Is this song a son?

Discussion in 'Salsa Music' started by ColdSalsero, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. ColdSalsero

    ColdSalsero Shine Officer

    For my salsa music experts out there, is this song a son, or borrow more heavily from son than most other common salsa songs?

    The guitar work makes me think it's a son, but I'm not sure. Another song I've heard with such guitar work is "Dundunbanza" by Sierra Maestra, but I'm not sure if that's a son either. Is it some other genre of music?

    Song I'm wondering about:

    Something similar, Sierra Maestra's Dundunbanza:
    DJ Miel Oscura likes this.
  2. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    There is so much from son in this music, that you can surely call it so. :) Or don't call, just dance.
  3. petteri

    petteri Descarga

    Dundunbanza is son.

    But the first song is not. It is salsa with cuban influence. What is the name of the song?
  4. ColdSalsero

    ColdSalsero Shine Officer

    I don't know the name of the first song, that will have to be a question for the Name That Tune section ;)
  5. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    ... or it's a son with added timbales...
  6. petteri

    petteri Descarga

    Not really. Son cubano is much slower genre of music than the first example.

    Other example of son cubano. Buena Vista Social Club - Chan Chan
  7. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    If you want a binary answer to this, you need to define rules very very tightly :)
    Dundunbanza would be son montuno. If that's not son, then both songs are not son. If you consider timeframe, none of them are son. If you look at instrumentation, as well. If I look at the feel, they both are, and it's useful for dancing. Labeling might be useful, but what is your use here ColdSalsero?

    About second song, I heard "Africando" in the vocals, but singer sounds like old cuban. So my take is that's one of those son revival projects in 1990ties or this century.
    DJ Miel Oscura likes this.
  8. Abayarde

    Abayarde Capitán Del Estilo

    Son Cubano can be a bit faster. Even Trio Matamoros performed Son that way but with no timbales as sweavo pointed. change timbales with "palitos" and if you want to make it more cuban, add a mojito...
  9. petteri

    petteri Descarga

    In my musical vocabulary the word son always refers to son cubano and nothing else. Son montuno is bit different genre and harder to categorize.

    In my mind Dundunbanza is very clearly son cubano. And the first example is clearly not, the song is far too fast.

    Genres like son cubano and bolero only exist in certain speed range. When you speed up songs enough genre of music changes.
  10. Abayarde

    Abayarde Capitán Del Estilo

    if is not a Son Cubano, what is?
  11. petteri

    petteri Descarga

    Salsa gorda?
  12. ColdSalsero

    ColdSalsero Shine Officer

    No use, other than satisfying my curiosity and deepening my knowledge of salsa and afro-cuban music in general :) I just noticed that the first song and Dundunbanza both used a tres, and I was wondering if that had anything to do with the genre of son or not :)
  13. Abayarde

    Abayarde Capitán Del Estilo

    As discussed in a related thread, Salsa Gorda might represent for each individual a very wide selection of different styles of Salsa.

    I'll say then that your "son cubano" definition is a much better bet.
  14. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Both of the songs are son.

    The tres is one of the most important instruments in traditional son. The original instrumentation was tres, claves, maracas and some sort of bass-type instrument such as a marimbula or botija and later a contrabass, later a baby bass. As time went by people added other instruments such as a single trumpet which was standard in the septetos. The piano was added and took the role of tres. Eventually more percussion and more horns were added, not to mention the piano which took over the role of the tres as with Beny Moré's Band Giganta which was based on the big band style of the US and also had timbales. So having timbales doesn't mean a song isn't son.

    Son varies form being very slow to very fast.

    Tres is also central to traditional changüí which has similar instrumentation to traditional son: tres, marimbula or botija, maracas, guayo and bongo del monte (changüí has no clave). Traditional changüí doesn't have any horns or piano. Orquesta Revé has some strong changüí influences and also has a tresero but to be honest, the style of tres he plays even when they do a "traditional changüí" is actually a son style tres as opposed to changüí style. I personally find traditional changüí to be more "hard core" than traditional son, probably because of the extreme syncopation.

    Here are a couple of videos from when I was in Guantanamo for the Changüí festival.

    Traditional son

    Traditional Changüí

    Modern son ( I love this song!)

    Modern changüí (and heaven forbid they are saying "salsa")
    What Revé has taken from changüí is mostly in the percussion.
    DJ Miel Oscura likes this.
  15. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Wait! For modern son I should have plugged our local band Calle Real LOL
    This is son sueco, with tres and guitar.
    Ya lo sé

    You mentioned that you are interested in looking into more afro-cuban music, try the late great Polo Montañez. You may find some of his song familiar since you have heard covers of them. He also had tres with guitar. Very sad, died in a car accident. There are no lights at night on the Cuban highways and some semi-truck was stopped in the left lane and he drove right into it. The car was totally smashed. It ripped the top off of his car. Elio Revé also died in a car accident. Very sad. Two big losses to Cuban music. But I digress.
    Monton de estrellas
    Guajiro natural

    Also for more traditional son Familia Valera Miranda
    DJ Miel Oscura likes this.
  16. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    Is there an instrumental or good cover version of this song? It has a beautiful melody.
  17. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Hmm, I listened to the whole thing this time and see your point.

    Tempo doesn't really come into it. The BVSC album has faster sones, e.g. El Cuarto Del Tula, Candela.

    There are cues that make this song not a typical son -- namely the monas and the timbales... so I can see you PoV. But I would still call this a son, just played by a salsa band.

    Cues that suggest Son are bongo, tres, a heavy emphasis on beat 4, the melodic style, the coro of only two singers and the swing of the maracas / guiro.

    I'm also assuming that the clip is only showing the diablo section of the song and that there has already been a couple of minutes of verses before it dropped down to that tres guajeo.

    At 1:57 it really does depart from a son and sounds quite new york to me with the cymbal and the trombone monas and the jazzy trumpet... also the rhythm is dropping into 6& rather than 4 and 8, which marks it out as PR salsa derived rather than son.
  18. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

  19. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    I think that the mambos sound more like NY than Cuban and the rest seems like it could be Cuban even with the timbales solo, but the horns don't sound Cuban. I am not able to really define what the difference is between NY horns and Cuban horns but we all hear the difference I think.

    Have to go back and see if I catch the 6& thing there.

    I haven't found anyone who can identify the singer or the song yet.
  20. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Not to my knowledge. I wouldn't be surprised if some group has done a cover of it at some time, but I've never heard one.

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