“Un genio de la música caribeña. Como integrante de su primera Sonora puedo decir que es un músico completo. En el nivel de los grandes, como Palmieri o Harlow”. Pablo Villanueva ‘Melcochita’ , actor y sonero
Archive for the Alfredo Linares Music Category
ALFREDO LINARES Y SU SALSA STAR
1. Mambo Rock
3 El Pito
4. La Pachanga del Amor
5. Linares Blues
6. Lo que tengo
7. Se formo la fiersta
8. Sujetate la lengua
10. Sabor Tropical
11. Alfredo Linares Y Su Sonora (bonus track/su yapa)
ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 5Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Latin Sounds, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on September 17, 2009 by Listen Recovery
From the album of Coco Lagos’ Ritmo Caliente “Yo voy a la capital”.
Those where my arrangements. It was something similar to descarga. (snapping his fingers as he tells)
That’s my theme, that piece is a similar to Joe Cuba’s: “Guajira Boogaloo”
Sounds like a complete drum set
That’s Mario. Mario Allison who revolutionized the ‘timbales’ in Peru
«La Descarga llegó»
My arrangements are present here. The original theme is from Otto de Rojas. The engineer always chose a good piano line. Ahh! Coco also played.
«Suenan los Cueros»
That’s Kiko, Ah! I did that song… You are taking me to that era…
«Ahí viene Coco»
The song was made with my authority. Alberto Castillo plays the flutes
Is my composition and also my arrangements.
Coco Lagos “Ritmos Calientes” LP
How have you acquire your piano sound?
Is my style, my touch.
Check this, the recording industry was a tough one during that time in Peru, that guy from MAG had us playing almost every day. He had a vision of how descargas should off sound during that time: “Don’t record that!, do it like this!”, he would express to us.
Talk to me about Melcochita
During his first years he sounded like the Venezuelan guy who sang “caballo viejo” (an old salsa song). Melcocha was like an imitation of him.
And Simón Díaz
Ah! Exactly!.. Simon Diaz started to imitate Melcochita, in his own style. And the people liked it, he was very funny… You know! He was a comedian with success. When I arrived in Colombia his LP was playing a lot.
Mario Allison recorded his own descargas. Did you participated in his as well?
I recorded a few things with Mario, but he leaned more towards big band sounds. He liked the saxophones, the trumpets, all the brass. As well as Nilo Espinosa. They like big band sound very much.
Mario Allison Y Su Combo LP
What can you tell me anything about Pepe Moreno’s “Cantiflas’ Boogaloo”. That’s another hot one from Peru.
That has nothing to do with me. It was like a descarga… almost. Pepe Moreno imitated “Cantinflas”, dressed like him, even had the same rip cuts on his pats as “Cantinflas” and danced like him.
I recorded a descarga with Pepe in Lima and is not on that LP. He told me: “Descargamos” and I’ll recorded. I don’t know what he did with that project.
Pepe Moreno Y Su All-Star Band
You have 25 years in the music world, have recorded 2 LP’s under your name, have lots of work ahead. Do you feel that you have succeed ?
Well, I’ve always pushed my work forward, but I have to admit that God has always been in my side. Since everything I did always came out right. For example, when I visited Ecuador I had an interview with a man who was a manager; we talked about signing my orchestra to do some presentations in Ecuador. Well, he didn’t like the song we presented to him, even after that, he tried to ignore us. So We came back to Lima. Time when by since the time he refused to work with us. Then the same guy came to Peru to find musicians and everybody will tell him, “Go find Linares”. So he came right back to my hands. And it was to play for a show in New York or Puerto Rico.
To talk about Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz. When both became evangelist and had a few problems with their churches; since they wanted to play salsa for God, then, there where some evangelist people who opposed to the music, saying it was music of the devil, that salsa had the devil inside.
On time a friend call me and told me: “Look, in my church they tell me I shouldn’t play music, because is bad. So I told them: “lets see this from a Bible’s point of view”. “If God gives me the gift of music, how am I suppose survive in life? If God game me the talent, is for me to used and make my living. right?”
In the Bible there is a lot of music and lots of poetry, King David sang to God, the singing of sing…
Yeah. That tells us that music comes from up there. God is a happy God. He doesn’t want for men and women to be sad. Truthfully is the opposite, he gave us his talent to transmit his power, that’s why we transmit music to people.
You music is for dancing, provably during the 70’s there was more dance music in Cali, Colombia than anywhere else in the world. You’ve told me you get happy to see people dancing to your music. Do you feel happiness when you play the piano?
Of course! I feel it!. I get in concentration when I play with my soul, with my heart and my mind, you are giving all of you…
And people can feel it in your music.
ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 4Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Listen Recovery, Peru, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on September 2, 2009 by Listen Recovery
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.
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.
ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 3Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Listen Recovery, Peru, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on August 12, 2009 by Listen Recovery
So we are in 1963. How many LPs did you recorded with Nico Estrada?
2 or 3. They are mixes, a cumbia and some tropical songs.
No, all tropical music, and one salsa song. Nico always leaned towards guaracha and salsa. During that time, the band was formed by the two vocalist, Kiko Fuentes and Pochi Macedo, also brother of Macedo; in the bass was Gillermo; Coco in the congas, Nico played the timbalitos and in the trumpets was Tomas Oliva, Felipe Olluz and Amaya. The other vocalist was Gillermo Mendez, who recorde in Pepe Hernandez’ Combo.
And Alfredo Linares in the piano?
When you returned to Lima, Did you get hired again?
Correct!, When we where in Buenos Aires we had an offer to work there. But for sentimental reason and family, we said: “Nope, my kids, etc”. That is how we came back to Lima. The following year, when we came back, we played with Tito Rodriguez.
For real?! Who played the piano?
It was Rene Hernandez
Rene “El Latigo” Hernandez?
Yes, that one!, there was also another pianist too, a tall guy… we formed part of the group, also Mike Collazo, “Danny” Rodriguez and Alberto Valdez in the congas.
Vitin Paz on trumpets?
Bobby Porcell in the sax… the rest I don’t remember. It was a group of four trumpets and five saxophones.
Not bad, Imagine playing with all that brass?
Marta Correa and Elliot Romero did the vocals. Marta was more of a dancer, she appears in the cover of Tito Rodriguez’ LP call “Carnaval de las Americas”.
In Argentina you found your companion, the one you took back to Peru. But also you told me, you had about 3 girlfriends in Argentina during that year.
That is because Argentinian women are beautiful!
They can not be more beautiful than the Colombian girls.
No, the Colombian women are a different ball park. They are more women, more blood latina. Meaning they are more feminine. An Argentinian man told me the same when I lived in Bogota.
The Venezuelan women are beautiful also.
Yes, that has changed a lot. When I arrived in Venezuela, the Venezuelan women where more authentic, more darker skin, to be honest: “Morenas”. For sure we are mixed. Beautiful women up there.
Maestro, did you played the drums as well?
I played the bongos and congas more. Besides, Coco Lagos had felt in love with my sister. Because I had two congas, he told me: “Look, let me teach you something…”. For sure it wasn’t for me to turn into a “Conguero”, I was more focus on absorbing all the info he was about to give me.
You told me when your fathers drummers did not appear for a presentation, You would play the drums.
Yes, that was normal when a musician was missing. That also happen when a percussionist was missing. One time at a gig, I had to sing, cuz the vocalist never appeared.
You dominate the saxophone and the clarinet.
I studied saxophone and trumpet, but I repeat, It wasn’t my call, it was part of my formation as a musician. For sure I wanted to learn what was an orchestration. That way you know what instrument was leading and which one was need it too. I also remember there was a young guy that played the saxophone also, he lived at my house. He started teaching me how to played the sax and the flute, that is how I learned both instruments.
Let’s go back to 1963. You returned to Argentina with Nico…
We when about 3 years in a row, in Buenos Aires they loved us. Also for the label that the song “Calle 13” reached. We played that song a lot and the band was formed very well.
Was it in Argentina where you felt in love with “Tango music”?
No, It was in Lima, there was lots of people that would listen to “Tango”. But Buenos Aires was the city that gave me the opportunity to watch some of the greatest Argentinian Musicans, like Picho Coltrado, Alfredo de Angelis and there was a few others that I cannot remember right now. You can distinguish then by their “filo” sound (sharp notes).
Did you lived in Buenos Aires?
No, I came back. The second time is when I felt in love with the Argentinian girl and by the third time, I took her back to Lima. We marry in Buenos Aires.
Do you have a son?
Yes, Alfredo Linares Carrizo. Carrizo is a great last name, popular in Argentina, I remember a gol keeper from River Plate named Amadeo Carrizo. He was very famous when I was young, I was crazy for soccer. I used to play every day even when I played the piano all night.
So you returned to Lima?
Yes. And I kept working with Nico Estrada, but at the same time I had my own style and formation, with the Orquestra de Alfredo Linares, I replaced my father. There was lots of work, we played every week.
Did you recorded anything from the Orquesta Linares?
Did you play with some of the great players that came to Lima?
Yes, I played with various musicians that visited Lima like “Negro del Batey” (Alberto Beltran), with Ronaldo Laserie (The handsome of the song) and with Bienvenido Granda (the mustache that sings), to name a few. They where all good experiences that I was collecting, that gave me more style, I became more confident. I also recorded with Leo Marini and Nelson Pinedo. I did some arrangements in one piece for Nelson, a song called “Enamorado de una amiga mia” (in love with a girl-friend).
After I finish my season with Nico Estrada, I continued my studies at the conservatory.
Let’s talk a bit about Jazz in Peru.
I offer you anything. Referring to the generation of pianist in Peru. The ones that follow Jazz closely where: Fernando Alcazar, called “El Chato” and also Charlie Palomares, the singer, he also played the piano.
And Jaime Delgado Aparicio?
Jaime Delgado, Yes!. He was already out of this world. It was like listening to one of the greatest.
Was he your partner?
Almost. He was a few years older than me.
He was more leaning towards Jazz, more than Antillana-music.
Correct!, He studied in the Berkley University of Music. So when he came back to Peru, he came very well informed and ready to take any job coming his way. He formed various musical groups, locally and world wide. He had a son. Is not too much to say that Jaime was a men of Culture, he came from a wealthy family, so he enjoyed a good live economically. That is how he was able to studies in Berkley and still return to Lima.
The show we did together was to play with a Canadian singer and Mario Escobar also came to the band, a Chilean saxophonist out of this world, as well as Jaime. They both where virtuosos in the saxophone. The drummer was a kid named Cocho Arbe, he was amazing too. Jaime played bass and I played the piano. All of them where great musicians, very versatile in various genre.
Was it recorded?
No, The show was at the “Feria del Pacifico” during 1968, every year Peru would celebrate at the Fair. To show the flexibility of the musicians, in that show we even played Japanese music, but well played and done. The arranger advised us to listen to Japanese music, so we can learn what he had written. Thanks to God we had been raised in between Japanese Peruvian Culture as well as Chinese Peruvian Culture. This both cultures are very rooted in the Culture of Peru.
And Nilo Espinoza, the great saxophonist, he recorded in the Combo of Pepe, right?
Yes, true indeed!. But it was with Pepe Hernandez and with Pepe Moreno. Nilo also played the flute. I did a few Bossa Nova arrangements for him. Later that was, around 1974 I came back to Lima and we formed a Jazz group (Alfredo shows the new paper clippings)
Courtesy LP from Roberto Ernesto Gyemant Collection
In which order did you LPs came out first? El Pito is your work and also El Combo De Pepe and the two Descarga LPs of Coco Lagos?
EL PITO was the 1st one.
In the year 1966 or 1967?
Around that time. It came out when Joe Cuba released “El Pito” (I’ll never go back to Georgia” in the LP “We must be doing something right” Tico 1966) The proposition was given by the owner of the record label Manuel A. Guerrero. He knew what he was doing. MAG RECORDS was the Label. He gave us the Joe Cuba LP and we recorded the song in one take. Later came “Yo traigo boogaloo” and then is when it came El Combo de Pepe.
How did your relationship with MAG started?
It was an open door, I have to say it like that!… For all of us to record. Logically, we didn’t have a huge faith in wealth. We mainly did it for the “impulse” in music, and the musical impulse.
Did you have the music written when you did El Pito?
No, El Pito didn’t have any arrangements. We recorded in one take, with all the musicans in the studio, yes!
Who are the musicans in EL PITO LP?
It was the studio’s group, so all the recordings was done with Mario Allison in the timbales, Coco Lagos in the bongos and congas, Joey Di Roma in the bass, Melcochita in the vocals and chorus and also Beny Alzolar. Also Kiko Fuentes did some vocals and Carlos Muñoz formed part of the studio band, who also did some of the chorus in the Orquesta de Lucho Macedo.
Do you appear in other recordings from MAG’s artist?
Yes, but it wasn’t exclusive for MAG. We could record with any record label in Peru, no strings attach. I recorded with VIRREY some commercial songs, also I did some recording with Peter Delis, he know the commercial part of music, songs more Colombian and some “popurris” (madleys). I played a FARFISA organ, made in Italy. I also recorded with SONORADIO PERU while Kiko recorded with the Orquesta de Enrique Lynch. To say it like that, really Enrique’s name was a house hold name… Who played the piano part was Otto de Rojas. Rojas was a men of talent and he knew how to play the “tumbao”, he was a natural pianist, he didn’t read music, something ironic, because he’s sister was a concert pianist.
The group of the studio was something not definite it was something electric. Some musicians would come one day and then the other day now show. It was: Mario Allison, Coco Lagos and Nilo Espinoza in the saxophones, Betico “Salsa” in the 1st trumpet, he was member of the Lucho Macedo band, Tito Chicoma an excellent trumpeter too, he was the one who played the trumpet in “Mambo Rock”, another that played the piano was Charlie Palomares who also played the vibraphone, I also played the vibraphone in a few tracks, while Kiko, Carlos Muñoz and Melcochita would sing.
And what do you now about Carlos Hayre?
Yeah, he was one of the best players in Peru in those times.
What instrument did he played?
He played the guitar and the bass, he also did some arrangements.
Did you recorded any tracks with him?
He recorded one of my songs in his LP. He didn’t do too many recordings, as from what I know, he was more part of the ambient, since he had a difficult time… it was during the time when Carlos felt in love with Alicia Magina. Alicia Magina was the author of a Peruvian popular song call “Fina Estampa” (Alfredo starts to sing “Fina Estampa”)…. “Caballero de fina estampa… Caballero!” During that time the racial tension was very strong in Peru. Alicia was part of the high society in Lima, while Carlos was just a “barrio” boy, from the humble neighborhoods of Lima, Like me!
What “Barrio” Neighborhood?
From “Barrios Altos”, this is who Carlos and I took the advantage to play with other musicians, we learned what the high society people liked to ear. We had the versatility to play for the “Pueblo” and at the same time to do a Bossa Nova or Jazz concert.
Carlos and Alicia got marry, but they had to go to Ecuador to get marry. Every body in Alicia’s family was opposed to the marriage because Carlos was a “Moreno” (Black men) and Alicia was a white woman. Alicia didn’t share those same believes with her family, she was a progressive woman, she remember that for musical reasons she had felt in love with Carlos. So they marry in Ecuador and from what we saw, they lowered the critical label of racism in our society, like that!… Carlos had done a great work in Peru with his Sonora. La Sonora Sensacion, was one of the best in the country. When he marry, he became part of the other society, he’s dedication was concerts presentation and tv shows.
After you played the bass in his recordings.
Well, because the bassist didn’t show up to the session and he played a baby bass, I took the challenge and played the bass for the recordings. Later on. When I became a producer, I couldn’t wait for no one… time was money. Also, hiding, I used to play the bass. In Bogota happen the same as in Lima, while I was recording “Mambo Rock”, I did the bass part and I placed it in the recordings, as well as in the song “Soul & Feeling”.
For this last recording I borrowed a baby bass from a colleague, Guillermo Vergara’s brother. During that time a baby bass was a rare object.
Your 1st LP “EL PITO” is it consider a rare piece and is also a very well looked record around the collectors in the world. When it came out, Was it well received? Was it a total success?
Well, It was well received for the critics, because the title was very commercial. So the people liked it right away, specially the people that follow this type of music, At that time we called it in Peru, “Jovenes del barrio” (youngsters of the neighborhood). But it was also well received with the “Malandros”, that is how they called it in Venezuela, to the people that loved the hard / strong emotional songs.
Did you like your nickname “EL BRAVO”
For sure!, I had a few nick names in that record… I created a few.
It was your marketing.
Sure, It was a form of marketing to put my name out there.
And that yellow blazer you are wearing in the cover?
Yeah! (laugh) it was borrowed as well as the thin black tie. (laugh)
If you would off spilled mustard on it, nobody would off notice… (laugh)
Ah, yeah. Sure! (laugh)
You have played many roles in the music world: musician, director, soloist, producer, arranger, etc.
When I came back from Argentina I wanted to produce. I kept studing, and kept learning, You know?! It was a journey of searching. Searching constantly to find my own sound. That is what I tried and I accomplished that… I found the sound of Alfredo Linares. In every way I tried not to sound like the others.