"Yo Soy Ritmo" (translated: "I Am Rhythm"), is a collection of Salsa/Latin Jazz music that Paul Lopez wrote between the years of 1963 and 2004 for 18-piece big band orchestra. Though they were written over 41 years time, these charts compliment one another very well, making listening to the CD a real joy! You won't be able to sit still. You will find yourself moving to the music if not all-out dancing.
Paul Lopez is a legend in the world of Latin Jazz. He never allowed himself to be held back by his paraplegic physical status which was caused by polio when he was only two years of age. When thinking about Paul's 86 years of life, one can't help but think of how remarkable it is that he has been able to accomplish as much as he has. In addition to being a renowned composer and arranger, he is a very skilled trumpet player, having played with the likes of Tito Puente, Stan Kenton, Noro Morales, Sy Oliver and Miguelito Valdes.
"Yo Soy Ritmo" was recorded in two separate recording sessions. Paul chose eighteen of the most accomplished and in-demand musicians in Los Angeles who played his charts masterfully, delivering dynamic and powerful solos. This CD has been receiving lots of deserved attention and is getting airplay around the world.
Fans of Salsa and/or Latin Jazz will no doubt be delighted by Paul Lopez's new CD, "Yo Soy Ritmo." This powerful CD will draw *new* fans to Salsa and Latin Jazz!
Paul is very grateful to everyone who helped with his CD project. This CD is Paul's pride and joy, his lifelong dream finally realized.
Read on to learn more about Paul.
PAUL LOPEZ was born in 1923 and raised in Los Angeles. He attended Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles. Paul listened to all the big bands, especially the Count Basie and Jimmy Lunceford bands. He studied trumpet with Doc Hiner and Louis Maggio. Another influence in Paul's life was the late, great, Bunny Berigan. Paul studied in Los Angeles, at Julliard in New York, and at Pablo Casals Conservatory in Puerto Rico. He also studied film scoring with Earl Hagen, Spud Murphy and Albert Harris.
However, according to Paul, his most exciting and greatest experience was when he left Los Angeles for Chicago with Freddie Slack's Orchestra in 1948 and from there went on to play in the "Big Apple." It was in New York that Paul Lopez got to play with many of the great Latin and Jazz bands, including Boyd Raeburn, Elliot Lawrence, Noro Morales, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, and the amazing Tito Puente. Paul was on the road with the great Miguelito Valdes and his Orchestra from 1950 through 1952. In late 1952, he played at Birdland, a jazz club made famous by Charlie Parker, with pianist Billy Taylor, bassist Curley Russel, tenor saxophonist Phil Urso and the great drummer Max Roach.
When it comes to interpreting authentic Latin Jazz with its phrasing and articulation, Mr. Paul Lopez is a master. He has taught and conducted seminars on Latin Arranging at the Dick Grove School of Music in Van Nuys CA. More recently, Paul taught and instructed the Studio Jazz Ensemble class at Pasadena City College in Pasadena CA.
Paul has also played studio and movie recording dates, one of which was the sound track for the film "Alamo." Paul's early arranging was influenced by George Handy and Ralph Burns. Paul has arranged for all of the Latin bands of which he was a member. Indeed, it would not be an overstatement to say that there are very few Latin bands that do not have arrangements by Paul Lopez in their repertoire. In addition, Paul performed on eight albums for Jack Costanzo and four albums for Rene Bloch during the years 1957 through 1961.
During the years 1962 through 1964, Paul led his own Mambo band which he called The Paul Lopez Orchestra. During these two and a half years, Paul's band performed in numerous night clubs in and around the Los Angeles area, a couple of them being the famous Virginia's Club and the California Club.
His one year stint in Puerto Rico during 1964 and 1965 was mostly occupied with composing and arranging for radio station WNEL in San Juan. Other assignments have been composing and arranging for Hollywood recording studios, Las Vegas show acts, Lee Magid Productions, Marlena Shaw, O.C. Smith, some arrangements of which were performed on the Joey Bishop and Merv Griffin shows. During the 1950s, Paul played practically all the show acts in Las Vegas as a member of both house and relief bands.
In the 80s and 90s, Paul co-led the HMA Salsa/Jazz Orchestra with Grammy nominee, Bobby Rodriguez. They recorded two CDs, "California Salsa I" and "California Salsa II," for which Paul was the primary arranger, composer and orchestrator. At present, Paul keeps busy with his band and continues to explore new avenues in composing and arranging.
And now, behold, Paul Lopez's long anticipated big band Salsa/Latin jazz CD, "Yo Soy Ritmo"!