As promised here are a couple of nice Descargas, a style of Latin music I have been deeply in love with for quite some time. The word Descarga itself means to explode or unload in Spanish, and really it describes the music perfectly: descargas are often uptempo and freely organized allowing musicians to release bursts of style during numerous solos throughout a typical song. The results are an absolute pleasure to listen and dance to!
First up is a song off of the classic Boogaloo Frog LP by Johnny Zamot, a famous Latin musician from Puerto Rico who made his name in the New York Latin Jazz scene of the 1960s. The backbone of many descargas is a solid piano riff (or bass line), and “Descarga Zamot” has a killer one matched only by the potency of the horn section. I just wish the track lasted longer!
I also wanted to throw in an earlier example of descarga, this one coming from 1960 Cuba in Julio Gutierrez‘ “Descarga Caliente”. Roughly 17 minutes long, the song preserves a raw energy throughout its entirety and remains interesting even after this extended of a period. You’ll want to stick around for the whole show.
The best part about all this is there are countless really great descargas out there just waiting to be discovered.
Johnny Zamot: “Descarga Zamot”
From his Introduces the Booglaoo Frog LP (Discomoda/ 7.11 Records, Colombia, 1974/196?)
Julio Gutierrez: “Jam Session (Descarga Caliente)”
From his Cuban Jam Session volume 2 LP (Panart, 1960)