Day 15: Roland vs Ariza – Descarga En Saxofon

Argentinian born Angel Bagni Stella, aka Freddy Roland, moved to Peru at a young age. It was there where he would become a legend early on with his Mambo sound. As years went on, the Argentinian saxophonist quickly became a fixture in the Peruvian music scene. Joining on with Mag Records and recording heavy cumbias such as “La Danza De La Chiva” and a great version of “Arroz Con Coco” –  only to later migrate into the “Salsa Sound” that was dominating the 70’s worldwide. When I came across this version of “Descarga en Saxofon” I was amazed at how smooth Mr. Rolland’s arrangement was on this track. I have a lot of his LP’s and a handful of 45’s, but none of them match up to his unique take on this song. It flows more like a beautiful Peruvian guaracha or mambo than a descarga.

Ariza Y Su Combo seemed to carve out a niche for themselves in Colombia recording a nice blend of charangas, guarachas, and descargas. They have put out some great albums on both the Tropical and Discos Fuentes labels. With singers such as Gustavo Barros and Jaime Labraces - their lyrical approach and use of guitar have given the band a more hard-edged sound compared to that of Mr. Roland. The rendition of “Descarga en Saxofon” being one of their best. The way is hits you in the first 20 seconds is music for your soul. Bursts of tropical sunshine splash the airwaves while keeping you in a head swinging motion. Infectious would be the word.

No doubt both versions of this track can bring the heat. Both are credited to Domingo Lopez on the recording. Each artist has a unique take on one of my personal favorite Descarga’s. The question would be, which came first? My hunch is the Ariza Y Su Combo version. Maybe El Sonido Franko can shed some light on this one? Perhaps there are more versions out there still waiting to be found. Either way I hope you enjoy.

- Cameron Thompson aka DJ Aware

1. Freddy Roland: Descarga En Saxofon

2. Ariza y Su Combo: Descarga En Saxofon 

Thanks Cameron for the awesome post. I’ve known Cam as a local dj for quite some time now and when Dj Aware isn’t playing records or teaching school – you usually can find him painting all sorts of stuff (canvas, walls, ect). Be sure to check out his art/music blog Awareism!!! – But to answer his question though, I’m not too sure which record came first. I hardly ever worry about the date of the record (perhaps I should), sometimes Latin American records just don’t have the recording dates. But if I had to put money on it I would guess Ariza’s rendition came first. Thanks again Camerones!!! – Sonido Franko

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