Français: : Great drummers

Pozo Chano

Musicians or bands:

Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and his orchestra

Biography and commentary:

Chano Pozo was the first congas player (Cuban) to play with secular bands (of jazz). Before him, this music was reserved for Santeria, a Cuban interpretation of Christian worship by former slaves exiled from Africa, taking from the African beliefs and music (the pagan gods were replaced by saints, just as in Brazil) . The playing of the congas and their form comes from the Bantu tribe of Congo (hence their name). Chano died prematurely (at age 33 in 1948) murdered in the slums of New York, and the revelation and the desecration of musical secrets of Santeria earned him not to receive sacraments at his funeral. This tragic fate increases his legend by giving a sacrificial character, almost Christlike (died at the same age). True father of all conga players, it is interesting to note that he adapted to the very written music of the big bands and without ever learning music writting: he was doing everything by ear and from memory (another point in common with the christ)! He was also the first percussionist to reintroduce percussions and traditional African music in jazz (under the impetus of the very avant-gardist Dizzy Gillespie, in 1947), and thus participate in the creation of the first truly complete cultural mix in my eyes, between European and African music: the "Latin jazz". He has himself co-written several jazz themes with Dizzy, like the famous "Manteca".

Marc De Douvan, publication in French: January 3, 2006 (for the translation in English: July 12, 2015)

© 2005 Marc de Douvan Crédits Mentions légales