Giving the note: Conga by neighborhoods

by
Reviews
Reading time 3 minutes

And Pello spoke to me:

"People came walking. They were crammed against each other. Everyone laughed in their own way and nothing mattered except for the weight of their own bodies: they looked to one side as well as to the front. And they did not stop moving. Y de hablar, a veces, a gritos, contentos. Y los niños venían con esa gente, andaban moviéndose también. Parecía un gentío ensordecedor, pero no lo era. Estaban alegres, movidos de risa y contoneos. Algunos sin zapatos, las ropas limpias. (¡Las mejores ropas de cada cual!). Y había un chino, dos charlatanes, ciento dos negras, cuatro mulatos, muchos blancos pobres entre las gentes y y tres o cuatro mulatos al fondo con un negro que los agitaba o dirigía porque a cada alzar de su batón, aquel grupito palmeaba de gozo, de contentura. Y la tierra vibró tanto que muchos en sus casas –los no asistentes a ese gentío– sintieron sus pasos y que les llegaba los cantos-congas, cencerros percutidos y el bullir de colores de los diferentes y fantasiosos trajes de la multitud: colmada de calor humano y ganas de hacer cada uno lo mejor le pareciera. Cuando pasaron, dejaron tras sí un grande silencio. Una falta de algo necesario y unas laticas sueltas que habían sido golpeadas; inútiles para el sonido ya. Al ver pasear a un perro solitario por medio de la tierra que aquellos del gentío habían ahuellado de forma tan estrepitosa y gentil,  uno preguntaba: ¿Se fue la comparsa, papá? Mamá, ¿se fue? Y corría y corría hasta alcanzar y ser con risa de la gente y del gentío, uno. Y allí se arremolinaba en el todo”.

And I, Berroa, replied:

Now I see that they move slowly. Gratian, the carpenter, comes among them. Aniceto also, a man who always uses jet. They move slowly. They are men and women of the town who have left their things to come and wiggle. And some dance and drink at the same time. They are a wave, a compact mass. They think that what they do is well done. And he is. They celebrate, without a doubt. Some do not advance anymore, they get drunk on the sidewalks, talking about their ancestral euphoria. And it is a very old custom to belong to this crowd, each from a neighborhood, that moves. They wear elegant suits alluding to pirates, men; women are countesses, queens or bowlers who smile constantly. And the people who see them pass applaud. Delirium of enthusiasm.

Now all the crowd is entering a narrow street. They squeeze. They do not fight, they enjoy. And they go. They get lost down the hill. They go to another neighborhood, no doubt. But they are exhausted and have to go to work, dawn. The mist comes when the last of them has vanished behind the corner of yellowish bricks. The Comparsa was gone. "

And so, unintentionally, but wishing it from a long time ago, "El Pello" and I were "building" this record that could well have endless subtitles, such as The Congas that we remember; Tribute to the best of the past that still vibrates in every July of the present; Marisela: the girl who was congue and others that we do not aim. And the ones that you-the future and the future listener-receive in your conscience when you hear this particular vision of two Cubans from an area of popular sap: La Conga: Cuban music and dance.

LP CONGAS BY BARRIOS. Pello Afrokán (EGREM, 1988)
Grupo de Pello el Afrokán. Dirección: Pedro Izquierdo  (Pello el Afrokán)

FACE A:

  1. How does the conga begin? (A duet with Jorge Berroa) - 5'28
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo and Jorge Berroa
  2. The planters (neighborhood: Jesús María) - 2'15
    Conga - Folklore
  3. The Dandy (neighborhood: Belén) - 2'43
    Conga - Folklore
  4. Los Marqueses (neighborhood: Atarés) - 2'21
    Conga - Folklore
  5. The Dandy (neighborhood: Belén) - 2'20
    Conga - Folklore
  6. El alacrán (barrio: El Cerro)                3’19
    Conga - Santos Ramírez (father)

FACE B:

  1. Yo soy tambor                        2’55
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo
  2. Las guaracheras (barrio: Pueblo Nuevo)            2’24
    Los Componedores (neighborhood: Key West)
    Conga - Folklore
  3. Las bolleras (barrio: Los Sitios)                2’37
    The jardineras (neighborhood: Jesús María)
    Conga - Folklore
  4. Toque la conga (método)                3’54
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo
  5. Mamita, La jardinera (barrio: Jesús María)        1’52
    The sultana (neighborhood: Colón)
    Conga - Folklore
  6. Como comienza, termina (A dúo con Jorge Berroa)    2,24
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo and Jorge Berroa

Production: Jorge Berroa - Pedro Izquierdo
Recording: René Oliva - Rafael Padrón
Recording Studios, EGREM
City of Havana, Cuba, Nov.'87

Help Magazine AM: PM remain a self-managed project with editorial independence.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Latest from Reviews

en_US
es_ES en_US
Go to Top