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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Carlos Montoya

Home Base Established Albums Charts PTracks
Madrid, Spain 1903 1 0 0
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Carlos Montoya (13 December 1903 – 3 March 1993), a prominent Flamenco guitarist, was a founder of the modern-day popular Flamenco style of music.

Early life and career

Carlos Montoya was born in Madrid, Spain, unto a gypsy family, on December 13, 1903. As the nephew of renowned flamenco guitarist Ramón Montoya he seemed to have been born to play Flamenco, but it was his uncle who would be his biggest obstacle, as he refused to teach Carlos the tricks of the trade. He began studying the guitar with his mother and a neighboring barber, Pepe el Barbero, a.k.a. Pepe the Barber. By the time he was 14 years old he was accompanying dancers and singers in the cafes of Madrid, Spain.

In the 1920s and 1930s he performed extensively in Europe, North America, and Asia with the likes of La Teresina. The outbreak of World War II brought him to the United States where he began his most successful days as a musician, and frequently toured with the dancer La Argentina. Settling in New York City during World War II (circa 1941), he began touring on his own, bringing his fiery style to concert halls, universities, and orchestras.

Montoya toured year round but always returned to his homeland, Spain, to spend the Christmas holidays with his family.

Playing style

Montoya's playing style was idiosyncratic. He once said, according to Brook Zern:

"I do not play the way I do to please the public, though it certainly does, on five continents so far, and no other flamenco guitarist will ever fill the Houston Astrodome as I have. No, I play the way I do because to me, that is exactly the way the flamenco guitar should sound. It seems strange to me that the unknowing public should agree, while the real flamenco aficionados clearly do not...but that's the case."

His style was not particularly appreciated by serious flamenco students, who considered it less brilliant than many others, including that of Montoya's uncle Ramón. Carlos's own favorite flamenco guitarist, it was reported by Zern, was the obscure Currito de la Geroma. That he was unpopular among aficionados owes largely to the fact that Montoya learned in a non-traditional way and that he abandoned the compás which has evolved within flamenco over hundreds of years. Many of his works do not even keep perfect tempo, increasing and decreasing in speed almost whimsically. He was admired for the speed of his picados and undoubtably found popularity on the international stage as a result of this technically impressive pace. However, Montoya's playing is often criticized by flamenco traditionalists for having more flash than musical substance.

It is his unique work that detached Flamenco as only dance accompaniment and gave it a life and genre of its own. The modern definition of Flamenco was defined by the works of Carlos Montoya.

He was known to play with a capo on the 3rd fret and on really loose strings. It is suspected he tuned down and then compensated with the capo to increase his ability to apply picado.

Death

Montoya died a Flamenco legend in the tiny Long Island, New York town of Wainscott, New York(pop. 600+), March 3, 1993 of heart failure. He was 89.

Legacy

His unique style and successful career, despite all odds, have left a great legacy for modern day Flamenco. It is because of his pioneering work in popular Flamenco music that have allowed other great modern groups such as the Gipsy Kings to take hold in all parts of the world. A few of his video recordings can still be found on YouTube. --source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia