The Latin Beat

Overview

The Latin explosion of Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, and the Buena Vista Social Club may look like it came out of nowhere, but the incredible variety of Latin music has been transforming the United States since the turn of the century, when Caribbean beats turned New Orleans music into jazz. In fact, we wouldn't have any of our popular music without it: Imagine pop sans the mambos of Perez Prado and Tito Puente, the garage rock of Richie Valens, or even the glitzy croon of Julio Iglesias, not to mention the ...

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Overview

The Latin explosion of Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, and the Buena Vista Social Club may look like it came out of nowhere, but the incredible variety of Latin music has been transforming the United States since the turn of the century, when Caribbean beats turned New Orleans music into jazz. In fact, we wouldn't have any of our popular music without it: Imagine pop sans the mambos of Perez Prado and Tito Puente, the garage rock of Richie Valens, or even the glitzy croon of Julio Iglesias, not to mention the psychedelia of Santana and Los Lobos and the underground cult grooves of newcomers like Bebel Gilberto. The Latin Beat outlines the musical styles of each country, then traces each form as it migrates north. Morales travels from the Latin ballad to bossa nova to Latin jazz, chronicles the development of the samba in Brazil and salsa in New York, explores the connection between the mambo craze of the 1950's with the Cuban craze of today, and uncovers the hidden history of Latinos in rock and hip hop. The Latin Beat is the only book that explores where the music has come from and celebrates all of the directions it is going.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New York-based music and cultural critic Morales (Living in Spanglish) has written one of the best short histories of Latin American music since the 1979 classic The Latin Tinge by John Storm Roberts. Displaying an incredible depth of historical and musical knowledge and insight, this book will be a joy to read both for those already steeped in the Latin musical tradition as well as for those recently introduced to the music of, for instance, Tito Puente. Morales not only illuminates how the roots of Latin music grew from a hybrid of European and African influences, but definitively explains how various forms of the music mutated again once they became part of the American pop scene. Chapters on "The Evolution of Cuban Music into Salsa" and "The Story of Nuyorican Salsa" capture the excitement of Afro-Cuban innovators from the Lopez Brothers in the 1940s to the "renaissance salsero" Gilberto Santa Rosa in the '90s. Other chapters deftly explore the intricacies of the musical traditions of Brazil, the Latin ballad from the bolero to the "New Latin Pop" of singers like Ricky Martin, Latin jazz and contemporary Cuban music, including an illuminating section on the popular "Buena Vista Social Club" CD. Morales also focuses on other African-influenced music from the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Mexico, exploring various and fascinating current multicultural musical developments, such as the way that the "psychedelic, art-rock pose" of Caifanes differs from "dark, rhythm-driven" sound of the group Maldita Vecindad, making them "the Rolling Stones, to Caifanes's Beatles." (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306810183
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/2003
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 0.90 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Morales writes for the Village Voice and has contributed to the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Vibe, and Spin, among others. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 The Beat Is in the Blood 1
2 The Evolution of Cuban Music into Salsa 33
3 The Story of Nuyorican Salsa 55
4 Contemporary Cuban Music 95
5 The Latin Ballad from the Bolero to the New Latin Pop 119
6 Latin Jazz 171
7 Re-imagining Brazil 197
8 Other Latin Beats from Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic 237
9 The Hidden History of Latinos and Latin Influence in Rock and Hip-hop 275
10 Latin Alternative 303
Bibliography 353
Index 355
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