Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

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Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby tamboricua » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:35 pm

On a sad note, Manuel 'Manolo" Labarrera who held the tumbador chair for more than 20 years with Los Van Van has passed on.

Rest in peace maestro tumbador!!!

JG
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby jorge » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:27 pm

That is terrible news. Great conguero, a master of the timba groove, every time I have seen him play in videos he was smiling, the guy just loved to play. Low key, no fireworks like Joel Driggs before him, but he could make the rhythm groove better than just about any of the younger hot shot Cuban timba conga players. He was a huge part of the sound of Los Van Van. I think there is a connection between loving to play and making the rhythm really swing. I don't remember another conga player with Van Van after Joel left (around 1980 or 81), before Manuel Labarrera joined the band, so I think he was with Van Van for closer to 30 years. Ibae. QEPD. RIP.
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby tamboricua » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:31 pm

jorge wrote:That is terrible news. Great conguero, a master of the timba groove, every time I have seen him play in videos he was smiling, the guy just loved to play. Low key, no fireworks like Joel Driggs before him, but he could make the rhythm groove better than just about any of the younger hot shot Cuban timba conga players. He was a huge part of the sound of Los Van Van. I think there is a connection between loving to play and making the rhythm really swing. I don't remember another conga player with Van Van after Joel left (around 1980 or 81), before Manuel Labarrera joined the band, so I think he was with Van Van for closer to 30 years. Ibae. QEPD. RIP.


Totally agree Jorge!!!

Saludos,

JG
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby ABAKUA » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:36 pm

Sad news indeed. R.I.P Manolo, he made a great contribution to the development and continuing evolvement of Songo.
As of many recent years however, Manolo had not recorded on any of the albums, though he is credited for it, Roberton their singer had been laying down the conga tracks.
I was with Manolo about a week ago when I caught up with Van Van at a local club here in Havana. I'd gone into the gig with Van Vans replacement conguero. As of approx 2 months ago or more, Manolo was being fazed out of Los Van Van to be replaced by Yoelito, who formerly played with Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son for many years. Manolo sadly due to his age and weakening condition could no longer hold down the fort for the whole gig, let alone in their newer aggressive tracks. Yoelito had been playing approx 3/4 of the gig with Manolo only starting the gig, playing an occasional softer track and closing the concerts.
Yoelito is a great player, from a new generation and will continue to do Van Van proud.

Just to touch on the topic of Joel Driggs, I see him quite often as just like last year Ive sat in with NG La Banda quite a few times, I will pass on to him some well wishes from you Jorge if you like.
Sadly though, age and lifestyle habits have affected Joel's playing a fair bit.
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby pavloconga » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:04 pm

That's very sad news indeed. What a great sound and groove that man had and always smiling when he played!
I never met him but I got the the impression he was a good man.
May he rest in peace.
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby Thomas Altmann » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:25 pm

I got to know Manolo when Los Van Van were in Hamburg and I had my two-days-lessons with Changuito. He just joined us, kept behind, always supportive, modest if not even humble, and seemed to be happy to just play and groove. I felt he placed himself a bit in the shadow of maestro Quintana, but I don't know how he was generally. The music world has lost a fine, kind person, as far as I can tell.

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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby jorge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:07 am

ABAKUA wrote:Just to touch on the topic of Joel Driggs, I see him quite often as just like last year Ive sat in with NG La Banda quite a few times, I will pass on to him some well wishes from you Jorge if you like.
Please do send him my best. I never met him personally, but I saw him play once in La Tropicana and his great 3 drum songo recordings with Rumbavana and Van Van have been a major influence on my style of playing congas for over 25 years. Gracias. Keep on enjoying your stay, sounds like a fantastic experience.
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby TONE74 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:11 pm

I always liked his low key style with out all the showboating that most players do. I always tried to find detailed videos of him playing but heres not many. On this one he is playing a nice merensongo....RIP




http://youtu.be/ws4Qwj8jeVY
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby jorge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:09 pm

Definitely a nice tune, a good sample of Manolo's style. I don't hear any merengue influence at all, not sure why you call it merensongo? Sounds more like songo evolving into timba, that song is pre-timba from 1990.
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby TONE74 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:02 pm

I'm talking about the tumbao he's playing not the song. he is going back n forth from songo to merensongo at least what I call merensongo pa pa.. tun tucutucu..tun I could be wrong though Jorge I'm at work with some small crappy speakers. I don't think merensongo ever sounds like merengue I know a lot of Cuban bands play it for intros and for the whole song and not everybody uses the same exact pattern. I'm not sure why you mention 1990 but Cuban bands use merensongo right now, bands like Sur Caribe, Sama y el Expreso de Oriente, etc etc.
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby TONE74 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:17 pm

my bad, you right Jorge. I got a better look at the video and yeah he only plays merensongo in the beginning you can hear it clearly at 0:14 but the rest is songo. I could swear the main pattern in the original "aqui el que baila gana" was merensongo. Will dig in the crates when I get home :oops:
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby jorge » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:18 am

You are right, he does play merensongo for a bit in the beginning of that video. Now you made me dig out the vinyl LP and fire up the old turntable, but it was worth it. The double Van Van album "Aqui el que baila gana" came out in 1990. It did have one merengue-son song on it, Bailando Mojao. I guess that was one of the original cuts that the merensongo derived from, but that cut is about double the speed y suena medio merengiao. The original song "Aqui el que baila gana" was called songo on the album, but was Manuel Labarrera's style 2 drum songo, not Joel Driggs' style 3 drum songo or Changuito's 2 drum songo on congas. After los Van Van with Joel Driggs on congas, I was at first disappointed with Manuel's new style songo when he replaced Joel in the early 80s. But Manuel's style was simpler, more son-like, a rock solid groove, very danceable and it grew on me and I got to really like it. It became one of the main foundations of timba in the 90s.

Speaking of merensongo, I think Manuel Labarrera helped develop it into a popular rhythm, in collaboration with Changuito. Here is a nice demonstration by Changuito on YT, drum part then conga part.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJAMCCDS9ko

Here is Pedrito Martinez rockin the house, same rhythm minus the timbale part, super clean and sounds great.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2HQroJRBM
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby Hawker » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:11 pm

What heads is Pedrito using on those Matadors?
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby tamboricua » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:38 pm

Hawker wrote:What heads is Pedrito using on those Matadors?


He is using Remo Fiberskin Crimplock.

Hope this helps!!!

JG
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Re: Manuel "Manolo" Labarrera-RIP

Postby TONE74 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:01 pm

Here is Pedrito Martinez rockin the house, same rhythm minus the timbale part, super clean and sounds great.


had never seen that video, very nice. I love that rhythm! its funky and can be applied to many things. Used to have trouble with it for a while but finally got it. The mute before the open tones on the high drum made me choke everytime :D

Now you made me dig out the vinyl LP and fire up the old turntable, but it was worth it.


That's that silky smooth stuff, worth it everytime. I love how Van Van works together it has a flow that can't be explained, specially in the old days. My favorite old song for me is Cuentame. My uncle used to play that when I was little on our way to Varadero in his old almendron smelling like pure gasolina. :D

was gonna post the video for cuentame but just noticed that pisicore's account has been shut down for copywright issues.

tamboricua I din't mean to highjack the tread but one thing lead to another. you know how it goes.. lol

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