The tale comes to life on Zemog’s self-titled, debut recording.
The album’s Animate, says, “Get ready! Because the rooster is flying on his faith.” The song is a plena—a rhythm originating around the time the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico, and which became a musical newspaper for the people. “We recorded as if it was outdoors in that era. But in another galaxy.”
On stage, the band crows like roosters. One player dons a rooster costume. “In the spirit of Sun Ra,” explains Gomez.
Rumba Pa’la Niñas is Gomez’ favorite song on the record.
Gomez cross-pollinates the rumba by tapping a Van Halen-inspired mozambique beat, a Cuban rhythm which was first introduced to the United States by Eddie Palmieri in the 1960s. Zemog’s culture clash is central as the typically male-dominant style provides the foundation for lyrics that say “Hey rumbero! The rumba is for the girls. It’s for them to play as well!”
The sound of Zemog, El Gallo Bueno—which is “Gomez” spelled backwards followed by “The Good Rooster” in Spanish—starts with Gomez’s quirky tastes.
“I really love roots music from Puerto Rico. Like mountain music and field recordings,” says Gomez. “It’s so raw… it’s like rock and roll. Crazy nasally screaming.” The band’s repertoire is a direct result of Gomez’ bicultural experience, his musical past, and the rest of the band members’ expertise. Crucial to Gomez’s musical development was his earlier band, Jayuya, which had similar influences, but was a four-piece rock/salsa band.
Zemog’s instrumentation is that of a nine-piece salsa band, but lyrically stays close to the rock-n-roll stream of consciousness approach.
“When I came here, there was the culture outside and the culture inside of my house… always a big culture clash,” explains Gomez. “My friends had me listening to Metallica. My sisters were listening to salsa and disco. My brother got me into Kraftwerk. And my dad was listening to Bach and Mozart. I still love it all.”
Abraham Gomez-Delgado is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Bandleader Abraham Gomez-Delgado, of Peruvian descent, left his native Puerto Rico as a child and relocated to the US.
He leads the experimental Latin music group Zemog el Gallo Bueno as well as co-leads the avant-latin jazz big band Positive Catastrophe and has a Performance Art group under the name Eje.
Gomez-Delgado is also a vocalist in his own compositions as well as in composer saxophonist Fred Ho’s Green Monster Big Band. Currently he teaches Sound Art and production at Bloomfield College in New Jersey and is composing a Plena suite entitled Debrujo, Debrooho, debrewjo.
Recently he was awarded the New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation (2010). Abraham has been awarded a Meet The Composer MetLife Grant (2010) and the USArtists International Award, National Endowment for the Arts grant (2010). Gomez-Delgado has his MFA with honors from Bard College and holds a BFA from Mass College of Art.
Formats : CD
Catalog Number : AGO001
Barcode : No
Release Date : January 14 2003
1. Outpost Wallpa
4. Palo De Ron
6. Lares Vegas
8. Rumba Pa’Las Ninas
9. Domingo En Pisac
10. Yo No Vuelve
11. Cemi Snowmobile
12. Plata Esta Fria
CD : Sold Out