"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


RIP Eugenio Arango "Totico" QEPD

Que descanse en paz, o que rumbee en el cielo

Here's an obituary from worldmusiccentral By Les Moncada:

Influential singer and percussionist Eugenio Arango “Totico” died Friday, January 21st in New York. He was a well known vocalist, who recorded Patato y Totico, a seminal Cuban rumba album in 1967, together with his boyhood friend Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdes.

Totico was a legend and well known as a rumbero, and individual that had the knowledge and ability to play, sing and dance the Cuban rumba rhythms of guaguancó, yambú and rumba columbia. Totico was also an akpuón, a lead singer for Afro-Cuban santeria ceremonies.

Totico was know for his quinto conga drumming style and his rumba singing. Totico recorded a legendary album that is a classic for all rumberos and drummers with the famed conga player/dancer Carlos “Patato” Valdes entitled Patato and Totico. Patato y Totico featured percussionist Carlos “Patato” Valdés on congas and Eugenio “Totico” Arango on vocals and congas, together with the legendary blind tresero (tres guitarist) Arsenio Rodriguez and the late Israel “Cachao” Lopez on bass. Originally released in 1967, Verve Records reissued it on CD in 2004.

Totico was born in Havana, in the Los Sitios barrio (district). After moving to the United States he performed and recorded with artists such as Israel “Cachao” López, Francisco “Kako” Bastar, Carlos “Patato” Valdés and Alfredo Rodríguez.

Totico’s discography includes Patato y Totico (Verve V6-5037, 1967), Totico y sus Rumberos (Montuno 515, 1992), and Sonido Sólido, with Alfredo Rodriguez, Patato and Totico (Top Ten Records 1995).

And a review for a classic Totico record, from Totico's MySpace page

NY Times Review: (c) Robert Palmer
Published: August 14, 1981

To many New Yorkers, summer music is the music people play on the front steps of apartment buildings and in the city's parks, music that usually involves one or two conga drums, some other percussion instruments and singing, primarily in Spanish. Some summer strollers and joggers consider street-corner Latin music a nuisance, but it has a rich history and is often a singular blend of the staunchest traditionalism and more recent influences. It is rarely recorded, and it has probably never been recorded as winningly as on ''Totico y Sus Rumberos,'' a new album on the Montuno label.

Totico is Eugenio F. Arango, a native of Havana who has lived in New York for a number of years but still sings in the forcefully fluid style of the great Cuban vocalists. He most frequently performs music that derives directly from the rituals of Santeria, the African-derived religions that still flourish in Cuba, though he is also at home in more popular idioms.

The ''rumberos'' he has assembled for his album include expert players of the bata, the Nigerian drum associated with Santeria rituals. But except for a couple of religious chants, the music is street-corner rumba, sung with much feeling and exquisite musicality by Totico and backed by a lusty vocal chorus and some exceptionally fancy percussion, with Andy Gonzalez's string bass added as an anchor.

One selection on the album is a kind of summation of New York as the ultimate cultural melting pot. It is ''What's Your Name?'' the familiar rock-and-roll hit from the 1950's, and Totico and his producer, Rene Lopez, have given it a subtitle: ''Doo-Whop Bata Rumba.''

They have taken the original rock-and-roll song, sung it in the street-corner style that is usually spelled ''doo wop,'' put a rumba rhythm to it and added cross-rhythms on the bata drums. The result is one of the most striking examples of New York summer music to be found on records. ''Totico y Sus Rumberos'' is available in many shops or or call Montuno Records, 840-0580. Robert Palmer
"Agua que va caer" A classic of summertime NYC rumba in Central Park and Tompkins Square Park back in the day - lots of memories here.

A guaguancó cover of the Brazilian bossa nova "Mas que nada"

Covering the Don and Juan doo-wop piece "What's Your Name?" (Ignore the video).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Music like this you don't hear anymore. Vaya!