Books

Discussion in 'Member Reviews' started by terence, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well the McMain Spinning Mambo Into Salsa book arrived yesterday. Despite its length it didn't take me long to work my way through it - mainly because it's such a good read. It's definitely a very well researched and comprehensive history of mambo and salsa dance, providing histories of NY mambo, 70s salsa, LA mambo to salsa (with references to Terence's old hangout Virginia's), casino from its inception to the present day, and the rise of the 'salsa scene' i.e. salsa from the 90s to today. There are lots of interviews with professional and amateur dancers from all the eras and places in question, plus musicians and promoters, and extensive reference to books, magazines,newspapers and films from then to now. It includes great analyses of how old school mambo and salsa differed to each other and differ to today's scene, and she makes a point of outlining both the positives and negatives of salsa as it exists in the 21st century.

    My main criticism would be that at times she sees today's scene through rose-tinted spectacles to a certain extent, even though she definitely makes plain the principle disadvantages to the scene as it exists now. (Also there are a few typos here and there - as a goodwill gesture I would be happy to proofread it for free if she wants to revise the text any time - shame the OUP couldn't have done it for her. Anyone who knows her is welcome to pass on the offer.)

    N.B: the only time she struggled to find a lot of first hand recollections from a particular era was when she was researching LA in the mambo era - I'm sure I know someone who was dancing in LA back then and would be happy to share some memories.

    Nonetheless it is a superb book and I recommend it to anyone (particularly those whose interest in salsa goes beyond turn patterns).
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    #41
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  2. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Now can she please film some of these mambo survivors who are still dancing. It's all very well describing them to us but we want to see for ourselves.
     
  3. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Me, for one :D..

    Nice summary...
     
    DJ Yuca likes this.
  4. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao


    I know one lady ( she worked in the same studio as I ) who I believe is still living ( teaching ? ) in LA, and a 2nd one... .
    Both are high profile. The 2nd one, used Virginias for teaching space .
     
  5. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Got the book today (Wed. ).

    Did a brief scan then read most of the LA references. The comments by the lady who danced with TP, made a remark that was not true ( 2 actually )..

    1... No latinos were teaching in LA studios. Well for one, we had a Mexican teacher ( part time ) and a girl from Brazil ( Natalia ).
    In Pasadena, there was Jimmy Ramos ( his cousin is in the book, page 217, the half of twins, with Doug ) . There were others teaching in studios..

    2.. No teachers outside of studios teaching mambo ; Well, Jan Bryson ( who never got a mention ) taught out of Virginas, very prominent in the dance scene in LA .

    And, the biggest omission,was Steve Peck, the ex club dancer who became even more famous in LA , due to his roles in Sinatras movies. He eventually opened an Italian restaurant in LA, that today I believe, is run by his sons..
    And of course Rocky Mari... I could list a whole lt more high profile dances /teachers , but the book was a tad to NY centric ,and it didn't even mention
    Miami ( unless its buried in the book somewhere ) or Toronto, which had a club with live latin music...

    "We" had a teacher , who also was part time, who's father was a huge TV star in L,A. and nationally, who became close friends with T.P as did Natalia ( I've got several funny stories about him !! ) .
     
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  6. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Miami gets mentioned a lot as re. the story of casino, however I can't recall if Miami in the mambo era gets covered.

    I find it funny that she is (afaik) the first person to research and publish an in depth history of casino, yet she's a product of the US salsa scene i.e. not primarily a casinera, and she's put the history in a book which is about salsa in general (i.e. not just or mostly about 'Cuban salsa').
     
  7. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I do appreciate the effort she made, I just wish she had "cast " her net a little wider, so much info. that , is very relevant to that era..

    My bigger problem is the print size.. difficult for me to read..
     
  8. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Do you own one of these? [​IMG]
     
  9. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Yes, I have 2.. one smaller, and one that size above, which does not clarify as much as the smaller one, whose width is insufficient.. Need to find a square one..
     
  10. Salsa Student

    Salsa Student Pattern Police

  11. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    There was a book on how to dance Salsa from Paul Harris in the UK. It caused controversy in the UK when it came out.
     
  12. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Paul is primarily a Tango dancer/teacher. He authored a book on all the latin dances (BR style ). well presented, but zero to do , with authenticity indigenous styling
     
  13. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

  14. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    As far as I know he was a BR dancer, involved also in the show business (eg for TV shows, I worked with him on one occassion). His book was supported by some of the latino UK salsa teachers including Nelson Batista (Cuban) and if not mistaken Elder Sanchez (Colombian), who helped set the seeds of the salsa London area scene in the late 90s and early 2000s.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  15. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    So is he the guy behind the ISTD syllabus book about Salsa - that with strange names of moves that were never used in casino or in linear salsa, but I think some br schools here accepted it as a kind of reference
     
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  16. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    Interesting. Where are you based? Do you have access to this syllabus?
     
  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Before he became better known as a T/A teacher, yes, he was successful in the BR world.

    I bought the book many years ago, and gave it to one of my Prof. students . The mambo/salsa was, IMO, was below par. I even had a lady teacher, a good while back, who had gone to him for salsa training.
    The results were not up to my like or style ( VERY B.R ) and, the music selection she had been advised to buy , made my eyes bleed !!..

    It's the old, old story , with high profile English BR teachers / dancers, who believe that, they only thing they need to do, is, learn the current variations, and away ya go !
     
    vit likes this.
  18. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    You may be interested to know that, the Syl. was put together by a VERY well known lady in salsa, and same for the guy who assisted. There is also, a past latin champion, who also was involved ( whom I know )

    The syl. is on sale on the ISTD web sire, I believe. .All the English Soc. now have a syl. for salsa .
     
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  19. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I think there is more in that story. Nelson was one of my initial salsa teachers and he hated BR but he along with some others joint up with Harris to write the book. It represents how the original UK salsa scene was, based on merengue and not BR CM. But the source of Harris was not himself but people like Nelson and Elder (at least this is what I was told at the time). That may explain his bad taste in music.
     
  20. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao


    No.. see my response to Luv2,, and yes, it is the guide for salsa exams, Prof and Amat.
     

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