Brazos Abiertos


santos_brazos_abiertos

John Santos and the Machete Ensemble

  1. Brazos Abiertos (John Santos) Arr. Santos/Calloway 6:56  Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. No Canto A Tus Ojos (John Santos) Arr. John Calloway 6:03  Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. Mi Plena De Libertád (John Santos) Arr. Calloway/Santos 5:46  Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. Buscando La Paz (Ron Stallings) 7:32 Arr. Stallings/Wallace/Santos   Nor Music (BMI)
  1. Apetegbí (John Santos) Arr. John Santos/John Calloway 4:37 Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. Bombon (Orlando Torriente) Arr. John Calloway 5:27 Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. Dale La Mano (John Santos) Arr. John Calloway 5:09  Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. Martinica (John Santos) Arr. Wayne Wallace/John Santos 6:02 Guataca Music (BMI)
  1. Herbs (Traditional Afro-Cuban) Arr. Santos/Wallace 6:11
  1. Going Home Tomorrow (John Santos) Arr. John Santos 6:52 Guataca Music (BMI)

Total                                         60:35

Running Time . . . . . . .61:01

Brazos Abiertos (Open Arms) is for grandparents, the indelible memories they leave us, and for all who understand the blessing of receiving others warmly. The intro and outro employ the Afro-Puerto Rican bomba rhythm, while the solo sections use the Afro-Cuban rumba as the point of departure.

Steve Turre – trombone (solo)
Andy Gonzalez – baby bass
John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – baritone sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Murray Low – piano
Pedro Martinez – tumbadoras (solo), blékete, clave
Javier Navarrette – bell, katá
John Santos – tumbadoras, buleador, djembe, shaker, bell, katá, cymbal, miscellaneous percussion

No Canto A Tus Ojos (I Sing Not To Your Eyes) is a guaracha with a brief bomba intro. It is inspired by, and dedicated to Aida with much love and gratitude.

No canto al esplendor de tus ojos,
tu sonrisa, ni tu voz inolvidable,
cuando mis pensamientos melodicamente
corren de prisa mi amor, hácia ti.

Veo con el ojo de la mente tu dulzura,
y una fuerza femenina y tan sensual.
Que tu grácia y tu andar tan salamera
y tu presencia amor me quita la ansiedad.

De las entrañas mas profundas de mi alma
pienso en ti y en nosotros con frecuencia.
Como hablas con tanta elocuencia,
eres tu mi amor la que me trae la calma.

Ojalá que encuentres la paz que tu buscas…
la felicidad que te sigue evitando
y el amor inmenso que vive en ti,
pa’ dejar la pena y seguir guarachando.

No canto a tu hermoso cabello,
ni tu perfíl tan delicado como es.
Es que ya te veo en toda tu belleza.
Ahora puede mas amor que el interés.

Eres, vida mia, un brindis a la vida.
Todos los dias te doy las gracias.
No canto a tus ojos, mi vida.

John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – alto sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – timbales
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Orlando Torriente – lead vocal
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
John Santos – tumbadoras, bongos, güiro, güira, bell, coro, djembe, axatse,                                     shaker

Mi Plena De Libertad (My Plena Of Freedom) is for one of Puerto Rico’s most dynamic ambassadors of rhythm, Luís Daniel “Chichito” Cepeda-Atiles (March 3, 1957 – February 5, 2003), lead drummer of the legendary guardians of Afro-Puerto Rican traditions, the Familia Cepeda, who was taken into the next life one day before he was to record as a guest on this piece. His inspirational, generous and joyful spirit is dearly missed, but will always be remembered and honored. We also pay homage to the profound Puerto Rican legacy of the Plena rhythm and traditions, and all the maestros Pleneros, past and present.

Me da libertad –2X
A bailar mi plena
Tienes que bailarla
Y tu verás que es buena 

Que bonita es mi tierra, perla caribeña, dulce azucena.
El pueblo gozando a compas de la plena.
Todo el mundo bailando en la noche buena.

Contra la injusticia, contra la tristeza, dice Maria Elena.
No hay cosa mas fuerte que mi rica plena. – 2X

Me libra de pesares, me libra de dolores, tambien de las penas.
Ya no me molestan cuando bailo mi plena.
Tienes que bailarla y tu verás que es buena.

La plena es la voz de la gente.

Que viene del barrio obrero, del pueblo decente. Oyelo bien.
Entonaron el chisme de la calle pa’ que te abre la mente. Mi plena.
La noticia del pueblo es la plena, segun Bumbún y Mon Rivera. Panderetero.
Cortijo y Maelo la vivían, la plena no morirá. Oye plenero.
En Borinquen plena nació, eso es la voz de la gente.

Para todos los pleneros y la gente de Tras Talleres, Dulces Labios, Barrio Obrero y San Antón, y a los pleneros ausentes. La plena perdurá hasta siempre.

Tienes que bailarla, que viva la plena. 

Que viva la plena.

Que viva la familia Cepeda.
Y Angel Luis Torruellas.
Que viva Truco y Zaperoko.
Y los Pleneros del Quinto Olivo bonco.
Ahora voy a cantarle a Chichito.
En el cielo está sonando su requinto.
Ahora tu plena en la Gloria la tocarás.
Con Don Rafa y Doña Caridad.
Oye tu plena jamás morirá.

 

John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – baritone sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – timbales
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Orlando Torriente – lead vocal
John Santos – tumbadoras, pandereta, güicharo, bell, coro
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
Barbara Valladares – coro

Buscando La Paz (Looking For Peace) is ­­­­­­­the first completed composition of a series conceived by composer Ron Stallings, entitled “A Context For Peace.” It evolves from a common concern for the “civilized” world’s current tendency towards war. It is a suite that makes use of open space, the sounds of nature, and the Cuban danzón, bolero, and conga de comparsa rhythms.

Ron Stallings – tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
John Calloway – flute, crasher cane
Melecio Magdaluyo – alto sax
Saul Sierra – baby bass
Jon Herbst – synth bass
Orestes Vilato – claves, timbales, bongos, bombo, bell
John Santos – waterphone, brushes, guiro, cymbal, ocean drum, tumbadoras,             maracas, gourd, quinto, shakers, snare drum, miscellaneous percussion

Apetegbí is a Lucumi (Afro-Cuban of Yoruba root) word that refers to the women who are hijas de Ochún (daughters of Ochún), the Yoruba orisha (saint) of sensuous love and money, whose domain is rivers and fresh water lakes. She is the patron saint of Cuba, and her shrine, La Iglesia De La Caridad Del Cobre in Santiago de Cuba (Oakland’s sister city), is a national landmark. These daughters of Ochún hold a special place in the hierarchy and rituals of Yoruba tradition. The “head” of this piece features a mosaic of contrasting meters and rhythms. The body of the tune is a descarga and vehicle for the solo flights of the tenor sax and the timbales.

 

John Calloway –flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – baritone sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – timbales
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
John Santos – tumbadoras, cuá, axatse, güira, tamborim, djembe, bell, coro
Bombon is a son-chá for those who still like to dance “pegaíto y despacito,” as the elders do it. 

Ritmo de canela
sabor a bombón
lo que traigo mi negra
escucha mi son.

Es lo que traigo mi negra,
ritmo de mi corazón.
Para que goces ahora,
mira que rico te traigo el son.

Lo que traigo es panetela,
no tiene comparación.
Porque viene del caribe.
Ahora te toca bailar mi son.

Para bailar mi son. 

Bailando en solo un ladrillito.

Orlando Torriente – lead vocal
 John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – baritone sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – timbales
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
John Santos – tumbadoras, guiro, quijada, coro

 

Dale La Mano (Offer A Hand) is a guaracha inspired by a trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico, where the strength of international solidarity can be deeply felt. The courageous people of this tiny island who in the Spring of 2003 succeeded in their sixty-year struggle to oust the US Navy (and halt the accompanying bombing and toxic contamination), have done much to unite voices for peace and justice worldwide.

En este mundo de hipocresía
y cultivadores de maldad,
de charlatanes, falsantes, y maliciosos.

Pa’ defender la familia
lo que vale es la amistad
y quedarse libre de ese ciclo vicioso.

Somos una raza humana
con intenciones de avanzar.
Nunca tomes ni un paso si no es palante.
La importancia de esta breve
estancia en este mundo
es abrir paso al acción semejante.

Que no te importe el idioma,
el color, y menos el país.
Todo el mundo desea desarrollar. 

Dale la mano que el mundo es pequeño
y somos una raza nada mas. 

Que no me invites al baile si tu no bailas. 

Que no me venga con cuento.

John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – alto sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – bongos, bell
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Orlando Torriente – lead vocal
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
Barbara Valladares – coro
John Santos – tumbadoras, clave, chékere, coro

Martinica is a merengue inspired by, and dedicated to the people of the beautiful Caribbean island of Martinique, where as with all the islands of the Caribbean, a magical Edenesque ambience is tempered by tragic colonial history. It was originally written and performed in 1994 as part of an original score for Under The Jaguar Sun, commissioned, choreographed, and presented by The Oberlin Dance Collective of San Francisco under the direction of Brenda Way.

You’ve seen trouble that your beauty belies,
but your resolve has never broken.
And though your prayers were never answered my love,
you look forward with determined eyes.

I know your body’s tired and very weary
because the sugarcane does not relent.
While all the sweat and the blood that you’ve spent
have drenched the land and filled the sea.

But if it was left up to me sweet lord knows
that I would rush to lift your heavy burden.
And I’d erase all the lies and the pain
that fill your past with misery.

The impossibility of knowing not withstanding,
we’d look forward to a brand new day.
No one could ever take our precious love away.

En mi alma tu siempre estarás. 

Como la caña da su melao,
Martinica tiene un tumbao.

 

John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – clarinet
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – tambora
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Orlando Torriente – lead vocal
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
Barbara Valladares – coro
John Santos – güira, shaker, bell, cymbal, miscellaneous percussion, coro

Herbs is for Osaín, the forest-dwelling Yoruba Orisha whose domain is that of herbs and plants, particularly in their medicinal and magical use. In Cuba as in Nigeria, among the many rituals in the birthing and creation of the sacred batá drums, Osaín must be consulted and appeased before the chosen tree from which the drums will be carved, is toppled. He is then an integral part of the consecration of the drums through invocation of chants and prayers, as well as through the extensive use of potions (omieros) concocted from ancient prescriptions of Osain’s herbs.

El rey de la hierba ven,
pa’ curarme a mi.

 

John Calloway – flute
Wayne Wallace – trombone
Melecio Magdaluyo – baritone sax
Ron Stallings – tenor sax
Orestes Vilato – timbales
David Belove – bass
Paul Van Wageningen – drumset
Murray Low – piano
Jose Luis Gomez – coro
Ismael Rodriguez – coro
Willie Ludwig – coro
John Santos – bata, chékere, waterphone, bell, coro, misc. percussion

Going Home Tomorrow is an example of the solid spiritual connections that underlie all the black musics of the Americas. It unites traditions from West Africa (Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria) and the United States in a bluesy lament of surrender and recognition, while giving voice to centuries of pain and deferred justice. It was originally written in 1994 as a tribute to the multitude of souls lost to AIDS which includes my brother Franco Angelo Barone (12/19/48-11/1/94), and my childhood friend, Steven Corpuz – they will always be with us. The piece is dedicated here to a great musician and inspiration, the last of his generation in my family, my great uncle, Domingo Perry (May 15, 1911 -July 25, 2003).

 

Well I’m goin’ home tomorrow,
raise my soul up to the sky.
Bring flowers and much music,
tell my mama not to cry.

Yea, bright and early I’ll be leaving.
Whose gonna miss me when I’m gone?
Tell my baby not to worry
‘cause I’m simply goin’ home.

My soul is free to travel
on the long ancestral road.
Lord I’m just a young man,
but I’ve got a heavy load.

You know my heart will be uplifted,
and my feet will dance on high.
I will sing to my creator,
and I’ll pray right by his side.

Tell me please if you know the answer,
will we meet those who have passed?
Will we break our bread together?
Will the love and glory last?

If I’m not at the breakfast table,
please don’t be all that surprised.
Set a tall glass of cool water,
and let peace be in your eyes.

You see my mind is full of sorrow,
and my body’s racked with pain.
So if I stay tomorrow,
what would I have to gain?

‘Cause I’m leaving in the morning.
I will never be the same.
Nothing earthly can detain me.
Plant two roses in my name.

Ron Stallings – bass clarinet, bass voice, lead and background voices,                                   handclaps
Orlando Torriente – lead and background voices, handclaps
Destani Wolf – lead and background voices, handclaps
Lakiba Pittman – lead and background voices, handclaps
John Santos – gankogui, uñas de chivo, claves, background voices, handclaps,footstomps
Jeff Cressman – handclaps, footstomps

Since our inception in 1985, we’ve been fortunate to find open arms and warm welcomes in places as diverse as Wisconsin, Havana, New York, Vermont, and California. Through the music, we attempt to express our gratitude to our audiences and to honor the pioneers and traditions of honest, creative music anchored by improvisation. These traditions and pioneers have honed a fraternal legacy of musicians, composers, poets, dancers, teachers, students, presenters, programmers, patrons, fans, and other appreciators. Your link in this chain is of the utmost importance.

Brazos Abiertos is a celebration of the diverse artistry, the deep respect, the quest for justice, the love, and the adventurous spirit created, developed, and left for us by our forebears. In acknowledging their gift, the difficulties of maintaining a 10-piece Latin band not withstanding, we accept the responsibility to uphold the music’s integrity, and its message of unity. Our premise of presenting both danceable and not-necessarily danceable compositions and arrangements is also a way of honoring the multi-faceted legacy of Afro-Caribbean-based Jazz.

We recognize the timeless contributions of so many unknown artists, the majority of whom were never considered to be artists, even by themselves. Their organic work carries a certain magic, and opens both the mind and the soul. We also wish much light and peace to all the maestros, young and old, whose paths we were fortunate enough to cross, who have recently passed, such as: Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Mongo Santamaría, Oscar Valdés Sr., Compay Segundo, Chichito Cepeda, Ricardo Cané, Polo Montañéz, Juancito Torres, Don Félix Alduén, Delia Martinez, and Malonga Casquelord. They will always be remembered as royalty in our hearts.

And let us not forget the spirituality of the music. Whether in the context of ritual, meditation, or simply to uplift the joy that often gets lost deep within ourselves, music heals. We frequently purport to teach music, but it is the music that teaches. We have but to listen . . . to feel . . . to dream.
john santos

Oakland, CA July 2003

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”   Steve Biko
Copyright 2003 Machete Records
(510) 530-1903
www.johnsantos.com

Produced by John Santos
#2,3,5,6,7,8,9 recorded 11/2+3/02, #1 recorded 1/10/03 at Bay Records, Berkeley, CA
Engineer – Jeff Cressman
Second Engineer – James Ruzicka

#10 recorded 3/03 at Cressman Studio, San Francisco, CA
All overdubs (except #9) done at Cressman Studio, 2003
All mixes (except #9) by John Santos and Jeff Cressman at Cressman Studio

#9 recorded 7/11/03 at Herbst Studio, Kensington, CA,
Engineer – Jon Herbst
Mixed by John Santos and Jon Herbst 7/15/03

Graphic Design – Tony Portillo

Photography – Jennifer Claire Hunter (cover), Hugh Lovell (musicians except where noted, Tony Portillo (instruments)

Mastered by Ken Lee, Oakland, CA (July 2003)

Liner notes by John Santos

As always, heartfelt thanks to:

Our ancestors and parents for immeasurable love, guidance and inspiration. All the members of The Machete Ensemble and our special guests for their art and dedication – they are all unquestionably among the very finest musicians and human beings with whom I’ve had the honor of working. John Calloway, Wayne Wallace, Orlando Torriente, and Ron Stallings for their compositional and arranging creativity. The legendary maestro Orestes Vilató for his rhythmic gifts and for maintaining the tradition. Madrina Nydia for always giving. Jeff Cressman for golden ears and heart. Massoud Badakhshan and the Haight Ashbury Music Center for 23 years of friendship and support. Latin Percussion and Sabian Cymbals for extraordinary instruments and assistance. Akbar Moghaddam of Sol Drums and Percussion, and Pete Engelhart for decades of friendship, help, and beautiful instruments and stands. The California Arts Council, and The Zellerbach Family Fund. Our dear spouses, beaus and families for EVERYTHING. Radio programmers everywhere who are the life link to our beloved public. And last but not least to YOU who support creative and traditional music in myriad ways, and recognize its value in our communities and schools.

PLEASE SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC !!!

In these times of extreme dishonesty and irresponsibility on the part of our so-called leaders, it is of particular importance to support and promote the arts that give peaceful yet profound voice to sanity, freedom, justice, and brotherhood. May the truth be told.