1. Monguito Santamaria: Beans And Greens
I was asked by an acquaintance a few years back to put together some Latin songs with a culinary flavor to it. I guess he was going to make a mixed tape of some sort (I never received a copy by the way). I actually found this task quite daunting, for food tends to be a very common subject in all forms of Latin American music. I could have gone in many different directions with this request. Nevertheless, I tried to keep it on the lighter side and these are the three songs I came up with.
The relationship between Latin American culture, food and music can be felt on a myriad of suggestive levels. Sexual innuendo, the double entendre, and cultural identity are to name a few.
However, Monguito Santamaria seems to be following a long line of other performers of this time (his father included) who used food titles to reflect a playful feeling of the overall tune. “Greens and Beans” is probably the most down home, griittiest and rawest food you can eat, just like like the overall sound hints at.
2. Eddy “Boogaloo” Cortez: Frijoles
Like the rest of this album, the song Frijoles (Beans) makes no sense at all. Maybe this bilingual album was sung in both Spanish and English to garner the attention of young hip Argentinians at the time? Maybe Eddy “Boogaloo” Cortez was Anglophile of some sort (like most people in Argentina pre-Faulklin War)? Well despite the laughable English/Spanglish, this joint is chalked full of dope Latin beats and breaks. The only thing I know about this fellow is where he is from, couldn’t find any other info. Sorry
3. Clark Terry & Chico O’ Farrill: Spanish Rice
Two real heavy hitters here. From swing to hard bop, the trumpet player Clark Terry was one the most influencial jazz musicians of an entire generation. He actually schooled Miles Davis for a bit. Whereas the trumpet player Chico O’ Farrill was at the forefront of creating the fusion between bebop and Afro Cuban jazz in the 40’s and 50’s.
I guess what interested me the most about this song was that the lyrics, the title, and the fusion of music styles in itself becomes a reflection of the food in which they’re singing about. Pretty much the precursor or beginning to the whole New York boogaloo movement. Oh yeah and they’re pretty much copying Willie Bobo’s popular song/album “Spanish Grease“, which came out prior to this. Both songs sharing a common thread.
p.s. I put volumne 1. becuase I am sure I revisit this subject in the future. word!!!