Fecha: 05/03/2011

Grupo Afro-Cuba de Matanzas - Raices Africanas @ 320

01. Caridád (BataRumba)

02. Ogún (Iyesa)

03. Oshún (Guiro)

04. Changó (Batá)

05. Ananú (Arará)

06. Elegua (Bembé)

07. Palo (Bantú)

08. Pa'Los Mayores (Yambú matancero)

09. Enigue Nigue (Guanguancó)

10. Aguado Koloya (Rumba Columbia)

11. Brikamo (Calabar)

12. Abakua (Calabar)

13. Baila Mi Guaguancó (Bata Rumba)

Total Size: 159,59MB

When Dizzy Gillespie brought Afro-Cuban jazz to North America in the late

'40s, he was drawing on master Cuban drummers who had emigrated to the

United States. Those congueros were drawing on Havana's popular dance

bands, and those bands were drawing on religious groups out in Cuba's

provinces, whose use of chanting and drumming was little changed from the

music brought from Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. Seldom have those

fundamentals of Afro-Cuban music been documented as usefully as they are

on "Raices Africanas" ("African Roots") by Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas.

Unlike African slaves in the American South, those in Cuba were often

allowed to congregate by tribe, keep their drums and thus preserve their Old

World traditions in organizations called cabildos. Many of those cabildos are

still active today, and members from several different groups in the port city

of Matanzas formed Grupo AfroCuba in 1957. Consisting entirely of

percussionists, singers and dancers, the troupe plays essentially religious

music, honoring the gods of West Africa with hypnotic call-and-response


These musical dialogues are dominated not by the singers but by the drums,

which are each tuned to a specific pitch, a distinctive voice. The low-pitched

lead drum will initiate a phrase that is both rhythmic and melodic, and the

other drums respond with both echoes and variations on the phrase. The

chanting singers then amplify the dialogue with their own give and take. The

lack of horns and strings may dismay the North American listener, but the

gradually accumulating effect is mesmerizing and provides an invaluable

glimpse at the origins of the hugely influential Afro-Cuba sound.