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!Musica!: Salsa, Rumba, Merengue, & More: The Rhythm of Latin America Paperback – January 1, 1999

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sue Steward is a writer and the producer of highly acclaimed television programs on popular music. She lives in London.

Willie Colon is a Puerto Rican New York-based songwriter, bandleader, and trombone player, who has played a major role in shaping contemporary salsa music. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422364666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422364666
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,636,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is hard to imagine that "Hall of Famer" Willie Colon, who wrote the foreword to this book, actually read it and gave it an endorsement. He writes, "...this book has helped put a face on some of my heroes". What Mr. Colon should have written was that this book has helped to distort the truth and put a mask on some of his heroes.
Musica is a book full of misinformation. Some examples:
Musician turned dance promoter Federico Pagani was not italian, he was Puertorican. Chick Webb did not die in 1932, he died on June 6, 1939. "Hall of Famer" Mario Bauza and Dizzy Gillespie did not move together into Cab Calloway's orchestra, nor did they played with Calloway in 1932. It was in 1938 that Bauza joined Calloway's band. Pretending to be sick, and without warning to Calloway, he sent Gillespie to play in his place...that is how the great Gillespie got into Calloway's band.
On page 41 a huge blunder is committed. Here it is stated that "Hall of Famer" Maria Teresa Vera was the first Cuban woman on record. Her suppose debut recording was in New York with Sexteto Habanero in 1918. Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts are that the first Cuban singer on record was "Hall of Famer" Rosalia "Chalia" Herrera Diaz. Not only was she the first singer of Latin origen on record, she is also the very first to record a "habanera". She manages to do all this with the famous "Habanera Tu" in New York in 1901!
I doubt very much that Maria Teresa Vera did any recordings with the Sexteto Habanero in 1918...
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By A Customer on April 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read "Musica!....." I am dismayed at the customer reviews I just read praising this work. To the reviewer who wrote "this is the book I've been waiting for" I suggest you keep waiting or look to some less flashy, sexy works for correct information (try Manuel's (Carribean Currents") because you won't find much of it here. The reviewer who "wants to know a bit more about the history" will find just that--only "a bit more." But don't trust that the bit more you find will be correct. I wish the reviewer who said this work was "surely the product of painstaking research" were right, but the research is, at best, shoddy. Journalists (and Ms. Steward is one) are accustomed to fact-checking their work or having it done for them. This work was not fact-checked. Open this book to nearly any page and one can find one error after another. The errors are either of a factual nature that any journalist concerned with fact can check, or of an interpretative nature but which are presented as fact. The great salsero (and so much more) Willie Colon who wrote the forword to this work is presented as having been born and raised in Brooklyn. Mr. Colon has always been from the Bronx, is very self-identified as a Bronxite and even ran for public office from the Bronx. This is not some fuzzy concept open to interpretation. If the author can't even get right the simplest, most public fact about one of the most well-known salseros whom she got to write her forword, what can we possibly trust about any of her other information? In another glaring example, Ms.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Poorly organized and inaccurate, this book should not have been brought to print in such a state. Furthermore, for one who respects the constituent dance forms of this music, I was particularly appalled by the confusing and misinformed section on dance. We do need more well-researched, english language resources on this subject--this unfortunately cannot be defined as such.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love to listen to my Puerto Rican music on week ends when I am doing my week end chores. Latin music is part of my culture and keeps my soul alive. I dance as I clean and enjoy myself. What a great way to entertain oneself and stay connected with our music.
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Format: Paperback
Wow. Weighing in at a mere 176 pages, this snappy little volume sure packs a wallop! This is the Cuban music equivalent of McGowan & Pessanha's "Brazilian Sound," but with more dynamic layout, and exceptionally precise writing. "Musica!" features several geographically-centered chapters, exploring salsa traditions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Columbia and, of course, the explosion of modern salsa in New York and Miami. Brief overviews of the style's spread into Europe and Africa, and a look at modern salsa-pop crossovers. Each chapter features a central narrative, along with numerous sidebars that at first might seem unwieldy and distracting, but are tremendously informative and fun. These include profiles of artists ranging from the superstars to the obscure and the forgotten -- Tito Puente, Ruben Blades and Celia Cruz share the dance floor along with The Mambo Aces, Jesus Colon, and Maria Teresa Vera. The writing is remarkably compact and informative. Steward is especially effective at describing musical concepts and performance techniques, details that other writers often flounder over while trying to explain. The historical photographs, engravings and album reproductions are also illuminating and gorgeous-- laid out in crazy-quilt fashion, the colorful artwork alone makes this book a must for latin music fans. There are parts of this book which felt too short, but as an easily-assimilated guide to the music of four continents, this is pretty hard to beat. Highly recommended!
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