Good day dear readers and blog followers!
As you probably remember, last week we discussed Son, Changui, Danzon, Charangas and Conjuntos.
So today we are going to familiarize ourselves with one of the most well known and influential conjuntos of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Conjunto Roberto Faz.
As you can see from the photo above, at this time the typical conjunto has gone quite far and much more varied in number of members, instrumentation and playing style from the old days of traditional, rural, Son at the hills of Oriente;
Compared to the duos, trios and cuartetos of the eastern countryside , which typically had musicians as singers, playing bongos, tress, some sort of bass and maracas, we now have quite a different story, with the conjunto having many members (in this photo we can see 11, which is quite typical of the time in the urban setting), with several playing various horn instruments.
Others play the contrabass, bongos, congas, campana and piano, with several members being lead and back vocalists.
The typical playing style also changed quite a lot during the 1st part of the XX century, with the conjuntos now playing lots of Son Montuno, as compared to the classical style of Son typical of the early, rural, groups.
Roberto Faz was born September 18th 1914 at the Regla neighborhood of La Habana, and sang from an early age.
His artistic career began in 1927, singing in a children’s band called Chapman Sport, and from there took part in septeto ultamar, and after that at the Hit cabaret, in 1932.
Roberto’s professional breakthrough came in 1944, when he joined Conjunto Kubavana, mainly singing boleros (with a unique, smooth and lyrical style that influenced all other bolero singers of the time, and earned Roberto some fame in La Habana and all of Cuba), and later that year, as he became the vocalist of Conjunto Casino, starting an international career that will take him to many Latin and Mesoamerican, the united states and world renowned fame.
In 1955, when Conjunto Casino underwent some major personnel changes, Roberto decided that it was time to form his own band, and thus the Conjunto Roberto Faz was formed, debuting with concerts in 1956.
The group’s first disc was released in 1957, with several others in following year, much air time on the radio, and concerts at the best halls of La Habana, other Cuban cities and the whole region of the Americas, from Mexico to New York.
The groups is well known for hits such as Comprension, Como vivo en Luyano, Cositas que tiene mi Cuba, Melao de cana, Sabrosona and the song presented today, Pintate los Labios Maria.
The conjunto is also credited with the creation of a new rhythm in the 1960s – el ritmo Dengue, and also the popularization of performing potpourris of boleros, called “boleros ligaditos”.
Roberto died on April 26th, 1966.
So, here is the classic Son Montuno…