Chano Pozo

Playlist

01. Introducción por Mario Bauza y Billy Taylor
02. Manteca, … con Dizzi Gillespie, 1942
03. Blen, Blen, Blen… canta Miguelito Valdés & Orq. Casino de la Playa, 1940
04. Ariñañara… Chano Pozo
05. Muna Sanganfimba…. Chano Pozo
06. Guaguina Yerabo…. Miguelito Valdés & Orq. Havanna Riverside, 1940
07. Anana Boroco Tinde… Miguelito Valdé & Xavier Cugat & Waldorf Astoria Orchestra
08. Blen, Blen, Blen.. Antonio “Cheche” De La Cruz & Orquesta Casino de la Playa, versión 1941.
09. Parampampin…. Panchito Riset con el Cuarteto Caney, 1941
10. Parampampin….. Tito Rodriguez & Marcano y su Grupo, 1942
11. Bang, Que Choque…. Chano Pozo
12. Rómpete…. Miguelito Valdés con Machito y la Afro-Cubans, 1942
13. Nague…. Chano Pozo
14. Zarabanda…. Reinaldo Valdés “El Jabao” & Orq. Hermanos Palau 1943.
15. Ampárame…. Cascarita & Julio Cueva y su Orquesta, 1946.

Fans of American jazz know about the Chano Pozo’s famous collaboration with Dizzy Gillespie, but there is much more to his life and career.

Chano was born Luciano Pozo González on January 7, 1915 in a very poor neighborhood in Havana.

In his early teenage years, he was introduced to Santería, also known as “La Regla de Ocha”, an Afro-Caribbean religion derived from the beliefs of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. He was also involved in the Abakuá secret society and Palo which has its roots in the Congo.

Pozo was a colorful, energetic character engaged in all kinds of activities, some legal, some less-than-legal, but he was best know for his drumming, dancing and the award winning compositions he wrote for Carnival parades.

One of these tunes “La Comparsa de los Dandys” is to this day a kind of unofficial theme song for the city of Santiago de Cuba and is a familiar standard at many Latin American carnivals.

Chano was involved in the battle to break the color barrier in the Cuban music industry which at the time excluded dark skinned black from professional opportunities.

In 1947, he moved to New York City for better opportunities encouraged by his friend Miguelito Valdés.

That same year he met Dizzy, recorded with him and many others, and went on tour in Europe. A year later, his promising life was cut short in a pointless act of violence on a New York City Street.

Many of the tunes on this playlist feature Chano’s friend Miguelito Valdés on vocals.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Miguelito Valdés
Arsenio Rodriguez
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