Last year I decided to record an album of songs that mix elements of the Tangos Flamenco rhythm with Reggae beats.
Reggae and Tangos Flamenco — not to be confused with the Argentine Tango — are deeply connected. Tangos has a lilt and features the same avoidance of beat one that Reggae and Salsa have, and to my ears it always sounded very different from other Flamenco forms.
I read that some believe the Caribbean rhythm was brought to the Spanish port Cadiz by sailors from merchant vessels, and that the catchy rhythm soon traveled to Andalusia, where it blended with local musical styles and became Tangos Flamenco. The word ‘tangos’ itself might be derived from the onomatopoeia ‘tang’ which resembles ‘the sound of the drum‘, while in some parts of South America the word ‘tangosa’ refers to Africans dancing to the beat of drums.
The deep roots of these three rhythms, Tangos, Reggae and Salsa, of course, lie in Africa.
Regarding the title of the new album, “Waiting n Swan”, the word “waiting” refers, of course, to the song “Waiting in Vain” and the phrase “n Swan” is Caribbean creole meaning “and so on”.