Manteca (song)

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"Manteca" is one of the earliest foundational tunes of Afro-Cuban jazz. Manteca (song)_sentence_0

Co-written by Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo and Gil Fuller in 1947, it is among the most famous of Gillespie's recordings (along with the earlier "Night in Tunisia") and is "one of the most important records ever made in the United States", according to Gary Giddins of the Village Voice. Manteca (song)_sentence_1

"Manteca" is the first tune rhythmically based on the clave to become a jazz standard. Manteca (song)_sentence_2

History Manteca (song)_section_0

In 1947, Gillespie asked Mario Bauzá to recommend a Cuban percussionist for his big band. Manteca (song)_sentence_3

Bauzá suggested Pozo, a rough-living percussionist already famous in Cuba, and Gillespie hired him. Manteca (song)_sentence_4

They began to work Pozo's Cuban-style percussion into the band's arrangements. Manteca (song)_sentence_5

The band was touring in California when Pozo presented Gillespie with the idea for the tune. Manteca (song)_sentence_6

It featured a bridge of two eight-bar trumpet statements by Gillespie, percussion patterns played by Pozo, and horn lines from Gillespie's big band arranger Walter "Gil" Fuller. Manteca (song)_sentence_7

According to Gillespie, Pozo composed the layered, contrapuntal guajeos (Afro-Cuban ostinatos) of the A section and the introduction, while Gillespie wrote the bridge. Manteca (song)_sentence_8

Gillespie recounted: "If I'd let it go like [Pozo] wanted it, it would have been strictly Afro-Cuban all the way. Manteca (song)_sentence_9

There wouldn't have been a bridge. Manteca (song)_sentence_10

I thought I was writing an eight-bar bridge, but after eight bars I hadn't resolved back to B-flat, so I had to keep going and ended up writing a sixteen-bar bridge." Manteca (song)_sentence_11

The rhythm of the 'A' section melody is identical to a common mambo bell pattern: Manteca (song)_sentence_12

Manteca (song)_description_list_0

  • Manteca (song)_item_0_0

Early performances of "Manteca" reveal that despite their enthusiasm for collaborating, Gillespie and Pozo were not very familiar with each other's music. Manteca (song)_sentence_13

The members of Gillespie's band were unaccustomed to guajeos, overly swinging and accenting them in an atypical fashion. Manteca (song)_sentence_14

Thomas Owens observes: "Once the theme ends and the improvisation begins... Gillespie and the full band continue the bebop mood, using swing eighths in spite of Pozo's continuing even eighths, until the final A section of the theme returns. Manteca (song)_sentence_15

Complete assimilation of Afro-Cuban rhythms and improvisations on a harmonic ostinato was still a few years away for the beboppers in 1947." Manteca (song)_sentence_16

"Manteca" was first performed by the big band at Carnegie Hall on September 29, 1947; it was very well received. Manteca (song)_sentence_17

The big band recorded the tune on December 22, 1947, and in early 1948 they toured Europe for a few months, without including the piece in their set list. Manteca (song)_sentence_18

Instead, they featured the two-part tune "Cubana-Be/Cubana-Bop", recorded eight days before "Manteca", as their nod to Afro-Cuban jazz. Manteca (song)_sentence_19

Resuming touring in the Spring 1948, the band replaced "Cubana-Be/Cubana-Bop" with "Manteca" in their set list, augmented with Pozo's abakuá chants; audiences and critics responded strongly. Manteca (song)_sentence_20

The New Yorker and Life both printed pictorials and reviews of the band. Manteca (song)_sentence_21

Life wrote that Pozo was a "frenzied drummer", "shouting incoherently" in apparent "bop transport". Manteca (song)_sentence_22

Down Beat said in September 1948 that "Manteca" was performed "almost as a tribal rite", making a primitive statement. Manteca (song)_sentence_23

On October 9, 1948, the song was recorded as part of a show at the Royal Roost in New York. Manteca (song)_sentence_24

Gillespie responded to the crowd's amusement at Pozo's chanting by mimicking Pozo's chants himself, evoking laughter from the audience. Manteca (song)_sentence_25

This type of clowning was common to Gillespie's stage presence but it was in contrast to his serious effort to incorporate Afro-Cuban elements into jazz. Manteca (song)_sentence_26

On this recording, someone is heard playing the 3-2 son clave pattern on claves throughout a good portion of this 2-3 song. Manteca (song)_sentence_27

This recording is the last one Pozo made of "Manteca"; he was shot and killed in a Harlem bar two months later. Manteca (song)_sentence_28

The Spanish word manteca (lard) is an Afro-Cuban slang term for heroin. Manteca (song)_sentence_29

Because mainstream jazz audiences are generally not aware of the innovations of Machito's band, "Manteca" is often erroneously cited as the first authentic Latin jazz (or Afro-Cuban jazz) tune. Manteca (song)_sentence_30

Although "Tanga" preceded "Manteca" by several years, the former is a modal descarga (Cuban jam), lacking a typical jazz bridge, or B section, and is not well known enough to be considered a jazz standard. Manteca (song)_sentence_31

When Gillespie first began experimenting with Afro-Cuban rhythms, the bebop pioneer called the subgenre cu-bop. Manteca (song)_sentence_32

The piece refers to racial tensions in America; Gillespie is heard singing, "I'll never go back to Georgia". Manteca (song)_sentence_33

In 1965, the Joe Cuba Sextet got their first crossover hit with the Latin and soul fusion of "El Pito (I'll Never Go Back To Georgia)". Manteca (song)_sentence_34

The "Never Go Back To Georgia" chant was taken from Dizzy Gillespie's introduction to this seminal Afro-Cuban tune, "Manteca". Manteca (song)_sentence_35

Influence Manteca (song)_section_1

In 1961, blues guitarist Bobby Parker had a Billboard Hot 100 hit with the song "Watch Your Step", which he wrote based on "Manteca". Manteca (song)_sentence_36

Parker said "I started playing the riff on my guitar and decided to make a blues out of it." Manteca (song)_sentence_37

Parker's song was performed on stage by the Beatles in 1961 and 1962, and, according to John Lennon, provided a musical basis for both "I Feel Fine" and "Day Tripper". Manteca (song)_sentence_38

Nikolai Kapustin, a Russian jazz-classical composer, wrote a piano duet called "Paraphrase on Dizzy Gillespie's 'Manteca' " featuring the two main themes and a middle section with blues-style improvisations. Manteca (song)_sentence_39

Notable recordings Manteca (song)_section_2

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manteca (song).