Monday, September 15, 2008

Frankie Rodriguez

(Frank Colon, ?, Julito Collazo, Frankie Rodriguez, Steve Berrios, Photo Credit: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/)

The importance of Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorkino can't be overstated. They influenced countless musicians and more importantly (at least for me) rumberos. They were creating and recording ideas that had not yet been touched upon and their message was being heard loud and clear among rumberos in the city.

(check out: http://sentimientomanana.blogspot.com/2008/08/gfyenstill-going-strong.html for more Grupo info and goodies)

One of those Grupo standouts that is no longer here is the late Frankie Rodriguez. Frankie was a great singer of rumba and santo, and these examples can be heard to great extent on Grupo's first recording "Concepts in Unity", (at least his guiro singing).


In my opinion Frankie wasn't a polished singer like lets say, Eugenio "Totico" Arango or an Abraham Rodriguez, but what he lacked in tone he more than made up for in ibiono and all out raw delivery. When you hear Frank sing you know he is definitely singing from the heart. This is one of the main reasons why I gravitated to his style when I first heard him on Grupo's stuff.

(Tony Jimenez, Pablito Rosario, Frankie Rodriguez, Photo Credit: Pablito Rosario)

Frankie at some point is playing with Julito Collazo y su Tambor. He plays conga with Ismael Miranda's group, Revelacion. Frankie then goes to Puerto Rico where he helps form "Zaperoko" along with the late Penalty and Edwin "Zaperoko" Feliciano. This early group featured Frank on vocals along with, Edwin Feliciano on Trombone, John "Penalty" Oliva on congas, William Cepeda on trombone, Ray Concepcion (on piano I believe), among others. This group definitely had swing, click on the album below to download their rare out of print LP, "Cosa de Locos" on the Montuno Records Label.



Frankie sang in Jerry's early Fort Apache recordings and he sings a great rumba on, "El Rio Esta Hondo", on Fort Apache's "Obatala" recording.

Sadly, that is really all the info I have on Frankie Rodriguez for now, if and when I get more, I will definitely put it out there. In the meantime enjoy this little video clip, with a young Giovanni Hidalgo on congas, and Frankie on vocals tearing it up.
video
("Zaperokero", Video Credit: 1zaperoko)
*thanks to Jorge Ginorio for identifying the okonkolero in the first pic

2 comments:

Frank Colon said...

Hi! Thank you for this informative article on the late, great Frankie Rodriguez! As I am featured in your photo of Julito Collazo's afro-Cuban Drum Ensemble, allow me to inform you as to who is standing to my left, wearing the white hat, in the picture; his name is Wilfredo "Moreno" Tejeda and he is a Cuban drummer and singer originally from Guantanamo. The group portrayed in the photo performed together for five years!

All the best,
Frank Colon

baseball said...

THANKS U 4 PUTTING MY BROTHER FRANKIE ON THIS PAGE , IF U NEED MORE INFOR ON MY BROTHER PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL ME 706 888 3206 MY NAME IS NELSON RODRIGUEZ.