Max Pollak | Rumbatap

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World: World Beat Latin: Afro-Cuban Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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by Max Pollak

Afro-Cuban jazz in a unique instrumentation driven by RumbaTap (body percussion, tap dance and vocals simultaneously) on tuned wooden boxes, featuring a saxophone quartet, marimba and vocal ensemble with special guests Pedrito Martinez and Bobby Sanabria.
Genre: World: World Beat
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Elegua (feat. Paul Carlon & Christelle Durandy)
3:15 $0.99
2. Bomba Sham: Otro Camino
1:17 $0.69
3. Bomba Sham: Llamada
0:16 $0.49
4. Bomba Sham: Comin' Atcha (feat. Bobby Sanabria)
2:06 $0.99
5. Skindividual
0:22 $0.79
6. Tocan Tacon
0:31 $0.79
7. Weird Latin (feat. Pedrito Martinez & Paul Carlon)
3:36 $0.99
8. El Cuarto De Tula
4:29 $0.99
9. Mongo T Suite: Afro Blue
4:11 $0.99
10. Mongo T Suite: Tumbando Caña
2:00 $0.99
11. Mongo T Suite: Solo
1:56 $0.99
12. Chango (feat. Christelle Durandy)
1:32 $0.99
13. Vuelta 3 (feat. Paul Carlon & Pedrito Martinez)
3:13 $0.99
14. Rumbatap Standard (feat. Pedrito Martinez)
2:22 $0.99
15. Big Chief
3:55 $0.99
16. Rumba Para Kaori (feat. Paul Carlon & Pedrito Martinez)
2:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“Max, you should really record all this great music you are dancing and put out a CD”, said saxophonist Paul Carlon after a RumbaTap show at Drom…that was the beginning of an enormous adventure for me and my group RumbaTap.
Of course I had recorded as tap soloist and body percussionist with many artists before, adding a new dimension of texture and intensity to their projects. And I dreamed of having my own music recorded, but I had never dared to go ahead with it up to this point.
Now I had a group that sounded great playing together and looked great dancing together, I had a lot of very original material and I had a truly unprecedented original concept that was waiting to be put to the test. Would the drama and choreography translate from the stage to an audio CD?

Afro Cuban Folklore is powerful, instinctual and mystical. It celebrates the fusion of the individual performers and their connection to the group, as it takes all of those present and whirls them into a new dimension of consciousness. It requires tremendous commitment, passion, dedication and communication from and among all of the performers involved. It is this feeling, this sensation that I experienced while in Cuba studying and performing with Rumba legends Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, that I wanted to create on this recording.

RumbaTap is a blend of tap dance, Afro-Cuban music/dance, body percussion and vocals, all done at the same time by the same individual.
I started developing this concept in 1995, while studying with Latin jazz icon Bobby Sanabria at the New School in NY. I was truly inspired by the incredible life force inherent in Afro-Cuban culture. Bobby gave me the kernel of wisdom to start me on the right track, by insisting, "if you want to TAP DANCE Cuban music rather than tap dancing TO Cuban music, you have to be able to tap and play the clave at the same time" - a tall order. Many years of intense study, practice, research, travel and experimentation followed.

My motivation in recording this material was not only to document the work but also to show the warm, resonant sound qualities of tap dance and different ways of integrating RumbaTap as the main percussive element in a band.
The process of recording this project was very complex. I am presenting foot and body percussion on the same artistic and sonic level as any other instrument, capable of all orchestral responsibilities such as accompaniment, dramatic texture and solo voice.
Most of the pieces were created for live performance in a theatrical setting, with strong visual components: choreography, dramatic interaction between dancers, musicians, and audience, costumes, lighting, etc.

The audio recording had to tell the same story but without the aid of visuals, therefore some parts had to be rearranged to create a stronger image in the listener's mind.
In the recording studio it is impossible to recreate the same direct flow of communication you get on stage, without risking many re-takes. Instrumental music, tap and vocals had to be tracked separately to avoid sounds from one instrument bleeding into microphones designated for another. Spontaneous vocalization, a major element in my creative flow, had to be all but omitted to assure proper balance of microphone settings.
I am very happy to have my idols Bobby Sanabria and Pedrito Martinez featured as special guests on this recording since they have always been my inspiration and continue to support my work.
This recording is dedicated to my family, especially my mother Olga, my father Rudi, and my sisters Ulrike and Brigitte, who have supported my artistic ambitions since 1976 when Fred Astaire flashed across the TV screen, sparking my passion for percussive dance, jazz music and American English.



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