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[In Cuban] [March 26, 2008]Remembering Cachao
For Cachao, innovation was the anecdote to old age. He never stopped performing and recording, or telling stories, particularly about the musical history that he had a considerable hand in creating. Hearing of Cachao's death, I remembered the meal we shared a few years ago in Miami.
''Music has really suffered, it's strayed from what music really is,'' Cachao complained when we sat down for lunch in his favorite restaurant in Miami's Little Havana. ''Today, anyone is a musician, anyone is a singer, anyone is a composer. But that's not the way it is. Before, you had to study -- you went to the conservatory, you did things properly. Today, anyone writes a song and he thinks that it's good but it's not. Now they don't even sing, they pray: they're mumbling, not singing. I'd like to go around like that -- a tattoo of a snake on my arm, an earring, the shirt down to there, the pants pulled down,'' he said, scowling for maximum ghetto effect and pulling at the collar of his beige linen guayabera. ``Then they'd see what they look like. I read that the next thing is they're going to start wearing tunics, like Jesus Christ.''
For more, read the story.
Tego talks[Nov. 24, 2007]
Tego Calderon's music was just taking off in the U.S. when I interviewed him in 2004. We talked about Afros, his fondness for Billie Holiday, and his dislike of being labeled a reggaeton artist. [In Hip Hop]
Revival house[Nov. 24, 2007]
The smell of chicken soup wafts through Club Tropigala as waiters in stiff black jackets prepare for the dinner hour, setting the long, white-clothed tables with china and crystal and straightening the worn velvet chairs. The candles on each table flicker under the current of the air conditioning, set to freezing as if to show off a luxurious new invention. The surroundings are faded, but preserved, the evening's preparations pretty much the way they were in the '60s, when the Fontainebleau hotel was ultra-modern and the Tropigala was the glamorous La Ronde night club, where the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. performed. [In Cuban]
Rock and Pop
Reggae and Dancehall