TA conga solo

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Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:03 am

Hi,

whoever might be interested: I just uploaded an mp3 file to my webpage http://www.ochemusic.de/tapercen.htm . This is a little conga solo I played last year on a Hamburg Jazz Festival with the band Sonora 51. Just to remind you that the Cantos Lucumi guy is also a musician.

I played on the two larger Schalloch congas plus one iyá on my right. The skin on my macho was broken and I could not find any useful replacement in town, for months!

I do not like everything I ever played, but I like this one because it's nothing I had specifically practiced (didn't even have the opportunity), and it is none of the Hidalgo stuff, but it's music. And it's me, exclusively.

Dig!

Thomas




Edited By Thomas Altmann on 1170213000
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Postby onile » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:00 am

Alafia Abure Thomas Altmann!
I hope that you are well my brother!

Wow! That was slammin' Papa! I liked the sound you were puttin' down, very tasty and destinctive. A good "blend" of rhythms into the solo, I liked it!

Many blessings!

Onile!
Que Nsambi les acutare pa' siempre!
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Postby yoni » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:28 am

Very nice stuff Thomas! I like the abstract stuff too, nice story. Thanks!

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Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:22 pm

Thank you!

TA
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Postby JohnnyConga » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:23 pm

Very Nice Thomas....Thomas did we happen to meet in 1997 at the "Hammoniale" Festival in Hamburg? I went there to perform with the Tania Leon Production "Drummin"...u look familiar to me..."JC" Johnny Conga... :D
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Postby franc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:35 am

thomas,
loved your solo. great hands strokes and beautiful sound, sure moved my soul .rich to the ear!!! well mastered. thank you for the lesson, ok. my best and luck in your future projects. áche and my best to all in the forum. yes!!!!! franc :D
ibúkún,ire,
Franc ♪♪
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Postby Thomas Altmann » Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:32 pm

Thank you so much! You make me feel GOOD.

Johnny: I'm sure we never met, but whenever you visit Hamburg again, let me know, so we can make up for that. If you want my phone number, send me a PM.

Thomas
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Postby niallgregory » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:23 pm

very nice thomas .Its refreshing to hear something a bit more old school .As much as i love Giovanni etc its getting a bit overdone .I like the calm nature of what you played , no pyrotechnics etc .
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Postby Facundo » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:07 pm

Niall,

I couldn't agree with you more! Gio is truly a phenomena with his dazzling technique and extraordinary facility around multiple drums. I love seeing his demonstrations in workshops. Without question, his playing has greatly expanded the possibilities of what can be done with congas. No wonder many try to copy him. However, there many other players that I prefer hearing with full bands. There are times when, for me, his technique gets in the way of the musical composition. Making slick and difficult moves just because you can dose not always add quality to the music.

Thomas,
It was very refreshing to hear your playing. Everything you played added depth to the spirit of the composition and was very tasteful. As a trap drummer, you will understand my comments to Niall are much like comparing the playing of Buddy Rich to Max Roach. For my ears, the best drummer out there wasn't even a drummer. Thelonius Monk was a piano player who was known for his odd sounding simple melodies and his use of harmonic dissonance. However, he also had the best sense of rhythm, timing and phrasing I ever heard. Monk used to say that the loudest note in the world is silence! His use of "space / silence" was masterful. This is a critical point that many of today's drummers have forgot to study.

I used to go see Max's band play every-time they came to town. We would always ask him to play Monk's tune "epistrophy". When it came time for his solo, he would play the entire tune on his drums including the bridge and then improvise within the context of the tune!

Thomas, all of that came to mind hearing your playing. Beautiful job !!!

Facundo
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Postby JohnnyConga » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:57 am

Here are some GREAT "ol skool" soloists from my days growing up in New York City from the 60's to 70's

Tommy Lopez
Eladio Perez
Milton Cardona
Frankie Rodriguez
Steve Thornton
Victor Pantoja
Jerry Gonzalez
Jackie Dilomis
Ritchie "Pablo" Landrum
Buck Clarke
Hank Fields
George "Sabu" Caldwell the 3rd
George Cannon
Willy Pastrana
Louis Bonilla
Gene Golden
Latin Joe Colon
"Little Johnny"
Gilbert "Monster Hands"
"BO" Satterwhite
"Papo Conga"
Hector "Bucky" Andrade
Bill Fitch

I have known all of these players(except Bill Fitch) and they are all GREAT in their own way..I would recommend anything that they are on.

Thank you Thomas for the invitation. If I ever head your way again I will surely get in touch...man had the "Reeperbhan" changed when i was there for the first time in 20 years....but I had a GOOD time hahahahaha....peace..."JC" Johnny Conga... :D
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Postby Facundo » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:17 pm

Hey JC,

Nice seeing those names mentioned. A lot of hsitory there! The big surprise for me is seeing George Cannon's name. We were very close friends and I count him as a major influence among the drummers that came out Philly along with Garvin Massueux, Sonny Morgan and Bobby Crowder. Pablo Landrum, Baba Femi and Gene Goldden were drummers they hooked up with when they moved to New Yourk. It's a shame but I don't think Gieorge did much recording. Thanks for remembeing him, his playing deserves being mentioned with mastors you listed.

Best regards,
Facundo
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Postby Thomas Altmann » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:30 pm

Niall & Facundo,

thanks also to you! It was very satifying for me to see that my playing seemed to project a great deal of my general concept to those who can evaluate that style. However, how much I succeed in living up to this concept, is still subject to daily shape, unfortunately.

After having theorized about soloing in an earlier thread, I am glad to clearly demonstrate what I was trying to explain.

It is impossible for any conga player today to bypass Changuito, Giovanni, Richie Flores, or Paoli Mejia (another guy of the modern school I like).

But that doesn't mean every conguero has necessarily to try and emulate what these guys are doing. Always remember that the bottom line is musical expression, which ultimately goes back to the individual (human) musician. If you have to play fast double rolls to express yourself, you've got to go for it. If not, don't worry. Find your own way. It's true, that I was influenced by "old school" drummers in my formative years. For the simple reason that I just don't hear any of that modern stuff inside myself, consequently I cannot play it, and I don't see any artistic reason to try, other than exercise (which I did for quite some time).

It's true that one determining factor is the composition you are complementing with your solo. To play a giant "fireworks" solo before a contemplative tune like the one that can be heard following (clave hazzle there), would be plainly unmusical. That's what I like about the concept of someone like Mel Lewis in Jazz, for instance. Like him, I refuse to deliver something spectacular at any cost.

On the other hand I have to admit, that I do feel uncomfortable with the expectation to play a high energy solo all by myself. I don't know if I ever did, or if I could fulfill such an expectation at all. I am more of an ensemble player, anyway, and I prefer soloing in a traditional, accompanied context. Only since I am playing with those Jazz guys, they don't stop exposing me to this kind of situation. But in most instances the crowd liked what I was doing.

Usually I kind of go into another state when I have to do this; I do not consciously realize what I'm doing. It's only when I leave that space that I notice the reaction of the "world outside".

Thanks again,

Thomas
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Postby JohnnyConga » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:15 pm

HI Facundo .George Cannon was a friend of mine also as were the rest of them..i also left out "Peachy" Jarmon, Master Henry Gibson, Niaee, Angel Allende, and some others that escape my memory...George didnt do much recording unfortunatly, as u said, but he could damn sure could play..."JC" Johnny Conga... :D
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Postby Facundo » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:16 pm

JohnnyConga wrote:HI Facundo .George Cannon was a friend of mine also as were the rest of them..i also left out "Peachy" Jarmon, Master Henry Gibson, Niaee, Angel Allende, and some others that escape my memory...George didnt do much recording unfortunatly, as u said, but he could damn sure could play..."JC" Johnny Conga... :D

Hey JC,

It's a wonder we have not met. I was also close to Peachy and Niaee as well. Niaee is now teaching on the West Coast in Santa Barbara, I believe and Peachy is back in Philly but not playing due to health problems. Looks like the drum makes the world a small place.

Best regards,
Facundo
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Postby CongaTick » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:22 pm

Thomas,

Just got my MP3 player to work and listened to your solo. Absolutely delightful, inspiring me to work on what I want to say with my drums. Your style is so clean and deceptively simple. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it, and that I look forward to hearing more.
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