Thursday, August 17, 2017
El Pito (I'll Never Go Back To Georgia) - JOE CUBA SEXTET
Puerto Rico has been kind of a step-child of the United States since we stole it from Spain almost 120 years ago. I don't know how I'd feel about the whole thing if I were Puerto Rican. I can't help feeling, though, that it might be a relationship that has worked out well for everybody.
Not actually being a state, Puerto Rico has been able to retain its unique cultural identity and its language, and, perhaps most importantly, its music. Having a close, official status as part of the United States has given an American spin to the mind-set of Puerto Ricans. Who knows? It might be the best of both worlds.
The music made in New York by Puerto Rican musicians is a wonderful contribution to American culture, that's one thing for sure. These Newyorican bands wrote the book on fun; everything they play is fun. It sounds like fun; it sounds like they all had fun making the music; listening to the music is fun. It all makes you smile, and want to dance.
For non-Puerto Ricans like me, having Puerto Rican friends, or Dominican or Cuban friends, and getting invited to their parties, was a great bit of luck back in my day. Those could be some "no tomorrow" parties, and you never knew what would happen. Things could get wild.
I don't know how Puerto Ricans feel about the relationship at this point, but I, for one, am just damn glad to have them in the mix as genuine citizens of the United States. Thanks for everything!