The group I’m going to tell you about today is a joint venture of an American pianist-entrepreneur.
Bill Wolfer was a successful pianist from palm springs, California, who toured and played with the Jackson 5 and Later Michael Jackson.
But after visiting Habana one day at the end on the millennium, all of this was about to change.
At his first attempt in Latin music, the group, named “Mamborama” produced an interesting album which had more of an old style Cuban or maybe early north American, Salsa sound, dealing much with instrumental Mambo, but also producing some interesting salsa tunes.
This 1st album, “night of the living mambo”, was recorded at los angeles, California, and featured some US born Cuban musicians.
It became popular among many DJs in the USA and Europe, and made the group popular among the dancer crowds.
After their 1st album, Bill wanted to get down to Timba, the real thing, that illusive magic that Cuban musicians make, and have so many addicted to.
But he knew that you can’t achieve Timba greatness at the studio, but only after many relaxed rehearsals and some street trials.
So, from 2000 and onwards, Bill made a few trips to Habana, going to venues and concerts, meeting talented musicians, studying the mood and atmosphere…
Instead of mixing and matching individual musicians, Bill wisely decided to take the project to already working groups; if it ain’t broken, why try and fix it?
So, on the one hand, he arranged the project in Habana with the rhythm section and singers (back and one lead vocal) of Manolito y Su trabuco.
The other half of the album he recorded back at the states with some former Cuban musicians (many of which played with top Cuban bands like NG la Banda and Paulito FG before moving to the US) .
Although most of the piano playing on their 2nd disc is by Wolfer himself, 2 piano giants, Cesar Pedroso and Manolito Simonet, also drop by for some great piano playing in various tracks of the CD.
All in all, the 2003 CD “Entre La Habana y El Yuma”, became a great success and a best seller CD.
Seeing that this formula works great, Wolfer released the 3rd (and currently, latest) CD of the group, “Directamente al Mambo” in 2007.
This CD features the rhythm section and some singers of Manolito Y Su Trabuco, horn players from Klimax, and special guests Jose Luis Cortes and Tony Cala from NG La Banda and Roberto “guayacan” Hernandez, better know as “Roberton Van Van”.