BFTP Vol 290: El Chicano performing ‘El Grito’ on KCET LA in 1972
In today’s Blast From The Past, I wanted to shed light on a video that was uploaded to YouTube this year in very good quality from LA’s one and only El Chicano. El Chicano was one of the biggest fusion bands with Latin origins as the foundation of composition during the 70’s. Built out of the East LA music scene of the late 60’s and early 70’s, El Chicano was known for some of the most memorable live performances, unique cover songs and timeless albums. As successful as they were , they reflected that same energy in how politically conscious and active the band was. They celebrated all that is good in life as much as they tried to improve the quality of it. With a cross over sound that includes soul, jazz and other genres not found a lot in Latin music, El Chicano sold 100,000’s of records during the 70’s. Before complete critical acclaim and the birth of their vision, the band was touring heavily and single releases, radio airplay and important live dates solidified them as one of the premier Latin acts of the time. In the early 70’s, the band had just burst onto the scene in a big way and LA’s KCET programming network included them for a very special and lively performance.
El Chicano is one of those bands I don’t hear people talk about but when they are brought up, it seems like everyone knows about them. El Chicano’s talent level is off the charts and performances became legendary on a nightly basis because of this. Bobby Espinosa’s Hammond B3 organ sound is phenomenal on this video. It shows his versatility and ability to sound like Jimmy Smith and the other other Hammon B3 greats along with redefining the Hammon B3’s role in the context of what El Chicano was doing. The percussion section is heavy, consisting of timbales, congas and drums. They all constantly interact with one another and create endless poly-rhythms that groove so hard. One of my favorite bands of this style of music, definitely a video worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet.
edit: I would like to extend a very special thanks to Yosuke Kitazawa of KCET for correcting the info of the year on their website and mentioning our site. http://www.kcet.org/
Blas From The Past Volume 290
El Chicano performing ‘El Grito’
KCET LA 1971
Rudy Regalado – Timbales
Freddie Sanchez – Bass
Danny Lamont – Drums
Andre Baeza – Congas
Mickey Lespron – Guitar
Bobby Espinosa – Organ