Sunday, June 24, 2012

Willie Bobo's "Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries"

"Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries" is a dope track by the late, great Latin jazz percussionist Willie Bobo. The song's haunting, mysterious groove is a killer. The first time I heard the song was when I was watching a scene from Peter Berg's pitch-black comedy Very Bad Things some years back. And I was floored by the track. It sounded incredible and stayed with me after I had finished watching the movie. So I had to find out who recorded it.

Bobo was born William Correa on February 28, 1934 and grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York City, NY.  He began playing bongos at 14, and only a year later, he was performing with the King of Mambo Pérez Prado. At this time, he was also studying with legendary Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria, while also serving as his translator. At 19, Bobo joined Latin jazz great Tito Puente for a four-year stint.

Pioneering jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams gave the famed percussionist the moniker "Bobo" when they recorded together in the early '50s. During his distinguished career, Bobo played in a variety of styles, including Latin jazz, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Latin soul, Salsa, Latin folk, world fusion and boogaloo. He was highly skilled on several percussion instruments and had performed with jazz giants such as Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Wes Montgomery and Chico Hamilton.

"Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries" was written by Bobo and trumpeter/cornetist Melvin Lastie. The track was featured on  Bobo's album Uno, Dos, Tres 1-2-3, which was released in 1966. Santana did a cool live cover of the track at Woodstock in 1969. Bobo died at only 49 from cancer on September 15, 1983.



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