Remembering Andy Gonzalez

A tribute to the influential Latin bassist

Bassist Andy Gonzalez passed away on April 9, 2020 at the age of 69 from pneumonia and complications of diabetes.

Gonzalez was born January 1, 1951 in Manhattan, New York; his father Geraldo was a singer in salsa bands and his older brother Jerry Gonzalez (born 18 months before Andy) became a notable trumpeter and percussionist.

After a brief stint on violin in school, Andy Gonzalez switched permanently to bass, having early associations with the bands of Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri.

In 1974 he co-founded Conjunto Libre with the timbales player Manny Oquendo, mixing together salsa and jazz; he was the band’s musical director for 35 years, recording a dozen albums.

In the early 1980s, Andy and Jerry Gonzalez formed the Fort Apache Band, an influential and innovative group that invigorated Afro-Cuban jazz by infusing it with modern jazz and r&b, switching spontaneously between the idioms, all of it propelled by Andy’s bass.

A prolific and versatile musician, Gonzalez was on more than 700 sessions through the years including with Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente,

Hilton Ruiz, Houston Person, Machito, Steve Turre, Don Byron and both Chico and Arturo O’Farrill.

Health problems forced him out of action for a time in 2004 but he made a comeback and one of his last sessions was his long overdue recording debut as a leader in 2016 (Entre Colegas).

Here is Andy Gonzalez from the Entre Eolegas sessions, performing “Misty” with a group also including trumpeter Carlos Abadie, singer Manuel Alejandro Carro, guitarist Ben Lapidus, and a full percussion section.

If you want to learn more about Andy click here.

-Scott Yanow

Master vibraphonist Victor Mendoza

The mambo is a Cuban invention that got a huge boost in Mexico in the 1950s.

Here’s a contemporary Mexican artist, master vibraphonist Victor Mendoza doing a tribute to the Mambo Kings.

He has performed and taught around the world and earned recognitions and awards from multiple organizations, including Latin Beat, Modern Drummer, Jazziz, and the Smithsonian.

Jazziz magazine described Mendoza as “the genre’s leading vibraphone practitioner” and “one of today’s most resourceful composers.”

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
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Machito y Ramoncito

Centro Habana

August, 2014

More great stuff from the atticchris YouTube channel.

I love the way this guy captures the music.

Sweet and simple.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

More rumba

There is a simple solution to all life’s problems: More rumba

Roman Diaz, Pedrito Martinez, Mauricio Herrera, Clemente, and Sebastian Nickoll en la casa de
Román.

Was this filmed in Havana Norte (New York City) or Havana proper?

It turns out not to matter!

But if you’re looking for clues, that nifty basketball hoop for kids is unlikely to be in Cuba. If only we could read the labels on those beer bottles, we’d know for sure.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
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Adonis Panter Caleron & Adonis Jr.

Another wonderful video from the atticchris YouTube channel.

Adonis Panter Caleron taking his son Adonis Jr. through the paces.

The title is:

Tocando y Enseñando – La Herencia
Un Momento Familiar

Playing and learning – The Heritage
A family moment.

The world can go to hell in a hand basket, but as long as this continues, all will be right with the world.

God bless the musicians and musical families who fill the world with light.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
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The secret of the Buena Vista Social Club

he ORIGINAL plan for what became the Buena Vista Social Club was a summit between musicians from Cuba and Mali.

The financing for Mali musicians was derailed sat the last minute so they couldn’t make the gig.

Finally, years later, the summit took place and here’s a taste.

Eliades Ochoa, Cuban singer/guitarist
Bassekou Kouyate (ngoni)
Djelimady Tounkara (electric guitar)
Toumani Diabaté (kora),
Kasse Mady Diabaté (vocals)
Lassana Diabaté (balafon)

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details