo Square. It didn’t take long for composers to begin writing Latin-influenced works. For example, American Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869), who hailed from Louisiana, and studied composition in France with Aaron Coplands teacher Nadia Boulanger, toured Cuba in 1857 performing his Latin-influenced works. Some of the most famous compositions of this nature include George Bizets hababera from his opera Carmen (1875); Scott Joplin’s Mexican serenade, Solace (1902); Maurice Ravels Rapsodie Espagnole (1907), and his Bolero (1928), Jelly Roll Morton, the famed New Orleans jazz composer and pianist, spoke to Alan Lomax of the Library of Congress on the importance, even in the earlier days of jazz (the end of the nineteenth century) of the jazz musician being able to work with the Spanish tinge. He said, In fact, if you cant manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz.

What is Latin Music?

Latin music (sometimes called 'tropical style') first achieved wide popularity (in North America) during the 1940's, with Xavier Cugat's band being probably the best known. Mainly, the music that we today call 'salsa', probably descended from Cuban rhythms. Musicologists trace the music back over a hundred years to the mountains of Eastern Cuba.

Latin music is a popular art form developed in various Latin American countries, mainly Cuba, and is unique for the type of rhythmic structures it builds upon. It is vocal and instrumental music, originally derived from African religious ceremonies, however viewed today primarily as dance music. Its strongest characteristic, however, is its rhythm, which is highly syncopated (when the various rhythms being played at one time, create counterpoint against each other in exciting cross rhythms). It is traditionally played by native percussion and string instruments, namely the timbales, congas, bongo, guitar, and the tres (nine-string Cuban guitar). Over time, the piano replaced the guitar as the choral instrument, while the bass, woodwinds, trumpets and trombones were added to play melodies and riffs (repetitions of sound). Most Latin music is based on a rhythmic pattern known as the clave. Clave is the basic building block of all Cuban music, and is a 3-2 (occasionally 2-3) rhythmic pattern. Claves are also the name for the two sticks that play this 3-2 (clave) pattern.
Latin music generally uses a three form with (1) a long introductory verse, followed (2) by a montuno section where the band plays a vamp (a two- or three chord progression), building intensity with devices like the mambo (where members of the front line play contrasting riffs) before (3) returning back to the verse and closing out the selection, generally with some type of coda (a short predetermined way of ending a piece; like a postscript at the end of letters). Some important characteristics of Latin music are:
Clave: a syncopated rhythmic pattern played with two sticks, around which everything in the band revolves.
Call And Response Inspiraciones: a musical exchange between two voices inspiratons, improvised phrase by lead vocalist or instrumentalist.
Bajo-Tumbao-bass: repeated rhythmic pattern for the bass or conga based on the clave.

Latin America has produced a variety of genres born at the crossroads of European folk music, African music and native traditions. While not as popular as the popular music of the USA (also born out of the integration of European music and African music), Latin American genres shares the same characters that made it a universal koine'.


During the "belle epoque" (1890s), the working class of the "Boca" of Buenos Aires (Argentina) invented a new rhythm, the tango. Tan-go was the name given to the drums of the African slaves, and the music was influenced by both the Cuban habanera and the local milonga. The choreography originally devised in the brothels to mimick the obscene and violent relationship between the prostitute, her pimp and a male rival eventually turned into a dance and a style of music of a pessimistic mood, permeated by a fatalistic sense of an unavoidable destiny, a music of sorrow enhanced by the melancholy sound of the bandoneon. When lyrics were added, they drew from "lunfardo", the lingo of the underworld (the term originally meant "thief"). Tango was embraced enthusiastically in Europe and landed in the USA in the 1910s. The Viennese waltz and the Polka had been the first dances to employ the close contact between a male and a female. The tango pushed the envelope in an even more erotic direction. One of the earliest hits of tango was pianist Enrique Saborido's Yo Soy La Morocha (1906). By that time, tango had already established itself as a major genre among young Argentinians. Roberto Firpo is credited as having set the standard in 1913 for all future tango orchestras: the rhythm set by syncopated piano figures, the melodies carried by bandoneon and violin. Firpo's Alma de Bohemio (1914) and Gerardo Hernan Matos Rodriguez's La Cumparsita (1916) were among the early international hits. Bandoneon player Osvaldo Fresedo and violin player Julio de Caro were among the instrumental stars and composers of the 1920s. From his debut with Mi Noche Triste (1917), the song that introduced lyrics into the tango, to his untimely death in 1935, Carlos Gardel was the most charismatic vocalist, the master of erotic abandon. The tango craze took New York by storm during World War I. Rudolph Valentino created an international sensation in a steamy scene of his film "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921). But tango became a more intellectual affair during the 1930s, when literate songwriters created more poetic lyrics. Representative musicians of the decade are pianist Osvaldo Pugliese (Recuerdo) and violinist Elvino Vardaro. Bandoneon player Anibal Troilo ruled the 1940s. Tango then became a dogma that allowed very little freedom. It was only in the 1960s that someone dared question the dogma.


Cuba was the starting point for many of the Latin dances. At the beginning of the 20th century, Cuba's main music was the "son", a fusion of Spanish popular music and the African rhythm rumba (first mentioned in 1928 and probably related to the Santeria religion). Traditionally played with tres (guitar), contrabass, bongos and claves (wooden sticks that set the circular rhythm) the son of Cuba was popularized by the likes of Ignacio Pineiro, who had an hit with Echale Salsita (1929), and Miguel Matamores. The danzon, first documented by Miguel Failde Perez's Las Alturas de Simpson (1879), was a descendant of the French "contredanse" or contradanza, and in Cuba's 1920s the danzon became a version of the son for the upper classes, performed by "charangas" (flute and violin orchestras, in which the violin provided the main riff while the flute improvised). Charangas of the golden age include: Orquesta Neno Gonzalez (1926), Orquesta Belisario Lopez (1928), Orquesta de Cheo Belen Puig (1934), Orquesta Aragon (1939), Orquesta America (1942). In the 1930s, Spanish-Cuban bandleader Xavier Cugat (who formed the Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra in 1935) was for Latin music what the Beatles were for rock music: his orchestra created the commercial version of Latin music (largely devoid of artistic value but hugely popular) for the western masses. Also during the 1930s, the dance academia of Pierre and Doris Lavelle popularized Latin dancing in Britain (it was Pierre Lavelle who codified the moves of the rumba in 1955 and the moves of the samba in 1956). In the 1940s, Arsenio Rodriguez, a virtuoso of the tres (Cuban guitar), set the standard for the Cuban conjunto (adding congas, piano and trumpets to the traditional guitar-based sexteto) and thus spearheaded a kind of son based on the piano and the congas. For example, Rene' Alvarez, Arsenio's former singer, formed Conjunto Los Astros in 1948, with multiple trumpets and piano.
Cuba's mambo, "invented" (or, better, imported from Congo) by bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez and by his brother pianist Orestes of the Antonio Arcano's Orquesta Radiofonica with El Danzon Mambo (1937), fused rumba rhythms with big-band jazz, and was epitomized by Damazo Perez Prado's Mambo Jumbo (1948). Basically, the mambo was a danzon for the working class. The chachacha was a midtempo mambo figure that, after the 1953 recording of Enrique Jorrin's La Enganadora (1948) and especially Perez Prado's Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (1955), became a genre of its own, still performed by charangas (unlike the mambo, that was performed by smaller combos). The mambo became a USA craze in 1954.
"Salseros" were the conjunto groups (brass-driven dance bands) of the 1940s that played a bit of everything. The most celebrated Cuban vocalist of the era was Beny More, from Yiri Yiri Bom (1946) to Maracaibo Oriental (1954).
A fusion of Cuban music and jazz music (or "cubop") became popular after World War II, influencing some of the most important jazz musicians (e.g., Dizzy Gillespie). Puerto Rico pianist Noro Morales was the main practitioner of the quintet for piano and percussion (Bim Bam Bum, 1942; Oye Negra). Frank "Machito" Grillo's Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite (1950) was typical of the genre.
The foundations of post-war Latin music were laid by this generation. Cuban pianist Jose Curbelo played with Cugat and raised Ernesto "Tito" Puente, Ray Barretto and Pablo "Tito" Rodriguez, who raised Eddie Palmieri. American singer Frank "Machito" Grillo played with Cugat and Norales, and then raised Puente.
Trinidad's calypso, first documented by an instrumental recorded in 1912 by by George "Lovey" Bailey's orchestra, was another Latin dance to reach beyond Latin America. Calypso was originally sung in French, but the first recorded calypso song, Julian Whiterose's Iron Duke in the Land (1914), was already in English. Starting with the "Railway Douglas Tent" of Port-of-Spain in 1921, calypso was originally performed in "tents" (temporary dancehalls) during the period before carnival: the term stuck, and came to denote any club playing calypso. Most calypso records are still released just before or during carnival season. Hubert "Roaring Lion" Charles (who also called himself Rafael de Leon) was perhaps the first star, producing the standards Send Your Children to The Orphan's Home (1927), Marry An Ugly Woman (1934), Three Cheers For The Red, White and Blue (1936), Netty Netty (1937) Mary Anne (1945). Other classics of the early era were Raymond "Attila The Hun" Quevedo's West Indian Federation (1933), Women Will Rule the World (1935) and Calypso Behind The Wall, later covered by Belafonte as Jump In The Line, Frederick "Wilmoth Houdini" Hendricks' War Declaration (1934) and He Had It Coming (1939), covered by Louis Jordan as Stone Cold Dead in the Market (1946), Neville "Growling Tiger" Marcano's Money is King (1935), Norman "King Radio" Span's Matilda (1938), Rupert "Lord Invader" Grant's Don't Stop the Carnival (1939) and Rum and Coca Cola (1944), Aldwyn "Lord Kitchener" Roberts' Tie Tongue Mopsy (1946), Irvin Burgie's Day O and Island in the Sun, both covered by Belafonte. They all had to travel to New York in order to record their songs. During the 1940s, Trinidad's musicians developed the concept of the steel band, which dramatically changed the sound of calypso. A 1946 concert in New York, "Calypso at Midnight", organized by Alan Lomax, and Sam Manning's revue Caribbean Carnival (1947), the first calypso show on Broadway, helped establish the genre. But it was in the 1950s that calypso became a "craze" in the USA, thanks mainly to Harry Belafonte's Calypso (1956), one of the first albums to sell over one million copies, that contained Banana Boat Song (1956). Back in Trinidad, Francisco "Mighty Sparrow" Slinger released the first calypso album, Calypso Carnival (1958). Other Trinidad hits of the 1950s included Carlton "Lord Blakie" Joseph's Steelband Clash (1954), Slinger "Mighty Sparrow" Francisco's Jean and Dinah (1956), Fitzroy "Lord Melody" Alexander's Mama Look A Boo Boo (1956). Mighty Sparrow (Ten To One Is Murder, 1960; Dan Is The Man, 1963; Melda, 1966) and, to some extent, Lord Kitchener (The Road, 1963; Rainorama, 1973) continued to dominate during the 1960s. Songs by new artists included Mervyn "Mighty Sniper" Hodge's Portrait of Trinidad (1965) and McCartha "Calypso Rose" Lewis' Fire In Your Wire (1967), the first major hit by a female calypso artist.
In Cuba in 1955, Los Papines fused the violin-based music of charangas and the trumpet-based music of conjuntos Eduardo Davidson's La Pachanga (1959), recorded by Orquesta Sublime, introduced Cuba to a Colombian dance (which was confusingly called "charanga" in the USA). But, as Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba (1959), the epicenter of Latin music moved to other islands and then south. Charanga and pachanga became brief fads in the USA, while the "son" left Cuba and migrated to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico had its own tradition of "bomba" and "plena", to which percussionist Rafael Cortijo, leader of a conjunto since 1954, had added trumpets and saxophones (El Bombon De Elena). His conjunto and his husky vocalist Ismael Rivera (El Nazareno, Quitate de la Via Perico), notorious for the improvised call-and-response vocals of the "sonero" tradition, harked back to the African roots of Caribbean music without any distinction between styles. Both vocally and rhythmically they created a "sauce" of Caribbean music. El Gran Combo, formed by pianist Rafael Ithier, continued Cortijo's mission in a lighter vein, with La Muerte (1962) and Ojos Chinos (1964).
In the 1960s, the bomba-son hybrid reached the Puertorican colony in New York. Here, the son adopted the format of the big band, as in Jimmy Sabater's Salsa y Bembe (1962) and vibraphonist Cal Tjader's Salsa del Alma (1964).
The Cuban expatriates that relocated in New York contributed greatly to the assimilation of the genre in the American culture: vocalist Celia Cruz (Burundanaga, 1956; Yerbero Moderno, 1956), flutist Jose-Antonio Fajardo (La Charanga), jazzy congueros Candido Camero and Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria (Mazacote, 1958; Afro Blue, 1959; Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man, 1963), violinist Felix "Pupi" Legarreta, who fused charanga and jazz on Salsa Nova (1962). Santamaria, who arrived in New York in 1950, paid tribute to his Cuban roots on Yambu (1958) and Mongo (1959), that were performed with other Latin percussionists.
The evolution of son continued in New York via Dominican flutist Johnny Pacheco, leader of the quintessential charanga (featuring singer Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez) but also the leader of the "Africanization" of the charanga (arrangements limited to trumpets, piano and percussion), New York's pianist Charlie Palmieri, who formed in 1959 the influential charanga Duboney (four violins and Pacheco on flute), New York's pianist Eddie Palmieri, who in 1962 pioneered "trombanga", a sound based on two trombones and a flute (in alternative to the charanga sound), New York's percussionist Ernesto "Tito" Puente (Oye Como Va, 1962), New York's drummer Ray Barretto, who experimented with rhythm'n'blues and jazz, Puertorican bongo player Roberto Roena (Mi Desengano, 1976). They all crossed over into jazz and rhythm'n'blues. Notable albums include Puente's Dance Mania (1958), Pablo "Tito" Rodriguez's West Side Beat (1961), Bobby Valentin's Ritmo Pa Goza (1966), Eddie Palmieri's Lo Que Traigo Es Sabroso (1964) and Superimposition (1969), Barretto's Acid (1967) and The Message (1972), Cortijo's Maquina de Tiempo (1974). Latin New York also secreted the boogaloo, a fusion of black soul music and the Cuban mambo, as in Eddie Palmieri's Ay Qye Rico (1968). New York-born Willie Colon, originally a trombonist, was the first major Puertorican star, his orchestra and his singer Hector Lavoe capable of albums such as El Malo (1967) and El Bueno, El Malo y El Feo (1975), besides the classics Che Che Cole (1969) and Gitana (1984).
A key event in 1967 was the meeting between Puertorican vocalist Ismael Miranda (then still a teenager) and the orchestra of New York's pianist Larry Harlow, best documented on Abran Paso (1970). They revitalized the CUban sound for the audience of rock music.


In 1973 the North-American son was renamed "salsa" for a tv special (by Izzy Sanabria of Fania Records, the equivalent of Motown for Latin music). In Puerto Rico salsa is also known as "guaguanco", a term that originally referred to a kind of rumba dance. Larry Harlow's orchestra rediscovered the fusion of charanga violins and conjunto trumpets (with the addition of electric instruments) on his milestone recording Salsa (1974) with vocalist Junior Gonzalez. The 1976 concert "Salsa" organized in New York by the label Fania launched the fad nation-wide. In the 1970s, the main centers for salsa were New York, Miami, and Colombia.
Ruben Blades, who had become Willie Colon's main composer after El Cazangero (1975), contaminated salsa with rock'n'roll and political issues on Siembra (1978), that contains Pedro Navaja and became the best-selling salsa album of all times.
In Venezuela, Angel Canales coined a jazzy trombone-driven kind of salsa on Angel Canales And Sabor (1976), while Cuban-born Roberto Torres was the defender of the tradition, and in New York veterans of Eddie Palmieri's orchestra formed Libre to play a more aggressive and jazzy kind of salsa, documented on Con Salsa Con Ritmo (1976).
The "voice" of salsa was Hector Lavoe', Colon's vocalist, whose best album was Comedia (1978), featuring the anthemic El Cantante, written by Blades and arranged by Colon.
The new sound of salsa owed to people like ubiquitous Puertorican trumpeter Luis "Perico" Ortiz and producer Louie Ramirez, whose album A Different Shade Of Black (1976) is credited with crossing over to pop music.
Other notable salsa hits of the 1970s were: Jose "Cheo" Feliciano's El Raton (1964), the first big hit of salsa when revived in 1974, Celia Cruz's Quimbara (1974), Enrique "Papo" Lucas' Acere Ko (1975), Eddie Palmieri's Vamonos Pal Monte (1976), Lloraras (1975), by Venezuelan combo Dimension Latina, featuring vocalist Oscar D'Leon, who later formed Salsa Mayor. But salsa was becoming a very vague term, as New York's group Tipica 73 proved on albums such as La Candela (1975), which is really a mixture of Latin dance rhythms.
New York's singer Henry Fiol used a traditional Cuban conjunto, Saoco, to sing the urban songs of Siempre Sere Guajiro (1976).
In the 1970s, a new dance was added to the Latin recipe: the Dominican Republic's merengue, yet another by-product of the Cuban habanera. The origins of the meringue actually go back centuries (it was already mentioned in writings of 1875), and the style can be said to have existed since at least the 1930s, and popularized by Angel Viloria in the 1950s. Wilfrido Vargas, whose El Barbarazo (1978) was considered a watershed event, Johnny Ventura, Cuco Valoy, Jossie Esteban, July Mateo, Francisco Ulloa were among the trend-setters of the 1980s.
During the 1960s, Trinidad coined a mixture of calypso and soul ("soul-calypso") that during the 1970s targeted the discos. Its was pioneered by Garfield "Lord Shorty" Blackman's Soul Calypso Music (1973), Winston "Mighty Shadow" Bailey' Bass Man (1974), Cecil "Maestro" Hume's Savage (1976), and Aldwyn "Lord Kitchener" Roberts ' Sugar Bum Bum (1978), the first world-wide hit of soca. Winston "Mighty Shadow" Bailey's If I Coulda I Woulda I Shoulda (1979) and Austin "Blue Boy" Lyons's Soca In The Shaolin Temple (1981) solidified the genre's appeal to disco-goers.
Calypso itself was torn between the revolutionary pressure coming from David Rudder, whose The Hammer (1986) was influenced by pop and soul, and the conservative attitude of Leroy "Black Stalin" Calliste, whose Caribbean Man (1979) harked back to the classics.
Colombia's Grupo Niche, led by guiro player Jairo Varela, played big-band multi-vocal salsa on Querer Es Poder (1981).


Brazil's colonial history is unique in that the dominant white class showed some tolerance for the black slave class and the native pagans. The latter's traditions range from the African-derived voodoo (or, better, Candomble religion) of Bahia to Rio's Macumba religion. Unlike Mexico and Peru, where the original cultures were erased by the Spanish colonizers, Brazil retained them and simply recycled them into the general "saudade" (melancholy existentialism) of the Portuguese conquerors. The fundamental dichotomy of Brazilian music is between Bahia and Rio. Bahia is the Brazilian equivalent of New Orleans: a melting pop where African traditions mixed with local and European concepts. Rio is both the capital of the aristocracy, where European culture was imported, and the underworld of the slums, where poor (black and white) immigrants from the rest of Brazil (including Bahia) lived in miserable conditions.
In the last decades of the 19th century, the orchestras of Rio de Janeiro (basically, woodwinds and horns, with the clarinet as the soloist) that performed European dance music (such as waltzes and polkas) were called "choro". Joaquim Antonio da Silva Calado, the band-leader of Choro Carioca, revolutionized the style by emphasizing virtuoso playing and improvisation, and by introducing the cavaquinho and the violao (a seven-string guitar). After him, the choro orchestras preferred the flute as the soloist, the violao as the bass, and cavaquinho as the rhythm. The great composers of choro were Chiquinha Gonzaga (a female and a pianist) and Ernesto Nazareth. But the choro ensembles abhored the African percussion instruments.
The first appearance of the word "samba" dates from 1838. The "samba" was originally a dance of African origins, the mesemba, which came from Bahia and was probably related to the Candomble rituals. It wed a Brazilian dance, the "maxixe", which was an evolution of the habanera (a European dance craze created by Maurice Mouvet in 1912 on the basis of the Cuban habanera) and of the polka, and soon became a musical genre in its own. The samba was probably invented by African-Brazilians in the working-class slums of Rio de Janeiro. The rhythm of the samba was designed as as to fulfill three roles: to sing, to dance and to parade (at the carnival). The first record to be advertised as "samba" was a song by a black musician, Ernesto "Donga" dos Santos: Pelo Telefone (1916). Manuel "Duque" Diniz, a white Brazilian who had opened a maxixe academy in Paris, spread the samba dance craze to Europe in 1921, when he invited Os Oito Batutas, a black choro ensemble led by flutist and composer Pixinguinha ("the Bach of choro") which included Donga on guitar, on a tour to Paris. The combo brought the samba to Paris, but also brought something back to Brazil: trumpet, trombone, saxophone and banjo were added to the line-up, and the sound became more "Americanized", adapting to the sound of big-band jazz. Pixinguinha's Carinhoso (1928) was emblematic of the new style. A young white musician from the Rio middle class, Noel Rosa, became famous with the samba song Com que Roupa? (1930) and started a less "African" and more song-oriented form of samba. Vincent Youmans' film Flying Down to Rio (1933) popularized the samba dance in the USA. The first samba school was founded in 1928 in Rio, and samba schools proliferated in the 1930s. Samba was the generic name of the music employing a kind of rhythm, but there were different kinds of samba. Perhaps the most adventurous and extreme was the batucada. "Batucada" is both the name for a large samba percussion group, for a samba jam session, and for an intensely polyrhythmic style of drumming. A batucada can be played by ensembles with hundreds of percussionists. In Bahia, bloco afro and afoxe (two mainly percussive styles) combined to form samba-reggae. The choro was not dead: in fact, composers of the 1940s such as Benedito "Canhoto" Lacerda created most of the choro repertory.


The next major stylistic revolution took place in the 1950s: when white young middle-class intellectuals merged a gentler, slower form of the samba with jazz music, and shifted the lead to the guitar, bossanova was born. Thus, it was a music of the bourgeoisie, not of the working class. Indeed, bossanova songs left behind the underworld of samba, where people struggled to make a living, and shifted to the world of beaches, romance and lazy bohemian life. And, in fact, bossanova soon became a favorite style of easy-listening and lounge music.
Antonio Carlos ("Tom") Jobim began a collaboration with Vin¡cius de Moraes when he scored the soundtrack for the other's play, Orfeu da Conceicao (1956), which included his first standard, Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Voce. After Jobim composed the classic Desafinado (1957), the two released Cancao do Amor Demais (1958), featuring Eliseth Cardoso on vocals and Joao Gilberto on guitar, which contained Jobim's Chega de Saudade, the song that established bossanova in Brazil. Jobim and Morais also wrote Garota de Ipanema (1962), which turned bossanova into a world-wide phenomenon.
The jazz world of the USA welcomed the Brazilian style on Jazz Samba (1962), a collaboration between guitarist Charlie Byrd and saxophonist Stan Getz.
Other notable protagonists of bossanova were Luiz Bonfa` (Manha de Carnaval, 1958), Jorge Ben (Mais Que Nada, 1963), Sergio Mendes (the most shameless perpetrator of Brazilian easy-listening).
Far more original was the synthesis offered by black guitarist Djalma "Bola Sete" DeAndrade (3), who blended samba, jazz, American folk music and European classical music in the effortless improvisations of The Solo Guitar (1965), Ocean (1972), Shambhala Moon (1982).


If bossanova was the reactionary sound of the decade, "tropicalismo" was the idealistic movement of the 1960s in Brazil. It introduced foreign elements into Brazilian music (both jazz and rock) and it replaced the traditional instruments with modern instruments such as the electric guitar. The birth date of tropicalismo was the 1967 festival of the Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB): Caetano Veloso's Alegria Alegria and Gilberto Gil's Domingo no Parque defied the conventions of Brazilian music and were interpreted as a challenge to the dictatorship of Tropicalismo soon spread to poetry, the visual arts, theater and cinema, and, in turn, musical tropicalismo absorbed elements from the other arts. Veloso's and Gil's album Tropicalia ou Panis et Circensis (1968) became a dividing line in Brazilian culture. The three queens of Brazilian pop music were also influential in publicizing the new generation of songwriters: Gal Costa (a sort of Brazilian hippy), Maria Bethania (a sort of Brazilian androgynous husky Edith Piaf) and Elis Regina (perhaps the most gifted).
On his own, Gilberto Gil concocted a pop-samba-jazz-rock fusion on Expresso 2222 (1972).
Caetano Veloso (3), the most literate and daring of the tropicalista, expanded the horizons of Brazilian music by turning it into a highly personal experience. Caetano Veloso (1969) and Transa (1972) introduced an austere, vulnerable and introverted voice who was not afraid to experiment with the sound of the anglosaxon music of the (psychedelic) era. Muito (1978), the lush, eclectic albums Estrangeiro (1989) and Livro (1998) were experimental works that continued to upgrade Veloso's stylistic hybrid.
The other great poet of the movement, Milton Nascimento (2), coined a hybrid style that combined elements of pop, samba and jazz with progressive-rock arrangements and erudite lyrics. His fluid and energetic vocal style peaked with the double-album Clube Da Esquina (1972) and its cycle of sophisticated ballads, and lent itself naturally to jazz, as proven by Milagre Dos Peixes (1973), the ultimate manifestation of his soundpainting (percussion, piano, strings, guitar, falsetto vocals, jungle sounds), Minas (1975), Geraes (1976) and collaborations with Airto Moreira, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
Classically trained, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti (guitar, flute, piano), who had already composed the song O Sonho (1968) for a 100-piece orchestra, fused European classical music, jazz-rock, bossanova and Brazilian choro folk music on albums such as Sonho 70 (1970), inspired by the movie soundtracks of the 1960s, Academia De Dancas (1974), with strings, and especially the suite Dance Das Cabecas (november 1976) for guitar, piano, flute (all played by Gismonti) and percussion (Nana Vasconcelos). basically bossanova's version of free-jazz improvisation, Sol Do Meio Dia (november 1977), another venture with Vasconcelos into the Brazilian jungle, and Solo (november 1978), a set of melancholy solos on different instruments, notably the 21-minute Selva Amazonica for guitar. Despite turning towards new-age music in the 1980s, Gismonti continued to produce profound pieces of music, increasingly classical sounding, such as Danca Dos Escravos (november 1988), another concept album, this time for guitar only, Natura Festa Do Interior, off Musica de Sobrevivencia (april 1993), Mestiso and Caboclo for a Brazilian trio, off Zig Zag (april 1995). Classical compositions included: Musica de Sobrevivencia (composed in 1990) for orchestra, the five-movement cantica Cabinda (composed in 1992) for orchestra, Strawa no sertao (composed in 1991) for chamber orchestra.
Brazilian psychedelic-rock was gloriously represented by Os Mutantes


The carnival music lambada, best represented by Luiz Caldas, became famous world-wide thanks to Kaoma's Lambada (1989).
Boukman Eksperyans popularized both carnival and voodoo music of Haiti on albums such as Vodou Adjae (1991), Kalfou Danjare (1992) and Liberte' (1995).
The most famous Brazilian vocalist, Marisa Monte, was hardly worthy of her predecessors. Her albums Mais (1991) and Memorias Cronicas e Declaracoes de Amor (2000) were simply collections of Brazilian classics watered down for the international audience.
Vinicius Cantuaria, influenced by the American new wave, offered a personal synthesis of "Tropicalia", mellow jazz and soul music on Sol Na Cara (1997) and Tucuma (1999).
Notable albums of salsa include Marc Anthony's Todo A Su Tiempo (1995). In the USA, Cuban-born Gloria Estefan sang salsa for the discos in the Miami Sound Machine, culminating with Primitive Love (1985) and Let It Loose (1988). The sensation of the decade was Tejano vocalist Selena (Quintanilla), whose album Ven Conmigo (1990) adapted Latin rhythms to the format of the pop ballad. She began to cross over to pop with Amor Prohibido (1994), that contains Techno cumbia.
Rock'n'roll was never popular in South America. Mexico's Iconoclasta was the main prog-rock band of the continent, starting with Iconoclasta (1983), progressing to the suite Reminiscencias De Un Mundo Sin Futuro, off Reminiscencias (1985), and to the EP Suite Mexicana (1987).
Sepultura (12) and its offshoot Soulfly turned Brazil's heavy-metal scene into one of the most influential.
A young singer from Colombia, Shakira Mebarak, became the best-sold Latin artist of all times first with Donde Estan los Ladrones? (1998) and then with Laundry Service (2001), that sold more than ten million copies worldwide, both characterized by a sprightly fusion of Latin, Arab and rock music, as well as by her guttural singing.


80% of Mexico's population is poor. From that 80%, 30% is in extreme poverty (less than a dollar to spend daily). It is pretty much centralized between 3 cities (Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara), so, as any Latin American country, it has to deal with social, cultural and economical polarization, this factors often slowed cultural evolution and are the main reasons why Mexico is years behind contemporary movements. Before Spanish conquest, music had a theological and indigenous manner. Mayan, Aztec, Olmec and mesoamerican cultures used music for sacrifices or rituals. Post hispanic Mexico started to blend indigenous music with european music creating regional folk movements. The most famous of this regional genres is Mariachi, originated in Jalisco. Corridos (narrative, folk music) became widely popular in Revolutionary times (around 1910) depicting the country's current affairs in war, politics and society. While white people stole rock n' roll from black people in the 50's, we stole rock n' roll from white Americans in the late 50's. Since English was not yet important in Mexico, covers were sung in Spanish. Some notable bands are Los Rebeldes del Rock and Los Locos del Ritmo. Mexico's centralization made Mexico City the only place where rock music was being produced. As Carlos Santana became more and more popular, rock flourished in Mexico in the form of Rock Urbano (urban rock). It took the bases of rock n' roll and blues and blended it with social problems, humor, pop culture and cultural issues. Some notable bands were Botellita de J‚rez, Three Souls in My Mind (later known as El TRI), and Los Dug Dug's. In 1968, a student massacre occurred in Mexico City, consequence of a rising middle class that opposed to the authoritarian regime of PRI (Mexican party that ruled the country for more than 70 years), so we had to have our Woodstock. Festival Av ndaro in 1971 was a definitive period in Mexican Rock because it proved music could be a mean of expression and cultural impact. Rodrigo "Rockdrigo" Gonz lez gave birth to the Movimiento Rupestre, Mexico's folk music movement (Bob Dylan style) and became a legend after his death in the 1985 earthquake. Internet and NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) were two forces that started to bring world music to Mexico in mass quantities, catalyzing the evolution of Mexican Rock. The 90's saw rock explode in Monterrey and Guadalajara with bands like Zurdok, Plastilina Mosh, Control Machete (first mainstream hip-hop/rap band), Molotov (first lyrics censorship scandal), Santa Sabina (goth/jazz(rock band) and Jumbo. One of the most interesting bands in 90's was Caf‚ Tacuba who mixed regional folk and rock music in many ways. RE their second album touched pretty much every popular style of music in the country from Trios to Son Jarocho. Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch) created in the year 2000 the new mexican cinema boom involving Rock artists into soundtracks and movie scores. Radio stations like Radioactivo 98.5 and Reactor 105 (more recently), as well as the Vive Latino Festival have kept alive mexican rock and growing into new depths


[ Candido ] né: Candido Camero Bongo, Conga drums, Guitar, and Bass. b. April 22, 1921, (Regal) Havana, Cuba, d. May 19, 1999. Overview With no formal musical training, Candido is largely self taught. He originally started playing on Bass and Guitar, and later began playing bongos and conga drums. He was with Station CMQ Radio Havana for six years, after which, in 1947 to 1952. he worked with Armando Romue at the Tropicana Club in Havana, Cuba. In Oct. 1952, he emigrated to the USA, and after a six week engagement at the Clover Club in Miami (with the 'Night In Havana' show), he traveled to NYC.
There, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie took him to the Downbeat Club on New York's famed 52nd Street (Swing Street) where he sat in with pianist Billy Taylor's group, and worked for the next year with Taylor. The fall of 1954 found him touring with Stan Kenton's band. During 1956-57, he free-lanced in NYC, and was back playing with Dizzy Gillespie's combo in 1958.
Subsequently, Candido was often seen on TV and in nightclubs, both in the US and in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He has recorded with a great many big names in jazz, pop and Latin fields including Shearing, Kenton, Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Tito Puente, Machito. His was the 'Apple Tree' voice in Disney's 'Wizard of Oz', and was the voices in many other Disney films. In the 1935 film, Roberta, he sang a duet with Fred Astaire, -"Let's Begin". During the 1940s, he appeared regularly on the Jimmy Durante Radio Show.
[ Machito ] né: Frank Grillo (Brother-in-Law of Mario Bauza) b. Feb. 16, 1912 Tampa, FL. Overview Born in Tampa, Florida, and raised in Cuba, Machito, from about 1923, would frequently travel back and forth between the US and Cuba. From about 1950, he began to achieve a following among Jazz fans due to his ability to incorporate jazz ideas into the Afro-Cuban genre of music, even though he himself was not a jazzman. On many of his records, one can hear such featured soloists as Flip Phillips, Charlie Parker, and Howard McGhee. While still later, he featured Curtis Fuller, Johnny Griffin, as well as arrangements by Herbie Mann. (For much more informaton, please see the main Machito entry.
[ Noro Morales ] b. Jan. 4, 1911, San Juan, PR. Piano, Composer, Leader. Overview Noro got his initial musical training as a child playing in his family's orchestra. (Subsequently, the orchestra became the official orchestra for the President of Venezuela.) Morales emigrated to the US in 1935 and, in 1939, formed an orchestra that played night clubs, theaters and on records. It was his 1942 Decca 78 recording "Serenata Rtmica" that gave Morales instant recognition. From time to time, Noro's Latin-American band has included some Jazz musicians. Please see also our Morales entry, in the "Big Bands Database Plus.

[ Chico O'Farrill ] b. Oct. 28, 1921, Havana, Cuba. Along with Mario Bauza, O'Farrill is one of the formative figures in Latin Music. Curiously, Chico is not very well known to the general public. Yet, for a half-century, he's been one of the innovators who has fused the soul-wrenching Afro-Cuban rhythms with the American Jazz harmonies. O'Farrill was, and still is, a true master of Jazz compositions who is able to embrace his love of Latin rhythms with sweeping styles of such calssical composers as Debussy, and Stravinsky.
Born into a Irish-German-Cuban family, O'Farrill was expected to follow his father into the family law firm, after some training at a U.S.A. military school. However, once in the States, he started listening to radio programs playing all the great big bands of the era, -Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey,
Learning that his son wanted to follow a career in music, rather than the Law, his father arranged for Chico to study with Cuban composer Felix Guerrero. By 1945, the young trumpeter was already playing with the popular Cuban dance band 'Orquesta Bellemar'. Chico also played at the Tropicana Hotel in Havana as a member of Armando Romeu's Orchestra.
O'Farrill's mind was open to every type of music. He studied everything from Bela Bartok's "String Quartets" to Cuban sextets. He began collaborating with bandleader Machito, and Mario Bauza. He wrote "Carambola" for Dizzy Gillespie, and some charts for Stan Getz's "Cuban Episode." In 1948, he moved to New York, where he worked as a ghost writer for arranger Gil Fuller and wrote for his hero, Benny Goodman. For Goodman's 1948 "bop" band, he wrote "Undercurrent Blues", "Chico's Bop" and "Shishkapop". He composed the "Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite" for the Charlie Parker and Machito orchestras, as well as "The Cuban Suite" for Stan Kenton.
O'Farrill formed his own band in 1950. This band recorded a number of 10" LP's for the Clef and Norgran labels from 1950 to 1954. The band also toured the USA. In the mid -1950's and 1960's, he arranged for Stan Kenton , Count Basie (mid-1960's) and the combined Dizzy Gillespie-Machito band (1970's). (In 1954, he updated his "Manteca", into a four-movement suite. It was originally a big-band chart for Dizzy Gillespie's band. )
With the Big Band era virtually finished, O'Farrill moved to Mexico City, where he worked as a bandleader. He appeared on Mexican television shows, and also wrote the "Aztec Suite" for trumpeter Art Farmer. In 1965, he returned to the States where he continued to arrange for Gillespie, Basie, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Gato Barbieri. He was also receiving commissions for the commercial market, where he turned out much TV background music and advertisement jingles. In 1995 O'Farrill made his first recording in thirty years. "PURE EMOTION" was released on the Milestone lable and was nominated for a Grammy award. In 1996, the Milestone label released an album of original compositions entitled "Pure Emotion". Also in 1996, his "Trumpet Fantasy", premiered at New York's Lincoln Center, with soloist Wynton Marsalis.
His "Heart of a Legend" album features some of the greatest names in Latin and Jazz, including Gato Barbieri, Paquito D'Rivera, Cachao Lopez, Freddy Cole, Arturo Sandoval, Patato Valdés, and many others. The album (and a documentary film) were produced by filmmaker Jorge Ulla, Todd Barkan, and Arturo O'Farrill (Chico's son and a talented pianist in his own right)
O'Farrill is a truly talented musician. His music has been heard and enjoyed by people all over the world. Wider recognition of his contributions is long overdue.

[ Tito Puente ] né: Ernest Puente, Jr. b. April 20, 1925, New York City, NY, USA, d. June 2, 2000, New York, NY, USA. Overview Piano; Vibes; Alto Sax; Timbales; and Leader. Tito is widely popular with both Latin-American and Jazz audiences. As a young man, he studied composition and arranging with a well known musician, - Richard Brenda. Subsequently (1945-49), he went on to play with such orchestras as Noro Morales, Pupi Campo, and many other well known Latin bands. Since then has led his own bands, all of which have wide popularity both in Latin-American music and Jazz circles. Further information on Tito Puente, can be found here.