Rhythm and Identity

A Q&A with Bobby Sanabria, musician, composer and professor of Latin jazz

(Courtesy of Corbis)

(Continued from page 1)

It's a question of subtle racism. The perception is that Latinos are not sophisticated enough to create something on their own.

What distinguishes Latin jazz from jazz?
It's certainly more exciting...because you have more to draw on. It's the use of the incredible rhythmic vocabulary we have access to, whether it's from Cuba, whether it's from Peru, or whether it's from Venezuela.

What should the basic recording library of Latin jazz include?
"The Original Mambo Kings: an Introduction to Afro-Cubop 1948-1954." It's a compilation disc that features Machito's orchestra and Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra performing the Manteca suite.

"Kenya" by Machito and his Afro-Cubans. It's important because it has guest soloists like Cannonball Adderley on alto sax and Joe Newman, trumpeter from the Count Basie orchestra.

"Tito Puente and his Concert Orchestra" at his best
"Edison Machado e Samba Novo" - swinging Brazilian jazz
Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, "Rumba Para Monk" - great small-combo Afro-Cuban jazz

And one of yours of course!
"Big Band Urban Folktales." That's great because it puts it all together.


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