Posts Tagged ‘celia cruz’

So the Netflix was calling me, there are some movies I need to see that I can’t get locally and dont need to buy. So I got on ye olde netteflixe and queued up some videos.
The first 2 that arrived were Maldeamores, which I will review elswhere, and Celia Cruz and the Fania All Stars in Africa.
oh happy happy joy joy

Sorry I’m not a reviewer, I dont have any format or outline here. Im just gonna WRITE!!

Its amazing. First, just seeing Celia YOUNG is a bit of a shock. I KNOW the concert was in 1974, but still.

Some details are needed I suppose.
Celia Cruz and the Fania All Stars went to Kinshasha Zaire back in 1974. Black folk were doing it up and salsa was pretty popular all over. Its a homecoming of sorts, the music born in the Americas of African descendants has made it back to Africa.
The audience looks all happy shiny and black. Man thats great to see, a far cry from the sad emaciated dust covered poor souls that seem to be all the media can show us of Africa these days.

The camera is all up in everyone’s face so you get a really upclose intimate look at the musicians. I much prefer it to concert footage that is like being in concert- you know, way way back far away from the stage looking at itty bitty little people.

We start off with Celia in a sequined fishtail dress singing Quimbara. She has some MASSIVE fake hair going, I kinda want some like that now! Pacheco* is in the back doin his thang. Some local guy is pimped out in a green shirt and a hat cocked to the side. Its awesome. And of course the music is hot, cowbells for days!
Next is Guantanamera. Celia gets her dance on during the violin solo, thats a joy to see. I didnt want to mention Pacheco again, but he picks up his flute and gets busy. He is so wiry and lithe and sinuous, just wriggling with nervous energy. He reminds me of Dave Chappelle sometimes. But, I gotta say with all that writhing I always think homey is flying rather high. MAYBE its the music, but he looks like he has a lil junkie energy propelling him. Just sayin.

We have then next EL RATON. Now this is MY SONG, so of course my DVD stalls right in the middle of Jorge Santana’s guitar solo. For the record, most of the artists up there are bien flaquito,but Cheo’s got ASS. Pacheco is so fuckin wired that he is all over the place and I want to grab his shoulders and make him sit still just for a second. Hector Lavoe is wearing an outfit that looks like Christmas and is as gawky as can be. Still, ya gotta love it.
Mi Gente. Hector doesnt sing gawky.Well, let me rephrase- his voice isnt gawky. He sings all hunched over, shoulders rounded, his arms seem too long for his body and he’s a lil scrawny.”ay africa que linda tu esta'”
I dont consider Mi Gente one of my favorite songs, but over the years becasue of the pleasant associations it has become a favorite.Its a happy feel good song. You see Hector looking lanky singing and then in the crowd absolutely beaming with joy. Fuckin great!

Pacheco on el pito for another go at Guantanamera. I know no other man who can make a flute look ghetto. LOL I dont consider this song a favorite despite the fact that I am sitting here singing it full blast.

Ya gotta watch it, check out Ismael Miranda, Nicky Marrero, Yomo Toro, Harlow, Baretto- damn!! It doesnt get better than this!

  • I realized that I am truly a salsa geek because my friends and I talk about Pacheco, Maelo, Justo like they are friends of ours.”dude, pacheco was killin it”

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Celia Cruz


Her reign as the queen of salsa, surrounded by some of the most important 1970s-era figures of the genre, is the identity that Cuban-American directors Joe Cardona and Mario de Varona intended to rediscover by making Celia the Queen.

The 86-minute documentary, which presents Cruz as far more than the cliche of the lively performer who never missed a chance to yell out “¡Azúcar!” — “Sugar!” — makes its South Florida debut Saturday as part of the Miami International Film Festival.


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