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For the Rubén González album, see Chanchullo (album). Chanchullo_sentence_0


Single by Orquesta de Arcaño y sus MaravillasChanchullo_header_cell_0_1_0
A-sideChanchullo_header_cell_0_2_0 "El que sabe, sabe"Chanchullo_cell_0_2_1
ReleasedChanchullo_header_cell_0_3_0 1957 (1957)Chanchullo_cell_0_3_1
RecordedChanchullo_header_cell_0_4_0 1957Chanchullo_cell_0_4_1
GenreChanchullo_header_cell_0_5_0 Danzón-mamboChanchullo_cell_0_5_1
LabelChanchullo_header_cell_0_6_0 GemaChanchullo_cell_0_6_1
Songwriter(s)Chanchullo_header_cell_0_7_0 Israel "Cachao" LópezChanchullo_cell_0_7_1

"Chanchullo" (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃaɲ.ˈtʃ; literally: "scam", "racket", "hustle") is a danzón-mambo composed by Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" López. Chanchullo_sentence_1

It was first released as a single in 1957 by Arcaño y sus Maravillas. Chanchullo_sentence_2

It was the third single released on Cuban independent record label Gema and has been covered by multiple artists including Tito Puente, Típica '73 and Rubén González. Chanchullo_sentence_3

Puente himself reworked the song as the successful "Oye cómo va", later recorded by Santana, for which Cachao received no credit. Chanchullo_sentence_4

Instrumental versions of the song have been recorded variously under the titles "Mambolandia" and "Mambología", often credited to Peruchín. Chanchullo_sentence_5

Composition and recordings Chanchullo_section_0

The first recording of "Chanchullo" was made in 1949 for RCA Victor by Julio Gutiérrez's orchestra under the title "Mambolandia" and credited to Peruchín, who plays piano on the track. Chanchullo_sentence_6

An edited version of "Mambolandia" was included in the 1950 Cuban-Argentine film Off to Havana I Go, specifically for a dancing scene starring María Maceda and Rolando García at the Cabaret Montmartre in Havana. Chanchullo_sentence_7

This performance was later included in a documentary film on the origin of the mambo produced by Cubavisión. Chanchullo_sentence_8

It has been named as one of the most important films involved in spreading mambo. Chanchullo_sentence_9

The first version of "Chanchullo" credited to Cachao was recorded in 1957 by Arcaño y sus Maravillas, one year before their dissolution. Chanchullo_sentence_10

For the recording, the group featured composer, bassist and musical director Israel López "Cachao", who had left the group in 1949. Chanchullo_sentence_11

Bandleader Antonio Arcaño was no longer performing on flute for health reasons, so Eulogio Ortiz played the flute parts. Chanchullo_sentence_12

Like many other 1950s recordings by the Maravillas, this piece likely originated from an earlier composition from the period when Cachao and his brother Orestes composed most of the bands danzones (1937–1950). Chanchullo_sentence_13

Most authors agree that "Rareza de Melitón"—first played by the Maravillas in 1942—is the precursor to "Chanchullo". Chanchullo_sentence_14

According to Max Salazar, "Rareza de Melitón" could have been composed as early as 1937, which would make it one of the first examples of danzón-mambo, predating "Mambo" by one year. Chanchullo_sentence_15

Most sources assign the authorship of "Rareza de Melitón" to Cachao, while Helio Orovio credits his brother. Chanchullo_sentence_16

In 1958, Colombian musician Luis Andrés and his orchestra recorded "Chanchullo" under the title "Mambología" for the album Fiesta en París, released by Vergara. Chanchullo_sentence_17

In 1960, Rolando Aguiló also recorded "Chanchullo" under the title "Mambología" for his first Cuban Jam Session album issued by Maype. Chanchullo_sentence_18

These versions are almost identical to the recording of "Mambolandia" by Julio Gutiérrez. Chanchullo_sentence_19

The Panamaian band Máximo Rodríguez y sus Estrellas Panameñas recorded "Chanchullo" under the title "Mambología" for their album Felicidad y bogaloo. Chanchullo_sentence_20

Colombian band Séptimo Sentido recorded "Mambología" in 2003 and credited it to Máximo Rodríguez. Chanchullo_sentence_21

Tito Puente recorded "Chanchullo" in 1959, and in 1963 he built on the tune's introduction to compose "Oye cómo va". Chanchullo_sentence_22

As shown in the documentary Cachao: Uno más, when asked whether he would sue for his rightful share of the royalties, the notoriously humble Cachao shrugged and said: "You know how kids are". Chanchullo_sentence_23

On August 4, 1990, Cachao joined Tito Puente on stage for a performance of "Oye cómo va" as part of the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Chanchullo_sentence_24

Before the performance, Puente introduced Cachao by saying: "This gentleman is responsible for all the music we play". Chanchullo_sentence_25

Track listing Chanchullo_section_1

Personnel Chanchullo_section_2


  • Antonio Arcaño  – leaderChanchullo_item_0_0
  • Israel "Cachao" López  – musical director, bassChanchullo_item_0_1
  • Eulogio Ortiz  – flute, soloistChanchullo_item_0_2
  • Orestes López  – pianoChanchullo_item_0_3
  • Ernesto Duarte  – producerChanchullo_item_0_4

Cover versions Chanchullo_section_3

Discogs and Allmusic list cover versions by several performers: Chanchullo_sentence_26


  • Tito Puente, on the album Mucho Cha-Cha (1959)Chanchullo_item_1_5
  • Gilberto Cruz, on the album Chanchullo (1971)Chanchullo_item_1_6
  • Típica '73, on the album Charangueando con la Típica 73 (1980)Chanchullo_item_1_7
  • Fania All-Stars, on the album Greatest Hits (1992)Chanchullo_item_1_8
  • Olavo Alén Rodríguez Son Ensemble Nos Naranjos, on the album From Afrocuban Music to Salsa (1999)Chanchullo_item_1_9
  • Rubén González, on the album Chanchullo (2000)Chanchullo_item_1_10
  • Joaquín J. Oliveros, on the album De Bala (2000)Chanchullo_item_1_11
  • Somos Amigos, on the album Imagínate Cuba (2005)Chanchullo_item_1_12
  • Charanga Tropical on the album Live! (2006)Chanchullo_item_1_13
  • Buena Vista Social Club, on the album At Carnegie Hall (2008)Chanchullo_item_1_14
  • Cuba Jazz Millennium All Stars, on the album Tributo a Arsenio, Chano Pozo y los Clásicos (2008)Chanchullo_item_1_15
  • Al De Lory, on the album Hot Gandinga (2009)Chanchullo_item_1_16

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