Archive for the Alfredo Linares Music Category

ALFREDITO LINARES “Salsa De Verdad” LP, PERÙ SALSA (download LP)

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, LP downloads, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon on August 28, 2011 by Listen Recovery

“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


Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, download the set, Peru Music Icon, Salsa Icons on December 7, 2010 by Listen Recovery


1. Mambo Rock

2. Tiahuanaco

3 El Pito

4. La Pachanga del Amor

5. Linares Blues

6. Lo que tengo

7. Se formo la fiersta

8. Sujetate la lengua

9. Boogaloo

10. Sabor Tropical

11. Alfredo Linares Y Su Sonora (bonus track/su yapa)


Alfredito Linares: Sonando Tambor (Colombia)

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music on December 28, 2009 by Listen Recovery

La Gran Banda De Venezuela “Sabrosito” con Alfredito Linares.

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, LP Covers, salsa icon, Venezuela Music on November 10, 2009 by Listen Recovery


ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 5

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Latin Sounds, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on September 17, 2009 by Listen Recovery

Continue from part 4

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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 4

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Listen Recovery, Peru, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on September 2, 2009 by Listen Recovery

continue from part 3

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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.

ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 3

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Listen Recovery, Peru, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on August 12, 2009 by Listen Recovery

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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 Jazz?

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)

El Pito

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.

ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 2

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Listen Recovery, Peru Music Icon, salsa icon, South America on August 10, 2009 by Listen Recovery

continue from Part 1

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The older people in the ‘casetas’ (discotecas/night clubs) and the youth in the ‘agualulos’ (house parties)?

No really, in the ‘casetas’ you could find various age differences, but logically, the youth where always outnumber, right?

You have told me that the “Caleños” (born in Cali, Colombia) are born to be part of the “rumba” (from music to dance)

You could see kids as young as 7 years old, dancing like adults.  Till today, they have a ballet of salsa here (Cali), where lots of kids participate. This is very admirable… really!

Is marvelous!, How did you received you famous nick-name of Alfredo “SABOR” Linares?

Well… I was just a musican, that had to go through various obstacles to get a job or find work. To go to a bbq or a radio or tv station and say… “I’m Here!”… When I was working in Venezuela at a tv show, a music artist well known arrived and asked the tv director. “I’m looking  some thing with “sabor” (taste).  Our director replied.  “Look!, there it is, you got: Frank “El Pavo” Hernandez (legendary venezuelan percussionist, “Romerito” in the bass and Alfredo Linares,  ¿Que mas sabor usted quiere? (How much more flavor do you want?).

You have a song title “Arrollando”. What is that mean?

To wipe out anything that gets in your way… (from the Spanish verve “arrollar”)

Another one is title “Linares viene tumbando”. Is that similar?

Yes, kind off. But TUMBANDO signifieds also “montuno”.  And also means, “you are gettin’ rid off people in combat”

This are very strong words to use as titles.  Could it be, like you told me before, That you had to fight to open doors in Peru’s music world, because it was a very discreet in music.

Clearly!, In those times we fought against a blind generation.  There where very few that understood what we where doing, genres like Cumbias and other dominated.

Like Tropical music but more “Salon” (ballroom music)

No, it was more like “the music of common people”

And how was music commercially ending the 50’s in Peru?

It was mainly guitar and percussion

They have talked to me about LUCHO ROSPIGLIOSI, the property owner of “El Sabroso” (the tasty one) in the Port of CALLO, and how he untroduced salsa in Peru, when he would bring LP’s from Puerto Rico and New York.  The records that you bought, did you buy them at his location?

Do not forget that we had a huge influence from Cuba, because the goverment of Velasco Alvarado was the only nation that had relations with Cuba after the 60’s, that’s why the musicans from Cuba came to Lima to play. But yes, those records where hard to get, Lucho’s records cost too much money at those times.  If I really wanted the records, I had ways to get it.  I used to buy stuff like Dave Brubeck who did “cool jazz”, it was something new.  I also listen to Sunny Rollins, Coltrane, McCoy Tyler, Jimmy Harrison and the John Coltrane’s Quartet… they where more agressive.  I was inspired by their sets, it was very free, with no rules in music.

So I was in between those two worlds, and it wasn’t opposit from one another, both genres had their ‘thang’ from the first note till the last one.  The more we got closer to Jazz the more free we felt making music.  We would use all that we learned in Jazz in a very sucure way as well as free style.

At the same time, you experimented with Folklore music from Peru, also styles from Mexico and the Afro-Antillana sounds like the “guarachas, the sones, the guaguanco, etc.

Going a before that we got the “Danzon”, and this style cause a very interest sensation between Mexico and Cuba, because both countries played “danzon” and both would argue who invented the genre.  But either way it was another sound we adopted during that time.  During that particular time I was playing a danzon call “Macambo” and it was with a great orquestra.

Did the Danzon had some of  Montuno?

No, for sure not!, Danzon was more a style of white outfits, when it became a treand to wear all white, white shoes, white pants, just like Cubans and Mexicans where doing it, and later on we (Peruvians) adopted the same style.  In Colombia you can persive it frequently, is typical for a “Caleño” to wear white pants and white shoes.

Let’s go back to Peru, to Lima.  Is the year 1960 and you are 16 years old. What where you doing?

Studing!. We to school during the day and in the afternoon will continue the concervatory.  I did this since I was 10 years old till I was 16.

Which is the first Montuno that you heard? I know you like to play tangos, jazz, classical music but there is something special with you and Montuno.  Very few people in the world had played  a Montuno with so much flavor like you have.

That comes from Peru having a strong connection with Cuba.  To coroborate this, Mane Nieto, a panamenian pianist, knows, Mane started with the bongo.

I saw Mane, he’s incredible.  He plays every weekend in Panama, with La Orquesta de Freddy Anglin. I didn’t know he was a “bongoncero” (bongo player)

It was for the Orquestra of…

Armando Boza?

Yes, that’s it!. Back then, Manito Johnson (sonero Panameño) was also there… and changed from bongo to piano.  But he already had learned how to play the “tumbao”.  And I, during that time, I was working in the same place trying to assimilate everything I could, I would observed.


Yes, and what! Mane is all talent!

He didn’t ready music.

But I did. And I sat and started to write his tunes.  I would transcribe all that I could hear, I memorized it. I was 14-15 years old.

How much older was Mane: 5 to 6?

Something like that, give or take.  But we him, who knows.  The black race aged very well.  He left the orquestra of Boza and started to work in Lima with Mr. Koky Palacios, who I have mention before.  Koky was the guy who sang “Vuelve”.

In the LP of Orquesta Madison?

Exactly.  He had his own band and Mane played with him.  That is how I learned the “tumbao” of Montuno from Mane Nieto.

This complets a circle of information.  Because when I saw Mane I appreciated that it sounded just like the 1st record I found of yours.

That is right!, I assimilated Mane, then I would observed how he would arrange, then, night by night I would later reached that nice sound of Tumbao that any pianist had played in Peru.  Chanto Alcanzar, who played with The Sonora Sensacion, was also very good.  In Peru we had the Sonora Sensacion,  The Sonora of Lucho Macedo, The Sonora Antillana de Nico Estrada.  There was many more bands, Armando Boza from Panama, Beny More who came with the Oquestra of Perez Prado and they would stay in Bolivar Hotel in Lima. One of the best places to stay in Peru.  During that period Vitin Paz would also play there.  And lots of Cuban pianist playing. At the same time, I was learning everything that was sorrounding me.

And from the Peruvians, Did you like the Orquestra Boza?

Of course, the Panamenians during that era had already been doing that style, way before than us, the ‘antillana music’.  And also I’m sure because the Cuban musican that would go to Panama. Various Cubans stayed in Peru, and this helped Peru in its percussion, they would teached all the local musican .

Linares contributions LPs

Coco Lagos had a cuban profesor, right?

Yes it was a profesor that was living in Peru and had an extensive skill in rhythms. What else? Ah!, He was a precussionist that knew his rhythms well.  That’s why they set the standard, and later we inplemented our own sounds.

The singer Tony from Cuba was an authentic Cuban; he sang “El Pito”,  did the corus and brought the “clave”.  And also he’s “compadre” was Sr. Alberto Castillo, a flute player.  Also at the time we listen to Peruchin, Bebo Valdez, Tojo Jimenez, Niño Rivera, El Tresista, CARAMBA! That’s History!

Cachao Y su Ritmo Caliente?

Yes, also Cachao.  But perhaps the most common sounds in Peru was La Sonora Matancera.  Cachao was someone being a musican, you would listen and get informed.


How old where you, 15?

At that age, I was already working in music, but my mother didn’t want me to stay up too late.  The dances in Peru would start around 11pm till 4am or till 5am.

What type of social status was the people that attended this events till late, rich people of middle class?

Mainly, middle class, normal.  The dances where more socialbe; you could find different types of people, the mayority middle class.  I was around 15 years old.  My energy took me to start me own Sonora and it was with the help of a trombonist, he would do arrangements and wrote music.  That is how we formed our Sonora, it was not big, but we had a great sound.  Two trumpets and the timbales with the bombo, we used a bombo.

What is a “Bombo”?

Is part of the drum set, the timbalero plays it.  Is a lower bass drum, that you play with your foot.

Who was the timbalero?

A young guy, We did everything for fun. He played with one stick the little timbales, they where small instruments.  Very similar to the Sonora Matancera.  The “Timbalitos” was almost an exact replica of the ones that the Sonora Matancera used in their equipment, and 2 or 3 congas and the vocalist.

and the Pianist.

Correct!, And now here is something that a lot of people do not know. We wanted for Lucho Macedo to check us out, because he was famous.  He called us and asked us to play with him… Good! we came to an agreement, our band played and Lucho Macedo.  Macedo comes to the club for a bit, Plays a few sets for a few minutes.

Was Macedo a pinist?

Yes he was.

Was he bother by a kid named Alfredo Linares who played the piano very well?

Well, realistic there was a good partnership with him.  He used us in a commercial sense, he made lots of money.  We played in various dances, but he didn’t pay us well (not enough).  So at the moment I wasn’t with the Sonora Linares, I was playing for the Sonora de Lucho Macedo.


So you didn’t play the piano?

No, did not played.  Macedo came  to the club by nigtht and did a quick show.  Lucho Macedo… Ah! he played one set, then he left.  While everybody will scream his name, “Lucho Macedo!”.  After that ironically he sue me under the Musicans Union.


My inexperience sadly, got me in a contract and an agreement with them.  It was becuse he had asked me to play a gig, and instead I did a different one, and he sue me.

That smelled like it was an excuss to get you out.

I understand now, follow me here.  Practically it was not to exclude me from music, but it was more to neutralized me.  That cause a little war between us. This one grew with the years, but it didn’t take too long till my mom visiting the musicans union to excuse me about the incident with Lucho.  Since I was a minor still.

Like at your 16 17 years old?

I was 16, Imagen an adolence getting in fights / arguments with a 35 year old.

He was mad regardless, he knew that inside of you was a genious

With time, things like this are fogotten.  Besides, it flourish later in the news, that he had a brother who played the piano very well, even better than Lucho.  But Lucho never did anything with him.  As a matter of fact, Lucho recorded and not his brother, that is how he made his name famous.

When did  you started to play with Nico Estrada?

Around 17, my goal was to focus in Jazz.  With Nico we recorded “A La calle 13”

LP or 45 rpm?

An Album.  (Alfredito vocals) “Yo me voy, a la calle 13 a gozar” / I’m going to 13th street to enjoy myself

Was it your arrangements?

No, During this time, the music did not traveled to Colombia.  “Calle 13” was from Colombia.  But the people from Argentina loved it, they appreciated more than cumbias.  That is where Nico got the proposition to build a band.

So you when to Argentina to play for a month?

They gave me a permition since I was under age,  I was 18, during that time 18 was still consider under age not an adult. It was 21 back then.

ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 1

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Listen Recovery, Quantic Y Su Combo Barbaro, salsa icon on August 8, 2009 by Listen Recovery

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Alfredo Linares


Maestro!, When where you born?

I was born on February 27th in 1944, in Lima Peru.

And when did you interest for music started?

Well, in my house my father used to tune pianos, also he would restored the pianos technically.  We had 18 pianos at home.  Everything started there, I would watch him fix the pianos and of course, I would also wanted to do it.  I notice that the labor in fixing pianos was a delicate thing.  Even more, in those times, we did not have all the electronics we have nowadays, the tuners that help your work be much easier and with less risk.

Did he used ‘diapason? (a tonal grouping of the flue pipes of a pipe organ)

Sure, yes it was like a ‘varilla’.  He would play a note (LA) and from there it would form the reference point for all the other notes.

From what I see, you where able to build a great sense of hearing to tone pianos from an early age.

Did you father played the piano?

More tuning  than playing, he played the guitar.

What job well compensated?, Did it give you a better quality of life?

Well, in reality I was born in pobrety, in a area where most of the neighbors where from low financial income.  Mi father is from Arequipa, he was a “chakran”, that is what they would call the people that worked the fields.  After he migrated to Lima.  Mi mother was from the north, from Trujillo,  she also came looking for a better life.  Like the song said “The crazy illusions got me out of my town”.  “That is how the song goes, right?”.  Then, both of them got to Lima, they found each other.  My dad need it a secretary… and from there they conceived me, then my sister.  My mothers already had a son from her prior marrige.

Then you guys are 3, right? and your brother?

Yes, we where 3, my brother is dead.  My sister lives in Lima.  Is been quite some time since I spoke to her last.  Well, my father was one of the few that fixed pianos in Peru, in that aspect, there was hardly any competition.  And using his name, which was very known, I formed a band.

What is your father’s name?

Angel Mariano Linares Salas and my mother is Aurora Saucedo Veneces.  Because my father was able to build certain relations via his music knowledge, my mother visited the Minister of Justice and Culture to solicit a letter of recommendation; she wanted me to be accepted at the Music Conservatory.  I was about 10 years old when I started to study in the conservatory.  The director was Mr. Rafael De Carpio and by coincidence he was also from the same town as my father (Arequipa).  Because I had already started to play the piano at home, I started to play music from the city.  Of course, he got excited and asked “Who tough how to play that?”.  I responded that I had learned from my father, because at home, my mother would play the guitar and I would follow with the piano.  I also told him that this was the way I learned to played Folk music from land and that I gained the skill to play ‘tondero’ and ‘valses’, an afro-peruvian music.

We have talked a bit about the abundance of folk music that exist in South America.  In Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and other countries.

Yes, is enormous.  Sometimes the people that live in this places don’t appreciate what they have.  When I was in the US I notice a good amount of North American musicians that would record folkloric music from Peru and Ecuador, for studies, understanding that the music will bring them a great versatility and would open other doors.

Of course, now that music is a great business… Susana Baca, Eva Ayllon, Alex Acuña.

Clearly!, Alex Acuña has created a group that follows Eva Ayllon.  Him and Justo Almario, a great saxophonist from Colombia, have formed a great solid group.  For sure, the discipline that you received from a conservatory is good, that is why, if you have a chance to study there, do it for sure.  It gives you discipline, a clear vision, security; because sometimes it can happen to what happen to me with some musicians:  they come one day, then the following day they don’t come, they put excuses and the projects get complicated, there is less attention to the work.  I’m not going to name names or point fingers because I was born in between pianos and musicians and I know that world.

Alfredo refrescandose

Tell me about your musical education

Since a boy I have always been involved with music.  At the age of 10 I was already part of a radio station.  My father took me, of course, I would have to play with other musicians.  It was a show for music fanatics, I had a part of a song that I had learned very well.  As well as I was aware of all the popular songs at that time.  That was in 1954!, “Sube espuma” I remember it was one of those songs, a Cuban composer Isolina Carillo.  An also Trio Sepia with Gillermo Aronto would practice at my house.

Why did they practice at you house? Is it because your father was a musican?

Clearly!. What would grown musically at our house was a local thing, very ‘criollo’ (creole).  Because in Peru did not exist a union of musicians, the problem was how to maintain a group economically.  In other words, sometimes the clients would tell my father:  “No, This are too many musicians for this show.  Please, no more than 3 or 4…”  Because of that, my father had to condense the group into less musicians.  He would only keep the indispensables ones.  Vocals, a guitarist, drummer.  Depending on the gig.

In the 50’s when you where 12-14 years old.  Did you get influence by ‘rock n’ roll’?  Bands like Chuck Berry’s and Little Richard or something like that?

Let me see… In those times La Sonora de Lucho Macedo y Ñico Estrada was popular, that is why I formed a “Sonora” (band).  I took advantage of my fathers name and I called my Sonora, “The Linares Orquestra”.  It was a commercial name. Most of the bands where very influence by the Sonora Matancera.  But I played where ever they would call me.

And your first recording?

That happen when I was 13 years old.  I recorded a single (45) with a singer call Koky Palacios.  And for real! I was 13…


Yes, I also recorded with a group called “La Sonora Antillana”.  The title was “En el momento de Dios”

But back then it was not call Salsa?

No, logically was not.  It was a genre that in those times was call “tropical music”.  We are talking of the “Guaracha”, what we call today Salsa.  It had its names:  Guaracha, Son Montuno, Cha-Cha-Cha, etc.

And the Manbo?

The Mambos of Perez Prado have always been extraordinary.

And the Mexican films that presented Beny More, Casino La Playa and La Sonora Matancera?

Yes, the Mexican films had a great impact in Peru, It was bombarde with Mexican music influence.  The folklore Mexican music was a different type of music that was absorved, like rancheras, the corridos, the guapango, etc.  All the diversity of that great land.  There was also a tv series call “El aguila negra” for all the ‘pelaos’ or ‘muchachos’ as they call them here in Colombia.

Which was the song that you first recorded under your name?

“El Pompo”.  El Pompo was a very popular song back then.

Did you father tough you that one?

Believe it or not, he did not.  My father was already dead when I was 13.  During the time I was recording with the “Sonora Antillana”, the record label was ODEON/IEMPSA, Indurtrias Empresas Musicales Peruanas S.A.

And how was life in Peru during that time?  Was there work?

Now that I reminisce and think about it, I don’t think I was deprived from such things.  I live in a dignity poverty.  I think we where more like a low income type of class, but not poor.  It was an acceptable type of life.

The indigenous and African decedents suffer from all mayor economical privatisation during that time in Peru? I read last year in an article in the Yellow Press (PE) in Lima that during this times there was 4 white doctors living in a hotel while having black servants carrying their bags.

Yes, that’s why they are such warriors and fighters.  Ones like that can become a warrior in music.  In that era there was lots of racism in Peru.  Nowadays, who knows.  But back then the situation was very critical, even in the same high class societies. For example,  there was 3 pieces of the pie.  The biggest portion was the lower class, most of us, the second was the mid-class (blue collar people) as they call it in N. America and then was the higher class, that you can hardly see.  The high racism problems was a common thing.  In general the actions from the whites in politics and high social status / rich people is why the poor eat shit…

Yes. That is true.  They exclude them self from was divine and human.

Yes that’s true (laughs).  Like my fathers I was always good with people.  When I was 10 years old I played the piano at home, and my sister will charge at the door, the people would see me as a talented young boy, that’s why they would come and see me play.  Later, that money we would used it to buy fruits, to go to the theater and other kid things.

The Young musicians which you end up playing with during the 60’s, like Mario Allison, Coco Lagos, Nilo Espinosa.  Did you knew them already when you where young?

Not really… Nilo, Coco and Mario are older than me.


How did Coco and Mario notice about that kid with name Alfredo Linares, who played the piano in a marvelous way? (laughs)

We where almost the same age.  With an exception that I as in the process of formation musically.  When I studied in the conservatory at the same time, I would sponge most of the information in music.  I used to listen to Jazz.  During the time of Dave Brubeck and Lalo Schifrin,  when they did the soundtrack for “mission impossible”…

And Miles?

Yes Miles also, then John Coltrane. Miles Davis had a sextet with Charly Parker… no!, sorry, with Cannonball Addlerley.  And Also with Bill Evans in the piano and a very young Tony Williams in the drums.

Did you had already heard Art Tatum?

Not yet.  I first heard of Peterson, Oscar Peterson (Alfredo’s eyes looked emotional, looking down) before Art Tatum.  It seems that Peterson put lots of attention in to what Tatum was doing.  He was fantastic, Art Tatum was blind.

Have you seen the film of Ray Charles “Ray”?

Of course, there is a scene in which Ray finds Art Tatum.  He was a very incredible pianist.

I’m sure you had a bit of rock n’ roll, because later in the years you had composed a title  “Mambo Rock” and other

titles with some rock in it.

The first thing I heard was “La Sonora Matancera” when they came out with their single “Rock n’ Roll”,  I kinda copied that style.  After that I heard some boogie woogie, dixieland and other similar types of sounds.

Did you listen to the blues?

Yes, The blues have always impress me and also gospel music. I loved Gospel music.  Is where Jazz comes from, is all the same branches from one tree.  The Rock came out and the people dance to it.

En Colombia?

Yes in the 70’s

Like Classic Rock, Led Zeppelin, etc?

Some how, but mainly the music of James Brown. He was also connected to rock. At the same time I was listening to an Spanish Rock band call “Barrabas”, from the US a funk group call Mandrill, El Chicano, Earth-Wind & Fire, Kook & the Gang.  The people would dance to it, but there was not official dance steps for it, only free dancing.  But the girls!… they all liked it.  That is how I learned to dance it, and the girls would asked me to dance with them.  The way you dance here is a bit different (Colombia), is the way you dance in the Port of Buenaventura; in Cartagena the way of dancing is different, they dance a bit like Cubans, lifting a side of their pants and moving the shoulders… And then the dance changed here, more couples, more spinning, the balance and all the stuff.  And then the “Mambo Rock” and that was an explosion, because the people was already dancing to rock very well.  (Alfredo plays a Mambo Rock beat hitting his upper leg with his palms, pla! pla! pla!) The people felted it, it was like the past.  In the 70’s I had an experience in the “casetas”. There where some instalation made especially for dancing.  Large terrain areas where they would set up tables and chairs and like 5 thousand people dancing beautifully.

WOW!, Was it live music or programmed?

Nah! it was all live.  It was the right time to build “casetas” (Discotecas) because they would bring bands from all over, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, New York… even Rich Ray and Bobby Cruz came.

Interview with Maestro Alfredo Linares (continues in part 2)

QUANTIC & HIS COMBO BARBARO ‘Sonido Del Valle Recordings’ out July 14th. pre-sale

Posted in Alfredo Linares Music, Colombia, photography, Quantic Y Su Combo Barbaro on July 11, 2009 by Listen Recovery

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Tradition in Transition – recorded in Cali, Colombia – is the upcoming album from Quantic and his Combo Barbaro. It sees Will “Quantic” Holland mining the lesser-tapped musical sources from the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa and fusing those rediscovered psychedelic, experimental and rhythmically rich sounds of the past with deep funk and soul elements and folkloric vocal styles. This exceptional longplayer gives life to an explosive sonic snapshot of an ever-evolving musical landscape, played out by a carefully assembled international cast of musical creators.

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Quantic & His Combo Barbaro Cover


quantic photo by B+