Mac Gollehon – La Fama
From the Artist: This Collection is a Compilation of live performances from 1980-1996.I formed several bands over the years and recorded at a wide variety of venues, with so many of my valued friends during this great period for live music in NYC. All of the musicians on these recordings were players and leaders on the gigs I was involved with at that time and had the pleasure of performing with. On occasion I would get the opportunity to have them perform with me on my shows as a leader.
When I arrived in NYC in1979 the Latin Music Scene was busy and productive. I began working immediately with many of the great bands of the time. Ray Maldonado, the well-known trumpeter from Mongo Santamaria brought me in as a sub and eventually as a member of the bands of Ray Barretto and Hector Lavoe. Hector was such a natural talent and encouraged me to form my own bands. At the same time Ray Maldonado and I were doing a large amount of recording for artist of many genres. Among them were Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, whom we recorded several records for and Doc Cheatham was also in the trumpet section. Mean while, I was getting gigs together as a leader in various clubs and had Ray contract the bands for me. Some gigs included the horn section on these recordings. Trumpets: Ray Maldanado, Jose Febles, Doc Cheatham, Puchi Boulong. Trombones: Jose Rodriguez, Barry Rogers, Harry D Aguir, Michael Grey. Organ and Piano were used as to what instruments were available at the venue. These shows featured such luminaries as: Charlie Palmieri, Hilton Ruiz, Larry Harlow and Gilberto “El Pulpo”Colon.
During this period in the early eighties I was also working in the Larry Harlow Orquesta. This is where I met the percussionists on these live tracks, such greats as Frankie Malaby, Potato Valdez, Poncho Roman, Nicky Marrero, Kako Bastar, Eddie Montalvo, Pablito Rosario, Ray Colon, Jimmy Delgado, Sammy Pagan. I had met Sa Davis in Boston years earlier. Playing with these amazing giants on a regular basis and hearing them on stage all of the time was a great learning experience.
Around 1983 I began recording with super producers, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. The drummer in this team was Tony Thompson. In 1985, I recorded INTROSPECTION and NITE TRAX with Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson. These are the only studio sessions in this collection and also the first time I met Lester Bowie in the same studio. Lester played a solo right after mine on NITE TRAX. Ten years later I met Lester Bowie again and began working in Lester Bowies Brass Fantasy until 2000. As you can hear on the recording of INTROSPECTION and NITE TRAX, Bernard Edwards and Tony Thomson had a very unique and special groove when combined with the Latin percussion and playing Latin jazz was a very rare occasion for them.
In 1987 I worked again with Hector Lavoe briefly before going on a 1-year tour with Duran Duran. Hector had been such an inspiration earlier on for me that I asked him to make an appearance at my show to sing some of his well-known hits. He said it would be a pleasure but the day of the gig he called and said he had to go out of town and leave a day earlier than planned. He then encouraged me, with his blessings, to record the gig with myself playing his melody on trumpet. LA FAMA is the result from that gig and Hector Lavoes song is the title of the CD.
NEW MAC CITY was recorded 1982 at Bonds, the enormous famous venue in midtown. The two parts you hear on this CD were portions of a twelve piece suite. A smaller but well known uptown club was Voices, hence the title of the song, VOICES was recorded at the end of a 4am set list.
CASINO 14 was a popular downtown club and I recorded this version CASINO 14 as an opener prior to a Conjunto Classico performance that night.
Willie Bobo’s FRIED NECK BONES has been a part of my live book since I can remember, but this live version is very different than the original or any other version I have done.
DONDE LO HACE DUELEN(Where does it hurt). I wrote in 1979 and only performed it around 1986 once. Some interesting things about how this song derived. At the time I was giving trumpet lessons to a student in exchange for boxing lessons. Little did I know he was a top contender in 1957 and challenged Archie Moore for the light heavy weight championship of the world. His name was Ernest “Tony” Anthony. One day he suggested we go meet Miles Davis, whom he was also giving boxing lessons in exchange for trumpet lessons. We went to visit Miles on several occasions and the three of us would practice at Miles’ house. Miles never remembered my name but called me “Chops” and asked me to play something sweet. I could only think of the song I had just written, so I played it and afterward he said that’s a song about someone who understands hurt and encouraged me to continue my writing. So I would like to admiringly dedicate DONDE LO HACE DUELEN to Miles Davis.
FOTOS DE LOS OCHENTAS, I wrote this to feature the melodic bass of Ray Martinez.
CONJUNTO MOODS was recorded at Chelsea Place, a very cozy club on 8th Ave. and 17th St. that resembled a thirties speakeasy. This Bata ritual is from Yoruba and was used to summon prosperity in agriculture and crops, featuring Sa Davis, Bata and trombone section of Jose Rodriguez and Barry Rogers. The trading trumpet solos are myself, Doc Cheatham and Ray Maldonado.
Closing the set is a NIGHT IN TUNISIA A tribute to trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie, which is a good way to end a set of Latin Jazz.
Producer Michael Arthur Grey did a beautiful job at transferring all of the formats of the recording involved. The original recordings were from Crown reel to reel,Teac cassette porta studio, Adat, mini disc, Dat , basically all formats indigenous to the periods of the recordings. This compilation transferred to CD format is due to Mike’s painstaking efforts.
LA FAMA is dedicated to all of my famous friends that participated in this work. I would like to say thank you to all of them for being such an inspiration to me.
Special thanks to my partner and love of my life Carol Barnhart who inspires me every day.
Mac Gollehon plays Warburton Mouth Pieces and Phaeton Trumpet and Flugel Horn
Gliberto “El Pulpo”Colon-Piano
Frankie Malaby-Congas, Bata
Harry D Aguiar-Trombone
Baron Raymonde-Alto Sax
Robert Arron-Flute, Piccolo
- Patricia Roberts Harris
- Ralph Bunche
- Richard Allen
- Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes
- Sammie Davis Jr.
- Bernice Gaines Hughes
- Philadelphia’s Free Africa Society
- Bill Bojangles Robinson
- William Reuben Pettiford
- Jane Bolin
- Smith vs Allwright
- Convention of the Colored National labor Union
- Freedmen’s Bureau
- 15th Amendment