ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 4

continue from part 3

alfredo cover RC7

You have a very particular sound.  There are many aspects of how I would described the sound of Alfredo Linares:  The Montuno that you play has a very tasty ‘tumbao’ in the piano,  the arrangement of the trumpets are excuisite, obiously they are more distinctive on the rock parts. “Mi nuevo Ritmo” (My new rhythm) and “Mambo Rock”, they are very unique creations.  And the chorus that go “eeeeEEEHH!”?

That was an idea of Charlie Palomares ‘the eeeeEEEHH!’.  It influence many recordings out of Colombia, but also in New York.  Provably because someone had heard them and liked it.  Then they would apply it onto their recordings as well.  Any word like “caliente” they took it.


Charlie Palomares, Alfredo Linares y Rolo Bernal

Like when Piper Pimienta said:  “Mas Salsa que el pescao” (More salsa than the fish).  I also heard that, in one of Ray Perez first recordings.

Ok, that is an example.  That became part of the popular language.  The towns made it theirs.

You also have a few phrases done in the boogaloo era, right?

That came from the jazz influence.  Combining one part of the music with afrocuban and some jazz.  For our boogaloo was inevitable, because during that time in Peru, we where going though a misunderstanding against the new propositions. It was a very small crowd that understood the music.  We had to fight outside to find our territory.  That’s where our swing comes from, our cadence and of course our strength.

Tell me about the trumpet arrangements that you put together.

I liked the sound of MAG’s recordings.  We had very good studios in Peru, in those times.  I’ve always had an appreciation for their sound.  I had to cope with them.  The first trumpets had a strong sound, the second one was fat, the third one and sometimes a fourth one. Like in the orchestra of Ricardo Ray with Pedro Chaparron, El Indio Adolphus “doc” Chetaham and Larry Spencer,  each trumpet had its own sound.  In the “Pito” I used 3 trumpets and Nilo in the saxophone.

You had a great success with “El Pito”because you recorded a 2nd version call “Yo traigo Boogaloo”.

That was when I visit Ecuador.  I recorded a kid from Ecuador’s group, his last name was Contreras, a Colombian. He came and recorded “Yo Traigo boogaloo”

Just like “El Pito”, all your compositions are yours right? and the arrangements.

Yes,  And almost all the musicians in El Pito.  I always take care of my sound, so it can be very particular.  In the 1st trumpet was Tomas Oliva,  he lives in New York now.  Him and the 2nd trumpet,  they both played for the Orchestra Sinfonica.  And because they played for the “Symphony” they had a pure sound.  In the 3rd trumpet with Pepe’s Combo (El Combo de Pepe),  he was leaned more towards Jazz.  That is why all this elements made the album “super good”.  In the 4th trumpet was Rolando Derreche.

Alfredo Linares - Yo Traigo Boogaloo - Front

So four trumpets in “Yo traigo boogaloo”?

Yes, in “El Pito” we started with 3 trumpets.  While in “Yo traigo boogaloo we used 4 trumpets. The 1st trumpet was always the purist.  And you can heard their quality of sound.  That is why I consider using many trumpets.  I’ve always chosen the best musicians.

And the flute, was it played by the same Cuban?

Alberto Castillo and his ‘compadre’ Tony de Cuba who singed.  Also “El Niño”, el conguero, that is how they called him.  He had a boy’s face, even thou he was an older man.  He tough many percussionist,  Coco Lagos was one of them.

How did “Combo de Pepe” (Pepe’s Combo) started?

The base of the band was the trumpet and the saxophone, one combo.  On the tenor was Nilo Espinosa and Osvaldo Diaz in the trumpet.

Another Record in demand by collectors

Well to be honest, the sound of MAG records was always the best one. and you can hear them in their recordings, Pete’s Combo was recordes in IEMPSA, even in the piano you can tell the difference.  I always prefer  MAG’s sound, it was the best one for me.

Did the group only played live or was it just a studio band?

We did a few presentations, but that’s it.

And those are your arrangements?

For the most part, yes!.  Most of them where descargas, there is also a version of “Yo traigo boogaloo” by them.  Charlie Palomares and Mario Mendez also sang.  A kid by the name Manuel Marañon played the congas,  they nick-name him “cejitas”, because of his thick eyebrows (laught), Leoncion “Lenche” played the timbales. He recorded with me later on.

That was when Coco Lagos called you to record his famous “Descarga” and “Ritmo Caliente”?

Yeah, around there.  I was also recording other sessions when Coco called me to do something for him.  And that is how “Recuerdame” song was born.





Is a very powerful song.

We where, low on energy music at the time.  In the recordings of “Recuerdame” I felt it.  We had many women, sometimes they wanted to be with you and sometimes they didn’t.  And you didn’t know if you could start feeling something for them.  That song was recorded live in the studio.

That was an incredible song.

Is one of the many things I remember.  And I hope to record it one of these days.

Sound like you guys where having fun during this descarga,  I like the clever intros.

Yeah, we recorded all this because it was very informal recordings, improvised almost.

What does it mean “For the ‘Chalaka’ youth”?

Chalakos is what we call the people from “El Callao” (Intn. Port of Peru)

Who where the musicians in Coco’s Descarga LP?

Coco played the congas, bongo and guido, he’s a natural talent.  He doesn’t read music.  Kiko sang, Mario Allison in the timbales and also in the chorus with Melcochita, Osvaldo Diaz in the trumpet, Nilo Espinoza in the tenor saxophone, Charlie Palomares playing the vibraphone.  In the rhythm section  was Joe Di Roma in the bass and yours truly in the piano.  Another saxophonist played in the 2nd LP, his name was Alfaro from el Callao, a very young talented kid.

2 Responses to “ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 4”

  1. christian gomez Says:


    que buena la entrevista,queria saber en donde puedo conseguir esta musica.
    sobre todo las descagas

    muchas gracias

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