Monday, October 27, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Malo
The 1972 hit Suavecito was the one big hit for the Latin Rock band Malo. If Malo seemed very similar to Santana, that's because the group was led by Carlos Santana's guitarist brother Jorge Santana. Along with singer Arcello Garcia Jr., bassist Pablo Tellez and singer percussionist Richard Bean, they were in a Bay Area band called The Malibu's. Guitarist Abel Zarate, horn player Roy Murray and drummer Richard Spremich were in a group called Naked Lunch. Keyboard player Richard Kermode had been in Janis Joplin's Kozmic Blues Band. Trumpeter Luis Gasca and percussionist Coke Escovedo round out Malo. The popularity of Santana and groups like War got Malo a contract with Warner Bros. and their debut album was produced by David Rubinson (Moby Grape). Malo's music was mostly Latin jazz rock but the mellow ballad Suavecito caught on and reached #18 on the pop charts in 1972. Richard Bean sang lead and wrote the words as a poem for a girl in his high school algebra class. Pablo Tellez & Abel Zarate wrote the music and arrangement. Malo recorded four albums for Warner Bros. but spats within the group is what killed them. Zarate, Bean & Santana all formed their own bands. Luis Gasca went back to session work. Telluz and Coke Escovedo joined a band led by Coke's brother Pete Escovedo and featuring Pete's teenage daughter Sheila Escovedo AKA Sheila E. Arcello Garcia Jr. took over Malo in the late 70s and now owns the name and recordings. He licensed the recordings to GNP Crescendo in the 80s and that's the source of this comp. It has the single version of Suavecito and the longer album version. Garcia continues to lead Malo and recorded Malo Live for Thump Records in Apr. 2006. Here's Malo performing Suavecito on the TV show Rollin' in 1972.