This recording of "Manteca" was made in 1947 by Dizzy Gillespie's Band featuring the tunes co-author Chano Pozo on drums.
Luciano Pozo González, better known as Chano Pozo was born on January 7, 1915 in Havana, Cuba. He was the first in a long line of Latin percussionists in Dizzy Gillespie's various bands. Dizzy's dozens of Latin-flavored compositions, including the hit song "Manteca" and "Tin Tin Deo" (both co-written by Pozo), "Fiesta Mojo" and others - have Afro-Cuban drumming derived from the ritual rhythms of West Africa as their rhythmic backbones. Despite a short stint in Dizzy's band abbreviated by Chano's early death, Pozo's influence could be felt in Dizzy's playing and compositions for decades, which Dizzy acknowledged without hesitation. percussionist. To survive the racial marginalization he faced in Cuba, he began work cleaning shoes and selling newspapers. His made his first performances as a dancer in a Havana troupe known as "The Dandy". His brother was the famous Cuban trumpeter Felix Chapotín.
He worked as a partner at the radio station Cadena Azul, where he met Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and the latter was involved with helping him launch "Manteca," a hit with the Cuban population. He became the first musician to incorporate Afro-Cuban rhythms into American jazz and is considered to have been one of the founders of Latin jazz.
In 1942 he emigrated to the United States in search for better career prospects. It was in Chicago where he joined the "Jack Cole Dancers". Chano Pozo left his mark in New York to open the Latin club "Blem Blem", located in the central Palladium on Broadway. The club was named after one of his hit songs.
Chano Pozo is one of a handful of Cuban percussionists who came to the United States in the 1940's and 50's. Other notable congueros who came to the U.S. during that time include Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza, Francisco Aguabella, Julito Collazo, Carlos Vidal Bolado, Desi Arnaz and Modesto Duran. Pozo moved to New York City in early 1947 with the encouragement of Miguelito Valdés, and participated in a recording session with Valdés, the legendary band leader Arsenio Rodríguez, Carlos Vidal Bolado and José Mangual. In September 1947, after Mario Bauza introduced the two, he was featured in Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band at Carnegie Hall and subsequently on a European tour. Their notable material includes "Cubana Be, Cubana Bop" (written by George Russell), and "Tin Tin Deo" and Manteca, both co-written by Pozo.
The hot-tempered Chano Pozo was killed in New York at the age of 33, allegedly over an argument regarding money he felt he was being underpaid and for standing up for himself and making a scene. He was murdered with three gunshots to the chest while going upstairs to his apartment. His death was misrepresented in the 2010 animated film Chico and Rita.
He is buried in the Colon Cemetery in Havana.
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