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I've been interested in Latin Jazz for a long time, but now I'm going to follow up on my interest. I want to learn about the rhythems, harmonies, vocabulary, history etc.

So, my question to you all is:

What books, websites, music, composers, strategies would you recommend me in able for me to learn to implement it in my compositions? (I play the piano)

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Where do you want to go with this? I'm expecting your looking more for the Afro-Cuban / Jazz (emphasis on the jazz...or more Latin-ey?)

See attachment for an excerpt from the Latin Jazz Real Book - for some direction about terminology / styles / clave rhythms...

Latin JAZZ:

Dizzy Gillepie - Manteca (sort-of) http://www.youtube.c...h?v=o1s5CWbYyao

Duke Ellington - Oclupaca

Art Blakey, Jazz Messengers - Caravan : http://www.youtube.c...h?v=eP12RhmBIRw

More conteporary:

Arturo Sandoval - Mam-Bop: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=wOju1JozRL4

Arturo - Mambo Caliente

Chucho Valdes - New Orleans http://www.youtube.c...h?v=ykxGWU8YDmA


More traditional Cuban (not so jazz)....

Buena Vista Social Club: Chan Chan http://www.youtube.c...h?v=6JEdf7XsV5g

(find the documentary on these guys - it's amazing)

Straight up SALSA....

Oscar de Leon - LLoraras:

Ray Barretto / Ruben Blades - Ban Ban Quere:

Just a few happening tunes off the top of my head........ !!!

latin p12.pdf

latin p14-15.pdf


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"Latin jazz" is an extremely broad term, and even terms like "Afro-Cuban" and "salsa" are hard to decipher. Mark Levine in The Jazz Theory Book gives a brief rundown of terms and clave rhythms (learn these). He recommends reading The Salsa Guidebook by Rebeca Mauleon for more info.

Some artists to listen to: Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Cal Tjader, Juan Tizol, Jerry Gonzalez...

Albums: Afro-Cuban (Kenny Dorham), Live At The Blue Note (Paquito D'Rivera Quintet)...

And don't forget about samba and bossa nova.

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sal┬Ěsa [sahl-suh; Sp. sahl-sah]



a lively, vigorous type of contemporary Latin American popular music, blending predominantly Cuban rhythms withelements of jazz, rock, and soul music.


a ballroom dance of Puerto Rican origin, performed to thismusic, similar to the mambo, but faster with the accent onthe first beat instead of the second beat of each measure.


Mexican Cookery . a sauce, especially a hot saucecontaining chilies.


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