Mozambique from New York
Here's one of the lessons from my book Afro-Caribbean Drum Grooves. It deals with applications of the the Mozambique rhythm from New York, which was developed by the great percussionist Manny Oquendo.
Here's an application of the NY style of the Mozambique rhythm. This idea came from boredom (!!) when I just became tired of the same sticking and groove. So, I changed some stickings and came up with this idea. My book, Practical Applications, has a large section on New York style Mozambique which many of you might find interesting and informative.
First, here's the sticking idea. This will require some practice for most of you. It's always so important to make sure you're being as accurate as possible with the placement of the notes. Try having both feet play quarter notes as you play this pattern even though just the HH is written.
Now, applying the sticking to HH (top line) SD and BD. Make sure and hit the accent on the "ah" of beat three This is called the "bombo" note and is very important.
is a rhythm that many drummers learn, courtesy of the great drummer Mr. Steve Gadd among others. . Gadd, I would think, was influenced by percussionists like Manny Oquendo, in New York . Manny developed his take on the Cuban mozambique in the early '60s. The two patterns, that of the real Cuban mozambique and the rhythm called Mozambique developed in New York, don't sound very similar.
The inventor of Mozambique, Pedro Izquierdo aka Pello el Afrokán, recently passed away in Cuba. Here is a A News Story from Cuba about the Mozambique Rhythm, from the Granma News Agency in Cuba. Pello el Afrokán and the Mozambique A rhythm that galvanized Cuba BY RAFAEL LAM (Special for Granma International) IN 1963, Pedro Izquierdo, known as Pello el Afrok‡nÑwho recently passed awayÑcreated the mozambique, one of the hottest and most debated modern rhythms on the island. In the wake of Eduardo DavidsonÕs pachanga rage, like a wizard or African griot Pello produced a primitive or more authentic sound of tom-tom and metal drums. It was like a call from the earth which scandalized many academics, but won public acclaim. It was a renewal of the conga lines dating back to the colonial period, and had the crowds dancing down the streets.
El Afrok‡n was born in 1933, a time of hunger and desolation for Cuba with the toppling of dictator Machado. He was the grandson of Mandingos who reproduced the drumming and rhythms of Africa on the island. "ThatÕs the blood running through my veins," Pello told me when we met in his musical enterprise, named after Ignacio Pi–eiro. "My father was one of the first percussionists in Belisario L—pezÕ band. IÕm a cousin of Mongo Santamar’a and the kings of percussion used to visit my house." The creator of the mozambique started playing wherever he was needed, as well as working as a stevedore on the docks in his Havana barrio of Jesœs Mar’a. He did commercial jingles for CMQ radio and in 1959 founded his own group, playing at the HavanaÕs mecca of cabaret, the Tropicana. In 1962 he was already experimenting with the great tribe which would be the talk of that decade. Meanwhile, he also imparted his musical knowledge at the National Art InstructorsÕ School. "The mozambique is played with 12 conga drums, two bass drums, three bells, a frying pan, four trumpets and three trombones. An innovation. The percussionists were exceptional, thatÕs my specialty. I created a set with five conga drummers."
The rhythm is an Afro-Cuban fusion that Pello called a stew: Abaku‡, Yoruba, Congo, Carabal’ and Jiribilla. Naturally, the rhythm is linked to a dance whose steps were devised by El Afrok‡n himself and later stylized by choreographer Guanari Amoedo. "The mozambique is walking, walking in time," its inventor defined it. "I sang in PelloÕs tribe," composer Evelio Landa recounts, "and I know the way in which he put together his compositions, without arrangements, with a drummerÕs sensibility. But the whole thing worked." Pello introduced the mozambique at the University of Havana and it had an enthusiastic response from the youth. It had its television debut in July 1963, when the Beatles were invading the world without permission. With great daring, Pello served up the mozambique as a wall of contention before the avalanche of pop music. In the Radio Progreso studios and at that yearÕs carnival, the mozambique was an explosion only comparable to the Cuban salsa boom. Surviving film footage reveals that the mozambique carried away a sea of people. The legend began and is still resonant. With Pello, the mozambique traveled as far as ParisÕ Olympia Theater in 1965, touring half the world. In 1979 it slipped into the Carnegie Hall and Japan. Stars like Eddie Palmieri, Carlos Santana, Issac Delgado and many others recorded cover versions. Pello was laid to rest on September 12 with full Abaku‡ burial rites and the sound of the mozambique performed by grandson Omar and his group.
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Recent Class at Musicians Institute
This lesson is a sticking pattern I derived from what some people call the New York Mozambique. As you can (almost!) see, it's written on a whiteboard, from room 370, at PIT. Thanks to Manny for taking the pic! You can make out the sticking pattern: lRlr rllR lrrL Rlrr (accented notes are capitalized)
The groove below the sticking pattern isan orchestration of a variant of the hand pattern. A nice lesson would be to just learn the sticking pattern with quarter notes in the BD and HH. Then, perhaps, a samba BD/HH combination with an orchestration of the sticking pattern, playing RH on cymbal, LH on snare.
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