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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
Sounds really good! You play very well. Makes for a nice instrumental.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I've done several songs inspired by Jobim in the last year, really love his stuff.

Great! I like the little touches like chimes in there-
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Can we do in the vein of Egberto Gismonti work with Charlie Haden and Jan Garbarek? It does not follow the usual Bossa Nova. Besides if you went to Brazil, there is more to Bossa Nova.
I love the title and your ideas- and is that a mini schnauzer? If so, I have one of those!
 

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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:
Nice. Blaine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
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
This is so good! I like the idea of the organ in there for contrast, and the length of your tune could totally include more content I think. I love this kind of explanation of your song so that us listeners on here can give better input. And yes- lyrics always welcome- anything goes really in the context of the challenge somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Nicely produced and the synth sound (strings) adds a very soothing vibe. Love the pics and lava lamps were perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Can we do in the vein of Egberto Gismonti work with Charlie Haden and Jan Garbarek? It does not follow the usual Bossa Nova. Besides if you went to Brazil, there is more to Bossa Nova.
Yes- and it's amazing how many styles are included that have some Latin elements and kind of hard to define. Very creative music (logdrum)!
 

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There was live music today just a 10 minute walk from my house to the Ferry Terminal and the Naval Air Museum. A beautiful grey/stormy looking day but not too cold at all and a great view of San Francisco across the bay.

Just thought I'd share a short snippet of this particular style of Latin music. It seems like a lot of jazz musicians think of Bossa Nova or Samba when you say "Latin". I started out with the early Airto albums so I definitely love Brazilian music. But Brazilian music is really very different from most of the Latin styles I listen to. I'm guessing jazzers think of Bossa because Bossa's tend to have more complex "jazz" type chord progressions where many of the other Latin styles have simple repetitive chord progressions and focus more on the infectious rhythm that makes your butt and feet start moving.

This little sample highlights one of the features that most (non-Brazilian) Latin music has that captured my attention and pulled me into wanting to learn Latin music - and that is the "Tumbao" feel of the bass. The bass line will usually put the emphasis on four and the "and of two" -- and that locks in with the 2-3 or 3-2 clave feel which also fits like a puzzle piece against the montuno pattern played on piano or cuban tres or quatro/quinto/sexto etc. I think this is a bajo sexto the guy is playing in this clip. I have a Cuban Tres that I built - well, not "built" but I modified a Baby Taylor into a Tres. The Tres has 6 strings but they are grouped as three courses of double strings and it is great for playing that Montuno rhythm you hear in Cuban music. I'm going to have to practice a bit (it's been a few years since I touched it) and see if I can write something simple for this thread with the Cuban Tres and a bass using that tumbao feel.

 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I’m so glad you posted this because I agree the term Latin music seems to mean one thing to a lot of the musicians. A better description I guess would be Brazilian music for what a lot of people mean when they say Latin. As I am researching to do my original I am realizing the differences between things like salsa, samba, bossa nova, rumba, etc. there is Cuban music and reggae and so many different flavors that seem to be related. I guess for the purposes of this thread it’s kind of all over the place and that’s OK. Hopefully we will all learn some thing and can experiment with some things.
 
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This video really illustrates how the clave and montuno and tumbao bass lock together like puzzle pieces. When I first started to hear these kinds of rhythms it just blew my mind trying to figure out what was going on. I still have to work really hard to try and feel it. My ancestors are from Switzerland - so I've got completely different natural rhythm and would always find myself pulling back onto the "one" and squaring it up. But when I can get my brain out of the way and just feel this rhythm, it's a pretty magical thing. Notice how the bass never lands on the "one" ... also notice how he has the 2-3 clave playing while showing how the puzzle pieces fit together and then the clave drops out and all the pieces are still locked into that 2-3 clave rhythm - that clave is the essence and the glue that holds it together even if nobody is actually banging out an actual clave:
 

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This is great! And I hadn’t caught on that you’re in the Bay Area—I live in Marin but am in Berkeley weekly playing jazz. I’ve enjoyed your playing in your posts here and appreciate the extra info on other styles of Latin music.

There was live music today just a 10 minute walk from my house to the Ferry Terminal and the Naval Air Museum. A beautiful grey/stormy looking day but not too cold at all and a great view of San Francisco across the bay.
 

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OK ... I got up this morning and started fooling around with piano chords. I had Latin in mind but somewhere along the way the "Latin" seems to have faded out of it so I'm not entirely sure if this qualifies for this thread or not. If you have any idea what you would call this style, please tell me -- it's just what popped out when I started playing chords on the piano. I didn't put any percussion behind it and perhaps the right drum or conga groove would lead me to re-record the backing track with more of a Latin feel. Please let me know what you think and suggestions -- it's a work in progress. I'm going to post this and then go make tacos for lunch and maybe that'll give me some ideas :ROFLMAO:

https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Fnew-thing
 
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