A Celebration of Machito with Mario Grillo

On June 1, 2015, Machito’s son, Mario Grillo, donated Machito’s handwritten scores and arrangements to the Library of Congress. For this celebration, we discussed Grillo’s family, his work as a studio percussionist and orchestra leader, his Aunt Graciela and his father’s contributions to American music.

 

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Before & After: Poncho Sanchez

1. James Moody with Chano Pozo
“Tin Tin Deo,” from Chano Pozo: El Tambor de Cuba (Tumbao). Moody, Ernie Henry, Cecil Payne, saxophones; Dave Burns, Elmon Wright, trumpets, James Forman, piano, Nelson Boyd, bass; Art Blakey, drums; Chano Pozo, conga, vocals, composer. Recorded in 1948.

Before: I know who this is. I love it. [sings along] I get chills listening to this. Chano Pozo with James Moody. This is where I come from, you know? This is when they were first mixing jazz and latin. I’m sure it’s a fine trap drummer behind him but it sounds like they‘re building a house back there [laughs]. Yeah, the house is going up. That’s a great band. Continue reading

Before & After: Lou Donaldson

If we’re lucky, Lou Donaldson will write his autobiography. He was not only in the thick of things during the hard-bop, soul jazz and funky crossover eras, but the 82 year-old alto saxophonist has stories to tell, a biting sense of humor and, as he showed in front of an audience at the 2009 Portland Jazz Festival, he shoots from the hip.

1. Hank Crawford
“Save Your Love For Me” (from Low Flame High Hear, Label M). Crawford, alto saxophone; James Clay, tenor saxophone; Leroy Cooper, baritone saxophone; John Hurt, Phil Guilbeau, trumpet; Sonny Forrest, guitar; Edgar Willis, bass; Bruno Carr, drums. Recorded in 1966.

Before: [after two notes of saxophone]. That’s Hank Crawford; Beautiful tone, beautiful soul, from Memphis, Tennessee. He came up with me. We met in the ‘50’s, he was playing with Ray Charles. He wrote arrangements for Ray, too. If you can’t play the blues, you can’t play no jazz, I don’t care who it is or how much you study. Continue reading