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Beyond Salsa Piano is a history and anthology of the role of the piano in the Cuban rhythm section – from its first appearance to the present. In a broader sense, it’s a study of the tumbao – the art of creating music from layers of repeating rhythmic and melodic phrases. Whether these syncopated figures are called tumbaos, guajeos, montunos, riffs or vamps, this Afro-Cuban concept lies at the heart of nearly every popular music genre from salsa to rock , funk, R&B, hiphop and jazz.

While presented as a set of method books, the series doubles as a history course and record collecting guide for listeners, dancers, and players of instruments other than the piano.

Perhaps the most important goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how tumbaos are constructed, their central role in the texture of Latin music of all eras, and the endless possibilities they provide for creative composing and arranging.
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Sacred Rhythms

Artist:   Ilu Aña

Style Released Album Tracks Charts
Afro-Cuban 1995 31 0


© 1995 Fundamento Productions. All rights reserved.
Audio album download includes album tracks, liner notes and cover art.
All audio tracks in MP3-VBR format. About LPM album downloads.
# Name Play Time Info
01  Canto Elegua
Alternative text
2:27 Owner of the crossroads and new beginnings
Red & Black beads
02  Canto Oyá
Alternative text
2:58 She is the ruler of the winds and tempests
Dark Purple beads
03  Canto Ogún
Alternative text
1:51 Lord of metals, fire and warfare
Green & Black beads
04  Canto Yemayá
Alternative text
2:29 Patron deity of women, goddess of the ocean
Blue & White beads
05  Canto Obatalá
Alternative text
2:42 Father / Mother of humanity, king of the orishas
All White beads
06  Canto Ochún
Alternative text
2:30 Goddess of love. marriage and beauty
Coral & Amber beads
07  Canto Changó
Alternative text
2:38 Warrior king of lightning and the sky
Red & White beads
08  Oru Seco
Alternative text
1:33 sample track is Eleguá, first orisha of the Oru Seco
09  Rumba Tonada
Alternative text
4:54 la sublime rumba tonada, dig the relaxed intensity
A riveting album featuring ancestral drums & chants along with the Oru Seco, a sacred suite of 23 movements performed by batá drums. Grupo Ilu Aña's director (Regino Jimenez) is a priest of Aña, the deity who is believed to reside within the sacred batá drums.

This album has 31 tracks for a total running time of 47:12(m:s) and includes extensive liner notes on the nature of the recording in addition to general information about Afro-Cuban and Yoruba music.

The first seven (7) tracks are 'cantos a los orishas' or songs to the orishas. These tracks include vocals and the traditional chants backed by the percussionists. The lyrics/text for these seven tracks are included in the liner notes. These seven orishas are commonly known as the 'Seven Powers' or las 'Siete Potencias'. The last track -la Rumba Tonada- is a favorite among rumberos world-wide becuase of its heartfelt delivery and great vibe. The twenty-three (23) tracks in between comprise the Oru del Igbodú (also called the Oru seco, or 'dry' oru because there's no singing), each a rhythmic representation of the orishas. Elegua is offered here in its entirety so that it may be compared to the Grupo Olubatá play-along recording (see Oru Seco Vol.1. Note: in this Ilu Aña version the okónkolo player starts late. Here is the order of the orishas (by album track number):

08- Eleguá
14- Babalú Ayé
20- Aganyú
26- Ochún
09- Ogún
15- Osain
21- Ifá
27- Yemayá
10- Ochosi
16- Osun
22- Orichaoko
28- Obba
11- Obaloke
17- Obatalá
23- Ibedji
29- Odudua
12- Inle
18- Dada
24- Yegguá
30- Changó
13- Oyokotá
19- Oggue
25- Oyá

Grupo Ilu Aña: Regino Jimenez (Iyá, percussion, background vocals); Fermin Nani (Itótele, percussion, background vocals); Jose Pilar (vocals, Okónkolo, percussion); Amelia Pedroso (vocals); Librada Queseada (background vocals). Producers: Regino Jimenez, Michael Spiro, Andrew Schloss. Recorded at Banff Center For the Arts, Banff, Canada in September 1994.

About the Oru Seco:
Call it a living rhythmic anthology or a collection of percussion lore, the Oru del Igdodú (commonly known as the oru seco, meaning without singing) is a constantly evolving body of work that every respectable percussionist must be familiar with. It is said that every possible interesting permutation between the 4/4 and 6/8 meters is represented in the oru seco. The movements are played on three batá (double-headed hourglass drums) led by the main drum -the Iyá- and supported by the Itótele and the Okónkolo. Even a shallow secular analysis of the rhythms will quickly reveal its profound influence of all Caribbean music (salsa being the most general term).

The word igbodú refers to a specific location in the ancient land of Yoruba (today known as the african nation of Nigeria), where the oracle was received by priests. In Cuba the igbodú is the area or room set aside as the shrine for the orisha and used during a ceremony or "toque de santo". The toques or rhythms of the igdodú are completely instrumental and are performed by the three drummers in front of the shrine at the beginning of the ceremony. The purpose of the toques is to musically salute all of the orishas (afro-deities). There are 22 to 24 primary toques (23 are demonstrated here) signifying a specific orisha and performed in a set order. While the toques themselves are highly evolved compositionally, they function more like a "call" rather than a rhythm. Each of these "musical prayers" is really a representation of that particular orisha. Thus role of the batá in the ceremonies transcends the usual function of drums, becoming a language that is similar to the spoken dialects of the Yoruba but unique in its own aural properties and its abilty to communicate with the divine realm.