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Monday, June 15, 2015

La Negra Tomasa (BOTB)




Battle of the Bands!

        Once again it's time for another Battle of the Bands.  This is the event in which I participate on the 1st and 15th of each month.   We have Far Away Eyes at Far Away Series  to thank for conceiving this homage to music.  Stephen T McCarthy acts as the list steward and Battle of the Bands host--you can find his blog with the list of participants at  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battles to vote on.

Are You Ready for Cuba?

        With U.S. / Cuban relations becoming normalized, it looks like you can start planning your vacations to this island nation that we've cold-shouldered for over 50 years.  In my opinion it's about time.  The entire history of our poor relations with Cuba under Fidel Castro was misguided and something that should have never been allowed to happen.  Not that I'm a supporter of the wrong-headed Castro dictatorship, but in some ways our government is responsible for the direction that was taken by Cuba over the past several decades.

       Now Fidel is becoming a footnote and Raul will soon be following his bro to the grave. Adios a los bozos!   With those old farts gone we can start having fun in Havana again.   Enjoy the beaches and casinos.  Dance the nights away in the glamorous night clubs.   Experience Cuban music in its country of origin.  

       The Cuban sound has long influenced much of the music scene.  With the Latin-African mixture infused with healthy doses of jazz and even classical, Cuban music transcended communistic dictatorships to become embraced by the world. Today's Battle of the Bands features a Cuban music classic, La Negra Tomasa

La Negra Tomasa

       La Negra Tomasa is a song by Cuban composer Guillermo Rodriguez Fiffe who recorded the first version in 1937.  The song has remained a staple of the Musica Cubana repertoire ever since.  One outstanding version of the song that you might want to listen to if you are so inclined is the Cuban jazz take by the Buena Vista Social Club.  This is not for you to vote on though--just for your listening enjoyment.

       Now on to today's contestants:

Compay Segundo  "La Negra Tomasa"  (2001)

       Compay Segundo is a stage name which might be compared to the English idiom "second fiddle".   He got the name because he was always the back-up singer in his early partnerships.  Compay's career which began probably in the 1920's continued until his death in 2003 at age 95.
Besides his fame as a vocalist, he was a versatile instrumentalist, a composer, and inventor.  He achieved a greater international fame through his association with the Buena Vista Social Club project.

        Here is traditional rendering of "La Negra Tomasa" by the great Compay Segundo.





Caifanes  "La Negra Tomasa"  (1988)

        Though having long been a music standard, the Mexican new wave prog rock band Caifanes introduced the song to the audiences of the modern generations.   The band, whose name might be loosely translated as "cool dude", cited the band King Crimson as its main influence.  The band's most influential member, musical genius Saúl Hernández went on to form the outstanding rock band Jaguares, a favorite of mine.

         You get a good comparison to Compay Segundo's version with the first three minutes of this clip (this is what was released as the radio friendly single), but if you stay past the 3:20 mark that's where things get more interesting for me as the band heads off into a spacey jazz rock instrumental break before going back into a reprise of the song's vocal.






Time to Vote!

          Come along and play!  Please don't back out on this pairing with the excuse that you don't like the music or you don't understand what they're singing.  You don't have to like the music and the lyrics don't mean that much anyway.  Just judge what you hear.  Which version do you prefer?    It's up to you to determine the winner.   

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose (or which one was the least objectionable to your ears).  Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around.   And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

Shady Dell Music and Memories   

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Women:  We Shall Overcome  

Alex J. Cavanaugh 

Book Lover

J. A. Scott  (New this round!)

Novel Brews (a new addition!)




Results on Friday June 19th

         Again I'm going to cut the lead time to the winner announcement short this time around.  I'll be traveling starting June 20th so I don't want to have to be counting up votes during that time and I might not have a chance to post the results either.    You'll get the final vote tally for this Battle on my post of Friday June 19th.   You can vote on today's Battle of the Bands post until Thursday June 18th which will be when I make my final vote count. Please vote!

         Do you like Latin style music?  Do you need to understand lyrics in order to enjoy a song?   Have you considered a Cuban vacation yet?

93 comments:

  1. Lee, I do like Latin music and I don't have to understand the words, if the music moves me. :D Nope, I have not ever thought about going to Cuba. Traveling anyplace that requires airplane or boat is off my list. I'm such a big ole scaredy Cathy! I would like to experience the taste of Cuba. I've only had Cuban cuisine once. There is small Cuban restaurant on the west side of town that we tried about a year ago. It was good, but nothing out of this world. Maybe, if we had ordered something else then I would be more impressed. I'm sure we'll try it again, though.

    Now, getting to the point of why I'm here to pick my favorite artist between the battling bands. I listened to both tracks completely. Although I liked Caifanes version, especially the spacy jazzy break, it was bit confusing to my brain. Maybe, I should have my morning coffee. But, the vocals of this group I wasn't as nuts over, either. I enjoy the more traditional Latin flavor of Company Segundo and the vocals were nicer, too. So, give my vote to Company Segundo! Now, I want Mexican food. Anytime I hear Latin music, it doesn't matter the region it makes me want Mexican cuisine. Enjoy your travels and be safe! Thanks for stopping by!

    Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get #BOTB

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    1. Cathy, I've had plenty of Cuban cuisine as my wife likes it a lot because it's similar to her native Ecuadorean style of cooking. We have tons of Cuban restaurants around where we live. I like it okay, though I can't say it's my favorite style of cooking.

      Got your vote for Compay Segundo.

      Lee

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  2. I am not really into Latin music Lee but I did like Company Segundo.
    Have a good week,
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne: Compay Segundo gets your vote.

      Lee

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  3. It's hard to believe that Cuba won't be off limits soon. It has been for my entire life. I remember years ago I was on a cruise and all the guys had to smoke their cigars before we made port. It always seemed a bit silly to me. Like you, I'm not a huge supporter of Castro, but the way it was handled was foolish.

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    1. TBM, if we are going to promote the capitalist agenda then we should behave like capitalists. I understand the bygone fears of Communism in the past but as history has shown it is merely an idealistic philosophy that does not hold up in the real world as it is.

      Lee

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    2. We haven't been Capitalists since the Federal Reserve was instituted in 1913. (And, by the way, it was American bankers - who were also behind the Federal Reserve System - who created Communism.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. I guess that depends on how you look at it. I won't get into that debate with you though since you are more well versed in your position and would argue me under the table. From the business standpoint though I think most would agree that we operate according to the definition of capitalism. From the standpoint of government interference many will argue that we are a socialist society.

      There are probably more theories about these issues that I have time that I care to take on them. Absolute practical working solutions that everybody can agree with would be nice to hear. Yeah, like that's going to happen in my lifetime.

      Well, there is one absolute solution, but no mortal man nor government is going to be presenting that to the world--and if it is that one then it could happen in my lifetime, but no one actually knows for sure.

      Lee

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    4. Yeah, I know what you mean by the "absolute solution".

      But, for the sake of accuracy, the term "Capitalism" ought to be abandoned, unless one adds the words "free-enterprise" before it. "Free-Enterprise Capitalism" is what we used to have.

      After the establishment of the Federal Reserve System, what we've had is better referred to as "Corporatism".

      "Socialism" (or "Communism") is just a style of Corporatism. In either case, what you're really talking about is a dictatorship. And the dictator may not be a single person but a body of people who are in financial control.

      The United States has been a dictatorship (by financial Wizards Behind The Curtain) ever since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. The single word "Capitalist" has had no real meaning in over 100 years.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  4. My dad was born in South America so he always loved Latin music. I've been told that when I was about 2, my dad would listen to his Los Indio Tabajaras records on the HiFi in the livingroom and I would sing along in perfect Spanish, often galloping around and around the diningroom table on one of those stick pony things that were so popular in the 60s for kids.

    It's about time we ended this ridiculous embargo against Cuba. I never understood why it continued on into the 90s through now. I understand the whole Bay of Pigs thing was a touchy subject in the 60s and 70s but if we do business with Communist China, then why shut out Cuba?

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    1. JoJo, funny but I was just listening to some Los Indios Trabajaros yesterday. After we started establishing trade with communist China things started changing there. Now it's still bad in many ways, but in some other ways they are becoming more capitalistic than the U.S.

      Lee

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  5. Hi, Lee! To expand my horizons I used to watch the television music series Caliente on Univision. Described the "the Latin Soul Train," Caliente featured young people dancing to the latest releases by Latin recording stars. Over time I developed an appreciation of the genre. In this contest my Pick to Click is Compay Segundo. This category is an acquired taste for me and for that reason I'd rather go "all in" and hear the traditional sound. The new wave group Caifanes might be cool but the original is still better. I vote for Compay.

    Thank you, Lee, and thank you for keeping my blog on your list as several others are doing. That's nice of you. Have a great day!

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    1. Shady, I've enjoyed Latin American music since childhood so the genre has always been an easy listen for me. I really started getting into Rock en Espanol in the 90's so you can expect to hear more in future BOTB matches.

      Another vote for Compay Segundo

      Lee

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  6. Interesting what the second band did with the song. Liked both versions, but when it comes to that style of music, I like the original sound. First one gets my vote.
    Appreciate being on the list although I won't be participating anymore.

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    1. Alex, I would have guessed you for the more rock sound.
      Instead I'll put you down for Compay Segundo.

      Lee

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  7. Latin music has never really been my favorite. I appreciate what Caifanes did with it, but ultimately I have to go with Compay Segundo. It made me want to move my hips like the ridiculously disproportionate woman in the video.

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    1. Beer Guy, it's infectious music for sure--hope we don't get sick from it.

      Another Compay Segundo vote.

      Lee

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  8. This may be a shut out - I have to go with Compay Segundo. Even if I don't understand all the lyrics, musically it is superior. Pat on the back to Caifanes - it wasn't bad and I appreciate their creative take on it.

    COMPAY SEGUNDO gets my vote!

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    1. Cherdo, so far this is going in a shut-out direction which surprises me in a way, but there are days left for Caifanes to catch up.

      Compay Segundo scores another vote.

      Lee

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  9. I truly enjoy Latin music and Company Segundo's version of this classic is everything it should be. Great musicians, smooth vocals and that unmistakable Latin rhythm.

    I also appreciate what Calfanes did with the song. I believe it is important to keep the standards alive and when young bands do a cover like this, it achieves just that. The segue into Jazz is what draws me to this version.

    Surprisingly Jazz and Latin have rather a lot in common. The complexity, the improvisational style, the complex rhythms and the instrumental arrangements are similar. After playing in a Jazz band for a few years I thought I'd have no trouble picking up Latin. I was wrong. It's harder to play Latin percussion than it is to play Jazz, because you're playing up to six different rhythms at the same time.

    It is because of the Jazz segment that I am voting for Calfanes.

    No you don't have to understand the lyrics to enjoy a piece of music. My musical landscape would be a desolate place indeed if the only thing I listened to were English speaking bands.

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    1. Anne, excellent analysis. I think that Latin/Jazz connection is why the two styles have become so intertwined over the decades. The Latin sound was embraced early as jazz developed. They both have similar African music roots so it makes sense.

      You're right--those Afro-Latin rhythms can be very complex with all of the counterpoint and clave rhythmic patterns. It can be exciting and hypnotic at the same time. There is so much potential in the the sound.

      So often I pay such little attention to lyrics that it doesn't matter much to me what the singers are saying as much as how they are sounding.

      Finally, a vote for Caifanes. Thank you!

      Lee

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  10. I don't enjoy the Latin sound and I never listen to songs if I don't know the words. No plans for visiting Cuba either. I do hope the increased tourism helps the poor who have suffered for so long.
    Will give my vote to Calfanes though I don't feel strongly about either.

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    1. Susan GK, maybe you need to listen to more Latin style music. My guess is that there is more that you like than you realize.

      I hope the betterment of the Cuban economy doesn't mean they'll they replace all of the great old cars they keep on the road with newer models. Those old cars are part of the charm of Cuba and they should capitalize on that.

      Another vote for Caifanes!

      Lee

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  11. Back when I was taking ballroom dance lessons (before I hurt my shoulder) I can't say that latin dancing was my favorite. It was always so fast and required a very specific bend of the knee and hip rotation. It's something to watch, but not easy to do.

    I can easily imagine dancing to the version here by Company Segundo. Not so much the other one as it is a distinctly different flavor.

    I hate to not break your shut-out, but I prefer the first by Company Segundo.

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    1. Robin, what about Tango? Doesn't that have a tendency toward the slower style of dance?

      You dance your vote to Compay Segundo.

      Lee

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  12. I love Latin music of all types! ☺ Although I've never been, Cuba has long been a vacation mecca for Canadians. Friend of mine goes there every year and takes an extra suitcase full of clothes for the hotel workers. The people there are so poor. Hopefully their standard of living will improve now that the U.S. has lifted their ban.
    As for the contest, I liked all versions of La Negra Tomasa, but you really got my attention with the King Crimson reference. (Love them!). The Caifanes recording blew me away and that's my choice.

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    1. Debbie, I was aware that Canadians have long been able to travel to Cuba as several years ago I did an advocacy presentation regarding travel to Cuba to a university group. From my research it looks like a pretty neat place to visit though I wouldn't want to live there.

      That King Crimson reference caught my attention to which is why I included it.

      Another vote for Caifanes!

      Lee

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  13. I love to listen to latin music, but I'll be honest, I couldnt tell you one band from another if I were to just hear them on the street. that being said, my vote goes to Compay Segundo. They sounded a bit more authentic.

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    1. Mary, I can't tell one band from another with any kind of music until I get familiar with the band. Compay Segundo is definitely more authentic since he does it in the traditional style.

      Compay Segundo for you.

      Lee

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  14. My vote is for Compay Seguno. It feels more authentic and the other version I lost interest in after five or six minutes.

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    1. Jeffrey, another Compay Segundo vote.

      Lee

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  15. I've never felt like I needed to understand the lyrics to enjoy the music (I listen to Japanese rock music, after all) but I'm really not a huge fan of the sound of Spanish music. That said, I think I prefer Caifanes!

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    1. Madilyn, some of the Japanese and Korean rock music sounds pretty good to me though my ears are very acclimated to the sound of Spanish music of all kinds.

      Got you down for Caifanes

      Lee

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  16. I'm anxious to go to Cuba and see it before it changes too much. It is supposed to be a 1950s time capsule.

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    1. KAT, Yes, I agree that with development there will come a great deal of change that might take away some of the colonial charm. If they are smart in marketing the tourism they'll retain the flavor and restore more old cars to keep that classic car look on the streets. I don't want to go to Cuba to see the same modern stuff we can see anywhere else.

      Lee

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  17. I think I slightly prefer the Caifanes version.

    I've never been particularly interested in visiting Cuba, but it would probably be a nice play to have a vacation, particularly with all that coastline.

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    1. Carrie-Ann, I hear that the beaches are outstanding. Currently they might come up short on decent accommodations if they get a big influx of tourism. According to the reports I've read they need some big hotel investors to build some new facilities.

      A slight vote for Caifanes

      Lee

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  18. The first one makes me feel like I am in New Mexico again. I like that one.

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    1. L.Diane, straight from Havana, New Mexico another vote goes to Compay Segundo.

      Lee

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  19. I like the Caifanes version much better. It's smoother to my ears. With the first one I just felt like I was sitting in a Mexican restaurant, no offense. That's just how it hit me. And I'm not a big fan of Mexican food, but I do love Cuban food. I used to date a Cuban who's father was a chef in Cuba. And boy, could he ever make some amazing arroz con pollo! He's the one who turned me on to the spice cumin. Wonder what he's up to these days? Probably no good. He was part of my Bad Boy phase...
    Anyway, thanks for the memories today! :)
    My vote is for Caifaines. And I really like their "spacey rock" sound too.
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, my first exposure to Cuban cuisine was in New Orleans where I had some outstanding paella. I craved more of that for years. After I moved to the Los Angeles area a number of Cuban restaurants started opening around where I live. They've been hit or miss. Some were so so and some are great. I'll keep going back because my wife likes them. We both like Mexican food a lot as well, but that is not always consistently good either. I guess it depends on who is doing the cooking, the particular dish ordered, and how hungry I am.

      A vote for Caifanes

      Lee

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  20. In Under A Voodoo Moon, Victor drags Alice onto the dance floor when told the end of days is upon them and dances to the tune played by jim Stubblefield - "La Salva Negra." Victor insists I vote for your tune since it is close to that one. :-)

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    1. Roland, so that could be a vote for either version?

      Lee

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  21. As the man says, not my genre, but I think I liked the peppier, brighter first version. The second wasn't exactly dark... and the playout after 3:40 was what you promised... but I'll go #1 for now. I might change if I heard them over a few times, though.

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    1. CW, there is a darker more goth feel to the Caifanes version but that's the nature of the band.

      Your vote goes to Compay Segundo

      Lee

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  22. I have to go to #1, it was lighter and more fun. The second had more of a gloomy feeling.

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    1. Pat, I can see-- or should I say hear--that.

      A vote for Compay Segundo

      Lee

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  23. Compay Segundo get my vote . . . . . I just love that traditional Latin-Cuban sound the other version is just a bit over-complex although I am a bit of a jazz fan so parts of the middle section are great but I dont feel it works overall. . . . I once heard some of the Buena Vista Social Club music translated and it was a bit of a disappointment. . . . Things like. . . My donkey is very tired and has worked all day in the mountains, and we have no hay. . . and it sounds so romantic too.

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    1. Rob, I don't think these songs are meant for any great poetic interpretation since the focal point is really the music.

      Compay Segundo gets another vote.

      Lee

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  24. Compay Segundo gets my vote. The other sounds too gloomy.

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    1. Toinette, the happy sound gets another vote!

      Compay Segundo

      Lee

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  25. This was a tough one for a bad reason-neither version really grabbed me, and both made me feel like I was on line at Filiberto's.

    I normally try to leave video out of it, but I found myself watching the video since the music just was not making it happen for me.

    The music was so close that I am resorting to voting for the Company Segunda version since I found the video more interesting.

    Larry

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    1. Larry, and I thought you were so musically diverse!

      Okay, I'll give your reluctant vote to Compay Segundo.

      Lee

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  26. I am probably one of the few Canadians that has not made it to Cuba! I actually want to visit there before the States gets a hold of it and makes everything look polished and new. I know the old cars will also be a thing of the past. I love the traditional music always but there is something so unique to Caifanes version. First I love their voices which are very strong. I like the infusion of jazz and Latin music which is very original so I go with Caifanes

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    1. Birgit, I agree that if Cuba bows to the sensibilities of a misguided US public they will over commercialize the country. I think they should make it like a historical Disneyland and make things more like the 40's and 50's with all of the amenities of the modern age underlying it all.

      Caifanes scores another sorely needed vote.

      Lee

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  27. Compay Segundo. I love 30's jazz, and that one sounds more like that timeframe. Cool song, and new to me.

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    1. Carol, "La Negra Tomasa" is a much loved Cuban standard commonly heard throughout Latin America.

      Compay Segundo retains a wide lead.

      Lee

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  28. I don't see myself going to Cuba anytime in the near future, regardless of who is ruling. I just hope the next one isn't a terrorist :)

    This is a tough choice; both versions have their merit. I really got into the soft horns of Segundo. The dancing girl is just the icing on the cake, so to speak. She gave the video personality, hahaha. but the music was dance worthy.

    Caifanes had a beautiful sound too. It took me a few seconds to get into them, but they did so much more with the song with their instruments. Ya know, I think I could write an action/mystery scene to this music. Nicely rendered, Caifanes gets my vote.

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    1. Dolorah, I doubt if I'll be going to Cuba anytime soon if ever. My wife has already said that she doesn't want to go.

      Caifanes does have a mysterious sound to it--I can see a mystery scene with that behind it.

      A vote for Caifanes.

      Lee

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  29. I liked both of these versions a lot. But, in my opinion, attaching the labels "new wave" and "prog rock" to Caifanes is not really accurate. At least it's not by the "American" definitions of those terms. I know this because if that had TRULY been "new wave" or "prog rock" according to the general American understanding of those terms, I would NOT have liked Caifanes. And yet I did. (I know music well enough to say that "American" new wave and prog-rock rarely appeals to me.)

    Caifanes may be "new wave" and "prog rock" in Mexico, but it certainly is not here in the United States.

    Nevertheless, although I enjoyed listening to BOTH of these recordings all the way through, my vote goes to Compay Segundo.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  30. STMcC, you might want to listen to more of Caifanes music before making the judgement about their style. They are not prog in the same way as Yes, Porcupine Tree, or Jethro Tull and not new wave as in the Police, Depeche Mode, or New Order. They identify with King Crimson but they don't really sound like that group. They are part of that movement with the Latin/Mexican influence.

    I think they have a great sound that is nothing like typical Mexican music. Apparently they recorded "La Negra Tomasa" to show that they connected with their cultural heritage, but it is not representative of their usual sound.

    I am not surprised by your vote for Compay Segundo since I am aware of your affinity for Buena Vista Social Club.

    Lee

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    1. LEE ~

      >>... They are not prog in the same way as Yes, Porcupine Tree, or Jethro Tull and not new wave as in the Police, Depeche Mode, or New Order. They identify with King Crimson but they don't really sound like that group.

      OK, well, Porcupine Tree and New Order, I don't know. But the rest I DO consider to be Prog-Rock and New Wave, and I don't like ANY of those bands, including King Crimson, which I definitely consider Prog-Rock.

      The only Prog-Rock band I can think of in which I do like a few - not many, but a few - of their recordings is ELP. I do like a lot of Pink Floyd, but I think of that as more "Psychedelic Rock" than "Prog-Rock".

      So, will you post some URLs to Caifanes recordings that I WOULD consider to be "New Wave" or "Prog-Rock" according to the American definition of those terms? Now I'm curious, because I liked their take on "La Negra Tomasa" a great deal, and it's hard for me to imagine them playing something I would dislike as much as I do most American-style "New Wave" and "Prog-Rock". Thanks!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Of course when you start compacting genres into simple labels like "Prog" or "New Wave" you get such a wide range of groups of styles. And there is often a lot of overlap in styles especially as the artist becomes more diverse.

      Here are links to a sampling of songs by Caifanes:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF0miVDHdGc

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRJIdBh-c_M

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLjOpkYhea8

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZVfWt7uYjc (live performance--do they look New Wave or like a "Mexican Band"?)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EkWoXexCtY (a whole disk of songs)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_HYGujo7dM (another full album of songs)

      There's plenty more to be found by Caifanes as well as the group Saul Hernandez went on to form later, Jaguares--a group that I like better then Caifanes though I think Caifanes does some pretty great music. But it's a style that I enjoy.

      Lee

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    3. Now you've got me listening to one of those Caifanes albums. It's been quite awhile since I've listened to them. I'm reminded of what a dynamite group they were. At least to my liking of music. This is some tasty innovative rock music.

      Lee

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  31. I can only view one of them due to region-locking (Compay Segundo) but I really liked it. The video was playful, colorful, and catchy. All the things I like in music videos. :)

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    1. Alex, that's the first time one of the videos I've put up has been blocked in another country. It's happened to others so I guess it was bound to happen to one of mine eventually.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Lee

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  32. Sheboyganboy SixJune 16, 2015 at 1:07 AM

    Lee -

    It is late, and i just spent about 10 minutes writing a comment for your blog. Unfortunately, I was a complete idiot and did NOT copy and paste it in. I typed it spontaneously and blogger lost it! Man, I hate blogger! No time to redo it now.

    I vote Compay Segundo for reasons that only BLOGGER knows!

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    1. SB6, no idea why comments get lost like that. It's happened to me sometimes as well, but fortunately I type so slow that usually I don't lose much when it happens. Would love to have read your comment.

      A vote for Compay Segundo.

      Lee

      Delete
  33. Gotta go with the original, Compay Segundo. Just watching him dance around brings a smile to you. Hope I'm full of so much vigor if I make it to 95.
    The 2nd version is most definitely 80's influenced. A good challenge match up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie, it is joyful to see ol' Compay singing and dancing like that.

      Compay Segundo gets another vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  34. I vote for the last band, Caifanes. I am curious about them being influenced by King Crimson--their music seemed way too latin, but both bands are good--somewhere I have a couple of CDs of Cuban music.

    You seem to have a good thing going with the battle of the bands--I was thinking about starting a group for reading authors of each state in the union--I think it is interesting and place often plays big in my writing... I wonder if it would work. I was thinking I should start it with the first state and work down and then realized I don't know a single writer from Delaware...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sage, reading authors according to state would be an interesting goal. I'd say if you put out a call on your blog someone will step up from the missing states or at least mention someone they know. That would be an interesting challenge.

      Most of the music by Caifanes does not have as much Latin influence. They recorded "La Negra Tomasa" to show they could do it I guess and it was a smart move since it became a big hit for them.

      I've got your vote for Caifanes.

      Lee

      Delete
  35. I liked both versions of this. I liked Compay Segundo's better, because I like the more-traditional sound. Caifanes did a good job of it, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, John, I'll give your vote to Compay Segundo.

      Lee

      Delete
  36. Hi Lee,

    No contest for me, Compay Segundo, gets my vote.

    Time for me to go to Havana, reside there, but a fifty year old car and not have to worry about the car's computer acting up. Then again, will the fifty year old car actually start.

    All the best, good sir.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary, apparently they've got those old cars running all over the island. I guess they haven't had much choice.

      Another vote for Compay Segundo.

      Lee

      Delete
  37. Hi Lee. This was so interesting. My only exposure to Cuba music was Dezzie Arnez... 'I love Lucy' fame. That might be enough to have me go with the first version you presented, but I really liked the Caifanes' version. It was a bit long, but wow - this said, 'Jazz' to me!

    I vote for Caifanes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dixie, I'll bet you are aware of a lot more Cuban music than you realize. With the embargo artists and recording companies may not be anxious to capitalize on the Cuban connection.

      For you it's Caifanes

      Lee

      Delete
  38. Oh hands down - Compay Segundo - parra siempre! Woot :-) I can smell the saltwater now. Can somebody toss me a lime?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, ready for Havana?

      Another vote for Compay Segundo

      Lee

      Delete
  39. I love Compay Segundo's moves, but the sound for me is Caifanes. Lo apprecio mucho.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie, the old guy kept his moves up until the end.

      But Caifanes gets your vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  40. I vote for Compay Segundo--it seems more authentic Cuba, while the second version is tainted with outside influences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I wouldn't call it "tainted" but stylistically different.

      Compay Segundo get another vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  41. I like the vocals of Caifanes better, but it lasts too long for me to stick with it. Hard call. I'll go with Caifanes as my vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loni, they edited out the long instrumental for radio release, but that's my favorite part.

      A vote for Caifanes.

      Lee

      Delete
  42. Ahhh, you just took me back a few decades. My dad's a pianist and arranger, plus he led a band back in the day and this song was a staple. Thanks. I loved this post.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cuban, I'll bet they played the song wonderfully.

      Lee

      Delete
  43. Give my vote to Compay. I love that Cuban sound, the sound of the Caribbean. The other was interesting and it did sound very Mexican, but not a good to these ears as Compay's traditional Cuban sound.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAE, and another vote to Compay Segundo

      Lee

      Delete
  44. Sorry I got here so late. For some reason I couldn't play the second version yesterday. My vote is also for Compay Segundo. It's amazing how much energy he had so late in life. Have a great trip, Lee!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, I should be so energetic at my age! We're looking forward to our journeys.

      Your vote came in too late to count but either way it wouldn't have changed the outcome by much at all. Your man Compay Segundo won handily.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee