I am pleased to introduce the first post by another of the Southern Folklife Collection’s great student employees, Zachary Gossett. Always nice to see/hear what fresh ears can pull out of the stacks.Overall, May has been strangely clement, but it’s a fair bet to expect hotter weather soon. Here’s a little salsa to heat things up too! This track, “Yo Quisiera Ser” by Hector Rivera y su Conjunto, features a typical salsa ensemble with Hector Rivera himself on piano.
Although the stacks are home to a large variety of musics associated with the American South, the first ≈7000 records alone are peppered with some wonderful cuts of Latin and Caribbean music, including this compilation of the Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Afro-Cuban music from New York. The label New World Records is “dedicated to the documentation of American music that is largely ignored by the commercial recording companies”, in a similar vein as the diverse collections of folk song procured by Alan Lomax. It’s quite spectacular what one might find while perusing the records.
Enjoy this excerpt from EP, call number FC423: Caliente = Hot: Puerto Rican and Cuban Musical Expression in New York , New World Records.
Listen for the piano montuno, a repeating rhythmic/melodic pattern essential to many styles of Latin music, the coro—or chorus (with call-and-response), and the groove of the percussion.