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Chano Pozo

Composer - Singer - Dancer - Conguero
Born 1/7/1915, killed in a bar room fight in Harlem 12/2/48. Played with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico O'Farrill, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Miguelito Valdez, and many others as well. He got his start after moving to New York in 1947 when Mario Bauza got him to play with Dizzy Gillespie, an event that changed the course of American Jazz. Chano Pozo thereby played a major role in the founding of Latin-jazz which was essentially a mixture of bebop and Cuban folk music. He gained his musical background from AfroCuban religions. Among his features with Dizzy were "Cubana Be," "Cubana Bop," "Tin Tin Deo" and "Manteca" which was later a big hit with Eddie Palmieri and Cal Tjader. Pozo co-wrote "Tin Tin Deo" and "Manteca" Unfortunately Chano Pozo had a hot temper and he was killed in a Harlem bar a month shy of his 34th birthday

Chano brought to jazz a vocabulary of West African culture. He was an initiate in the santería and abakuá religions. He performed chants that most people were hearing for the first time through live performance and recordings. It was a unique way of throwing Africa--the roots of jazz--in everybody's face." (Bobby Sanabria, LATIN BEAT Magazine)

Along with a stunning 150-page booklet, the three CDs here document Pozo's work with and influence on every major Cuban musician of the 1940s, from Bebo Valdés and Arsenio Rodriguéz to Beny Moré, Chappottn, Perez Prado and Machito, exploring his efforts to link Cuban music to ancient African rhythms while moving the drum from the back of the bandstand to the front. Listening to El Tambor De Cuba is like hearing a history of Cuban music, including everything from wild big band tunes to intimate percussion circles, while the too-short collaborations with Gillespie and other bop cats show what could have happened. Essential.(Matt Calloway/NOW Magazine)