by Los Van Van


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Taking their name from their famous hybrid rhythm, meaning a cross between Cuba's native son music and the go-go of the 1970s, Songo is the record that started it all. Los Van Van quickly gained an international reputation, having already long been their native Cuba's favorite dance band. The music, which brilliantly synthesizes the syncopated African-influenced rhythms of Cuba with funk and disco sounds coming out of the States, would influence musicians on either side of the cultural divide. Companas and congas create intricate textures over the solid bedrock of disco drums and keyboards. The percussive innovations of Jose Luis Quintana, better known as Changuito, would chart the course for the next generation of drummers and timbaleros. Bandleader and bass player Juan Formell exhibits an intuitive, natural songwriting sensibility that would characterize his career. Arranger and pianist Cesar Pedroso demonstrates his abilities both as a leader and as a soloist. If the modern listener can get over the seriously dated sound sources (plastic-sounding electronic drum triggers and keyboard patches) the music of Songo is not just an important history lesson; it proves to be as enjoyable a listen today as when it first electrified the dancefloors of Havana.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/08/2003
Label: Island Uk
UPC: 0042284271325
catalogNumber: 842713

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Van Van   Primary Artist
Pedro Calvo   Vocals,Background Vocals
Orlando Canto   Flute,Percussion
Alvaro Collado   Trombone
Juan Formell   Bass,Timbales,Vocals
Manuel Labarrera   Conga
Fernando Leyva   Violin
Jesus Linares   Violin
Gerardo Miro   Violin
Hugo Morejon   Synthesizer,Trombone,Keyboards
Juliol Noroña   Percussion,Guiro
César Pedroso   Piano
Edmondo Pina   Trombone
Mario Valdes   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jose Luis Quintana Fuerte   Drums,Timbales

Technical Credits

Jon Cantoy   Producer
John Fausty   Producer,Engineer
Jon Fausty   Producer,Engineer
Juan Formell   Composer,Producer
Juliol Noroña   Contributor
Enrique Fernandez   Sleeve Notes
Jose Luis Quintana Fuerte   Simmons
Ozbert Parks   Illustrations
Phyllis Cohen   Spanish Translation

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