Hugo Blanco pt.1: Latin-harping

There’s Dorothy Ashby and Johnny Teupen, but Veneluezan born harpist Hugo Blanco had a little bit of a groove as well. Blanco is probably best known for his song  “Moliendo Cafe” , although his authorship of it is disputed even to this day. Blanco, born Hugo Cesar Blanco Manzo,began his musical career at the age of 12 meticulously observing the musicians at the local radio station in his hometown of Caracas, before long he saves enough money to buy his first cuatro and that same night began to produce his own songs and melodies. Blanco called his musical practice “Ritmo Orquidia”, which was a fusing of  cuban rhythms and the Venezuelan jaropo, but “Ritmo Orquidia” was also an aesthetic of producing exciting and new sounds from the world around him. Here’s three songs taken from the Mexican Eco pressing of “Cumbias con Arpa” released in 1971. These aeren’t exactly songs that he’s best known for, but they are nice examples of Blanco’s harp in a groovin mode. “Mister boogaloo” is Blanco’s own compositon borrowing the genre’s distinctive soul-clap and with the horn’s emulating the chorus of Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang”, next is an instrumental cover of Roberto Carlos’ late 60’s rock groover “Namoradinha de um amigo meu”, and lastly is a nice version of the Cuban standard “Palma Soriano”.  Gozalo.  EB

Mister Boogaloo (H.Blanco)

Enamorada de un amigo mio (R.Carlos)

Palma Soriano (Cruz-Blanco)

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