Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

I finally spent my Christmas money on a new blu-ray player! I had resisted getting one for a long time because HD picture quality is just not all that important to me (sacrilege I know). But here’s what I didn’t know about blu-ray players, you can stream internet content through them! That means not only can I watch my streaming movies on the big screen now, I can also stream podcasts and music. I had on a great old NPR Jazz Profiles featuring Tito Puente yesterday so guess who we get to hear today.

Tito was born Ernesto Antonio Puente in 1923 and he grew up in Spanish Harlem. When neighbors complained that young Tito made too much noise banging on cans and bottles and table tops, his mother decided to channel his energy by getting him drum lessons. He spent three years in the army during World War II and then used the GI bill to study at Juilliard. In the 1950’s, during the height of his popularity, he helped bring Afro-Cuban rhythm to mainstream music. Here’s a video taken from the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival. It’s an awesome version of “My Favorite Things” from the movie “Sound Of Music.” Of course, Tito is playing the timbal and that’s Jorge Dalto on piano, Carlos Patato Valdez on congas, Mike Viñas on bass and Alfredo de la Fe on the violin.

Speaking of “Sound Of Music,” I’ve been working on a rewrite of “Snow White.” (Yeah I know but a lack of coherent segue has never stopped me before has it?) As I’ve said many times before the Disney movie is a masterpiece. The music is beautiful, and the animation is gorgeous. I love the dwarves and the evil queen but the prince is just boring and Snow White is… well she’s a shrill voiced idiot to put it bluntly. I checked the original tale because I thought maybe old Walt had done her an injustice but no, the movie actually adds a few IQ points to Snow! But I’m gonna add a few more and hopefully interject a bit of humor into the thing. Of course no one ever reads anything I write so you’ll have to take my word for it when I say it’ll be brilliant but, it’s gonna be brilliant!

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