This is the second in the series of the Master Sessions from UB&O, two albums which were recorded in both their hometown of Bristol and their spiritual home of Cuba. The project integrates music, literature and film into one compelling intrigue.
The project was co-written by, the man who forms the roots to popular Cuban music. He is Cuba's number 1 flautist and orchestrator, and recently he played on the successful 'Rubén González' and 'Buena Vista Social Club' albums.
Born in Cruces, Las Villas province in 1926, Richard Egües moved to Santa Clara at an early age. "My house was 'la Casa de la Música. My father was an integral part of the old school directing many bands. Our heads were completely submersed in music. Through his discipline, I studied and learnt a quantity of instruments such as the piano, flute, trumpet, double bass and lots of percussion."
Richard dreamt of success - to travel the World as the leader of a famous orchestra. He paid his dues whilst on this magical and unfounded road, performing for various bands. Then came the break. The founder of 'Orquesta Aragón', 'Orestes Aragón Cantero' invited Richard to play his flute with the Boys as a stand-in. The cheeky, choppy, and flirty Latin melodies cast a spell over the entire audience. Richard was invited in as a full member. From their foundation in Cienfuegos, 1939 the orchestra moved permanently to Havana in 1955. Richard didn't harbour a solitary reservation - mystical Havana emanated music. 'Radio Progreso' opened the doors to fame for Orquesta Aragón by serious plugging across the Antilles airwaves. Their status grew to levels defined by sheer folly with albums selling 30,000 copies in Puerto Rico alone! From here the story reads explosively - World sell out tours, Richard becomes the band's leading orchestrator,
recognition as Cuba's number 1 flautist, composes and performs over 100 themes of which interpreters include 'Nat King Cole', TV appearances and, of course, the glitzy shows in Havana's reputed Cabarets. In 1984, Richard left Orquesta Aragón forming his own - 'Orquesta Richard Egües', with whom he performed on this 'Master Sessions' series. Today, Richard and the Boys comprise a unique ensemble of vintage Salsa musicians that only Cuba boasts. They are 'Los Maestros'. Every Maestro has a confidante - in Richard's case his support, friendship and spirit is carried in the coolest of them all. His name is 'Peñalver'. When asked why the orchestra didn't leave Cuba like so many musicians did during the 1960s Peñalver responded calmly, "Listen, look, feel the
rhythm in the streets. Havana is our history, the roots from which we spring." Richard would be chuffed to know that his right hand man had spoken these Words for him between mild puffs on his fat Havana cigar.
The two mainstays of Up, Bustle & Out are ' Clandestine' Ein and Rupert Mould. ‘Clandestine’ Ein is the man behind the beats of 'Up ,Bustle and Out'. This renown recycler of vinyl will stop at nothing to find those elusive sounds, cleverly montaged together to create eclectic backing trax. His most recent haul of old 33's was still smouldering from a severe scorching in a fierce shop blaze, a bit singed round the edges, yet still playable. "We start off with hundreds of ideas, find out what fits and melt them all together into a demo," says Ein, "then hand it all over to some of Bristol's best jazz muso's for the finishing touches." Experimentation is the root - especially when it comes to the final mix with plenty of behind-the-scenes dub-effects and ambient treatments. "We love our 'Air Mixes' and hope to release them on a separate album one day."
Rupert Mould is an unusual fusion of Eastern European Gypsy blood and English aristocracy, of a voyage to the Americas when Europe appeared old and disenchanted, of a Grandmother who worked her whole life so that the family could be educated in Universities; these are the experiences that contributed to the ways in which Rupert Mould saw the World develop before him. Part anchored, part adrift. He met 'Clandestine Ein' in 1989 whilst hosting a Pirate Radio
show. 'For the People' radio boasted Bristol's most inspiring DJs - Daddy G & The Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty. This hooded scene grew into a club - The Moon Club where folk sweated to Rare Grooves, Hip Hop, Jamaican Dub and Latin. Then out of the blue beats, they were all cutting vinyl - an exciting, inspiring and important development. Rupert Mould has now conceived and produced 5 albums for U, B & O and Ninja Tune. So many of the songs are instrumentals, creating imagery within the music. The 'Cuban Master Sessions Series' was intended to set new ground upon broken ground; expanding into the production and collaborations with other artists, shooting films on Super 8 and cementing all this in the ubiquitous power of the written Word.
Please pop the CD-ROM into your computer; films of Coffee Fields in Cuba and Latin Culture in 'Spanish Harlem, NYC', and leaf through the new book title '...of dark voices on salt air', written after an encounter with the old Fisherman - Gregorio Fuentes - whose tale formed the essence of Ernest Hemingway's Nobel Prize book 'The Old Man And The Sea'.