More Cuban grooves…Los Van Van

I came across this little video while looking up things on the Juan Pablo Torres post last week, it’s a pretty awesome in studio footage of Cuba’s Orchestra Los Van Van or simply Los Van Van in studio with the band’s bassist/producer, Juan Formell and  Mr. Juan P. Torres at the mixing board recording and later jamming out a club somewhere in 1970’s Cuba. The footage made me dig out my only record by the group, a late 70’s Mexican pressing (prob. a compilation) that I decided to give another spin.  Turns out on this listen I discovered that what I thought was a one-tracker actually has some interesting grooves, so I ‘ve picked my favorites to share.


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Like J. P. Torres the group’s been compiled lately on the recent Cuban funk compilations that have been hitting stores lately, but thankfully compilations just take a track or two often times just nicking the top of the iceberg of great bodies of material left to be enjoyed and discovered. So here’s a little batch of tracks from Los Van Van, a legendary band that rocked Cuban dancefloors throughout the 70’s and well into the 90’s. The band founded in 1969 by Juan Formell has for 35 years developed a distinctive take on Cuban music including creating a style called songo which incorporates elements of changui and son montuno creating an exciting blend that further was infused elements of rock, jazz, even funk led to some great soundz. Look out for their distinctive use of the claves and strings along with the charanga flute rhythms along with some synthesizers as well. For more on the band and their current manifestations check out the band’s site here. Enjoy the tunes EB.


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  1. The LP you have there is not a compilation – it reissues Areito LD 3615, which is one of the toughest early Van Van albums to come across. As you’ve noticed, it’s a good one!

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