Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#98: How's my rhythm?

By Tito Puente (Santana)
1963, USA

Featured in National Public Radio’s Top 100 important American musical works of the 20th century, Puente’s jazzy Latin classic has been covered by notable artists more than a dozen times. Easily the most famous is Santana’s 1970 version (linked above), described as “driving” and “cranked up” with electric guitar, Hammond B-3 organ, rock drum kit and added rock and blues licks.

The opening lyrics, stranded in the title are interpreted, “Hey, how’s it going?” but the connotations change when united with the following line, “Mi ritmo.” In totality, the lyrics mean roughly: How do you like my rhythm? Good! Enjoy! Mulata!

Peak: #13, Billboard Hot 100

Seinfeld character Elaine Benes also lists this song among her favorites in episode seven of season eight, The Checks.

Here, the Coen Brothers employ it in a scene-opener in one of my favourite comedy films, The Big Lebowski:

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