TAXI AMIGO …..
PACHO WITH CUNI Jr. & CHAPPOTTIN
Pacho is an Australian guy who has been listening to salsa and other latin rythms and visiting Latin America for over twenty five years now. Well known in Melbourne musical circles he has released a sample CD with music by the musicians from Conjunto Chappottin. The Conjunto Chappottin is a major Cuban Son outfit. They are part of the national cultural patrimony of the Republic of Cuba.
The release of TAXI AMIGO as a CD is the start of a new opening for Cuban music in Australia and of collaboration between Pacho and El Conjunto Chappottin.
Pacho says, “It was time to venture out and make a CD in Havana. Its kind of Irish tenor meets Cuban brass via Australia.” Amongst the songs he had chosen to sing, Cuban classics all, was “Yo si como candela” (I am like fire). So it was with some awe that he was introduced to El Nino Chappottin and the members of his famous Conjunto who made that song the hit it is in Cuba and the Carribean.
A couple of weeks Pacho and the Chappottin musicians had done the rehearsals and were in the studio and Pacho was singing that song under the instruction of Miguel Cuni Jr. who’s father was the man who made the song justly famous. The CD contains anumber of very danceable numbers and is “muy bailable”.
TAXI AMIGO is a CD produced by Pacho, Cubi Jr and Chappottin to demonstrate their compatability together and to showcase that compatibility in half a dozen very traditional Cuban songs. The original Jose Marti version of Guajira Guantanamera on the CD has not been recorded for many years in Cuba, despite hundreds of versions being made there. Tres Lindas Cubanas (Three pretty Cuban girls)) was originally written in the 1920s and Chappottin’s grandfather Felix Chappottin wrote original trumpet scores for it back then, so it is with some pride that the Chappottin musicians cover this song that is part of their heritage, though has not been in their repertoire previously. The songs on Taxi Amigo are a collection of very typical Cuban son played by on the best Cuban bands playing today. Conjunto Chappottin have their own history dating back to 1951 and before that members played with Arsenio Rodriguez, master of Cuban Son.
A few years ago the Direction of the band was assumed by Jesus Angel Chappottin Coto (JR) grandson of Felix Chappottin and son of Angel Jose de los Santos Chappottin Valdes (El Negro Chappottin) who was also an excellent trumpeter and was the great light and flavor of Bongo in his time as well as administrator of the band before Miguel Cuni Jr took on the administration role. Miguel Cuni Jr is a vocalist with the band, as was his famous father, and he and El Nino are like brothers the two directors having grown up together with the fathers and grandfathers active in the work of the group. Miguel and El Nino are inseparable in the administration of the group as were their fathers and grandfather in earlier eras. They are young but audacious and have precision, intelligence, dignity, the will power and the style to carry on the effort and work to keep this famous group in the hearts of the Cuban people and to carry on playing with courage and patience, maintaining the prestigious legacy of El Conjunto Chappottin y sus Estrellas.
El Nino Chappottin like all who call him their director, is a very talented young man he has what it takes, the capacity to create unique moments with the sublime cadences of the bolero or to the gardens of diverse sons, rumbas, guaguancos, cha cha chas and splendid montunos. These are the principal styles of Cuban popular song.
The marvelous scenario of a vigorous brass section consisting of four trumpets, and an impeccable rhythmic base line of two superb percussionists, congas, bongo with bells and other percussion pieces, along with piano creates a perfection of compact harmonies majestically complemented by the tres and baby bass and a genuine trio of dynamic vocalists on stage with dexterity and style who have acquired timbre and sounds that are memorable, unique and strong such as those of Miguelito Cuni Jr the son of Miguel Cuni who maintains the essence of those grand masters of Son who gave birth to this famous Conjunto.
So Pacho is a Sonero in Havana and tagged, El Sonero Australiano after his graduation for Chappottin’s Academy of Son! Expect great collaboration between Pacho and the Conjunto Chappottin in the future, they are already planning a full album for 2008-9.
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