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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
November 2022 OOTM: Write a Latin Tune

I was a beach boy, and I believe I learned my songs from the birds of the Brazilian forest. - Antonio Carlos Jobim

This is such a vibrant and passionate kind of music! There seems to be differences in how Latin music is defined, but here’s a dictionary definition of Latin jazz in particular:

Latin jazz is a genre of jazz with Latin Americanrhythms. The two main categories are Afro-Cuban jazz, rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music, with a rhythm section employing ostinato patterns or a clave, and Afro-Brazilian jazz, which includes samba and bossa nova.

But no hard rules as usual- it’s all for fun to prompt some songwriting and share ideas!

The different rhythms are the keys of course, but also chord progressions so I’m starting with this for some direction.
v=dUrvpgmjur0
 

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This is very cool but also very challenging for some of us white boys / girls / non binaries

My favorites in this general direction of music are some of the old Al di Meola songs like


and of course all the Jobim, Airto etc stuff that I have been trying to wrap my head around for 50+ years.

There is a great band here in town, Nube Nueve, the trumpet, bass and percussion players are very good personal friends


And of course, not to forget Horace Silver


And then there are the Latin adaptations of other songs:

 

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This feels like cheating having this tune already in the can. I was working with a Latin band where I was the only non-Latinx (I'm from Wyoming). This is a song I wrote but there isn't any sax or flute on this. I'm busy playing keyboards

This was a band that sounded really good live but just couldn't seem to work well in a studio environment. After two or three failed studio attempts (expensive wasted days) I decided to record the band myself - I had to learn on the job. I used creative mic placement because we were in a practice room without any sound treatment - in fact we were near the airport and frequently had to stop and wait for a plane to land before we could record - kind of hilarious really. But it worked because the band relaxed being in their own space and not feeling the pressure of studio. I recorded the band pretty much exactly as we play live and used minimal EQ/effects etc. BTW the picture of the band is the actual room where we recorded this.

I'll have to write something Latin this month with some sax or flute but in the meantime here is this sort of Latin thing I wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Facercate
EDIT: Oh ... if the voice at the intro sounds familiar (I stole it from this track to tack on to the TOTM October) this is the track that actually started out with that voice. It's our Conga/Timbale player who loved to do Mister Haney voice from the Green Acres TV series and I thought it was hilarious to stick in front of this tune :ROFLMAO:
 

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This feels like cheating having this tune already in the can. I was working with a Latin band where I was the only non-Latinx (I'm from Wyoming). This is a song I wrote but there isn't any sax or flute on this. I'm busy playing keyboards

This was a band that sounded really good live but just couldn't seem to work well in a studio environment. After two or three failed studio attempts (expensive wasted days) I decided to record the band myself - I had to learn on the job. I used creative mic placement because we were in a practice room without any sound treatment - in fact we were near the airport and frequently had to stop and wait for a plane to land before we could record - kind of hilarious really. But it worked because the band relaxed being in their own space and not feeling the pressure of studio. I recorded the band pretty much exactly as we play live and used minimal EQ/effects etc. BTW the picture of the band is the actual room where we recorded this.

I'll have to write something Latin this month with some sax or flute but in the meantime here is this sort of Latin thing I wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Facercate
EDIT: Oh ... if the voice at the intro sounds familiar (I stole it from this track to tack on to the TOTM October) this is the track that actually started out with that voice. It's our Conga/Timbale player who loved to do Mister Haney voice from the Green Acres TV series and I thought it was hilarious to stick in front of this tune :ROFLMAO:
This is very cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This feels like cheating having this tune already in the can. I was working with a Latin band where I was the only non-Latinx (I'm from Wyoming). This is a song I wrote but there isn't any sax or flute on this. I'm busy playing keyboards

This was a band that sounded really good live but just couldn't seem to work well in a studio environment. After two or three failed studio attempts (expensive wasted days) I decided to record the band myself - I had to learn on the job. I used creative mic placement because we were in a practice room without any sound treatment - in fact we were near the airport and frequently had to stop and wait for a plane to land before we could record - kind of hilarious really. But it worked because the band relaxed being in their own space and not feeling the pressure of studio. I recorded the band pretty much exactly as we play live and used minimal EQ/effects etc. BTW the picture of the band is the actual room where we recorded this.

I'll have to write something Latin this month with some sax or flute but in the meantime here is this sort of Latin thing I wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Facercate
EDIT: Oh ... if the voice at the intro sounds familiar (I stole it from this track to tack on to the TOTM October) this is the track that actually started out with that voice. It's our Conga/Timbale player who loved to do Mister Haney voice from the Green Acres TV series and I thought it was hilarious to stick in front of this tune :ROFLMAO:
holy cow that was awesome! Great recording, too and funny about having to deal with the airplane noise. I often have that with my mini schnauzer chiming in at the worst times when I'm trying to record something at home. Horn lines and a flute solo would have been a great addition to that already great tune. The groove is perfect.
 

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holy cow that was awesome! Great recording, too and funny about having to deal with the airplane noise. I often have that with my mini schnauzer chiming in at the worst times when I'm trying to record something at home. Horn lines and a flute solo would have been a great addition to that already great tune. The groove is perfect.
I don't know how many times I've found my phone going off in the other room or my Pyrenees barking when I listen to the playback. Now, unless it is completely disturbing, I'll just leave it in, sort of a personal signature.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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This feels like cheating having this tune already in the can. I was working with a Latin band where I was the only non-Latinx (I'm from Wyoming). This is a song I wrote but there isn't any sax or flute on this. I'm busy playing keyboards

This was a band that sounded really good live but just couldn't seem to work well in a studio environment. After two or three failed studio attempts (expensive wasted days) I decided to record the band myself - I had to learn on the job. I used creative mic placement because we were in a practice room without any sound treatment - in fact we were near the airport and frequently had to stop and wait for a plane to land before we could record - kind of hilarious really. But it worked because the band relaxed being in their own space and not feeling the pressure of studio. I recorded the band pretty much exactly as we play live and used minimal EQ/effects etc. BTW the picture of the band is the actual room where we recorded this.

I'll have to write something Latin this month with some sax or flute but in the meantime here is this sort of Latin thing I wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Facercate
EDIT: Oh ... if the voice at the intro sounds familiar (I stole it from this track to tack on to the TOTM October) this is the track that actually started out with that voice. It's our Conga/Timbale player who loved to do Mister Haney voice from the Green Acres TV series and I thought it was hilarious to stick in front of this tune :ROFLMAO:
That was really good! Like the piano and percussion, good singer too.
 

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I wish it didn't take me so much time to write tunes but I agonize for months trying to get things right. I can easily redo a tune a hundred times and re-write the line just as much. I've got a few I'm working on but not likely to complete any time soon so here's a tune from a few years ago. This is a recording done with BIAB as I've not gotten around to recording it with my band!!

https://soundcloud.com/jazzereh%2Fsatin-under-moonlight
 

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When I was working with the Latin band, I wrote this tune with lyrics. It was my first time writing a full set of lyrics (other than the lyrics I make up about my cat's stinky butt) and the lyrics were "OK" but not great. Not sure if lyrics are a part of these OOTM threads - I could share the lyrics if there is interest and maybe you guys could help me hip them up.

When I write a tune, I usually start with a bass-line that I think is catchy and then add a track with the chords and the basic melody idea. Then, in that basic and simple form, I will present it to the band and usually play along with just the drummer or bass and drums trying various feels in search of an "infectious groove". And then I would work with the singer and simplify the melody to get to the essence of it. As horn players we (or I for sure) tend to noodle a lot -- and so I try to get to the heart of the melody without a lot of flourish.

anyway .... while we were playing around with different Latin feels for the tune, someone suggested I try it as reggae. And that's how this version was born. I'm not sure if this qualifies as "write a Latin tune" but it does have congas and timbales and Latin percussion and a slowed and simplified Latin-esque piano montuno. The Latin elements are overshadowed by the Reggae I think.

Since my lyrics were amateur, I decided to mute the vocal track this morning and remove the second verse to shorten it up for now. I just recorded some tenor sax playing something similar to the vocal melody but I drastically altered the chorus melody because on Sax I could get away with it - is it too much of a departure from the verse melody?

Curious what you think. The sax lines are pretty much off the top of my head this morning and I'll probably completely re-think it after I have some lunch. Also where I cut the middle section out (right between the sax chorus and the guitar solo) I had a subtle (but driving) organ interlude before the second verse (both gone here). Perhaps I should put it back and turn the 2nd verse into a sax or flute solo? I just thought it would be boring to repeat the vocal melody a second time on sax (with vocal at least the lyric changes to tell more of the story). Comments/critique/suggestions all welcome.
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Fobsesion
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow! Just saw all of this- I will be listening to all of this stuff tomorrow and giving some input!
 
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