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Malo (English: "Bad") is a musical group known for its blend of Latino, Rock, Jazz and Blues. The San Francisco-based ensemble was led by Arcelio Garcia and Jorge Santana, the brother of Latin-rock guitarist Carlos Santana.
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Genres||Chicano rock, Latin rock, Latin funk, jazz rock|
|Years active||1971–1974, 1981–present|
Little Willie G.
Four of Malo's original members (Santana, Garcia, Pablo Tellez, and Richard Bean) had previously played in the band The Malibus. The other three founding members (Abel Zarate, Roy Murray, and Richard Spremich) had played together in the group Naked Lunch. (Bean and Zarate also played in a band called the Righteous Ones together)
Malo's 1972 Top 20 hit single, "Suavecito" (meaning "soft" or "smooth" in Spanish), was the group's biggest hit. The band featured full horn and percussion sections in the style of contemporary bands Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago. Some of the best musicians in the Bay Area were featured in Malo, including Luis Gasca, Forrest Buchtel, Jr., Ron Smith, and Tom Poole in the trumpet section. Malo's music was popular in Central and South America, especially the songs "Chevere", "Nena", "Pana", "Cafe", and "Oye Mama".
After the release of their first album, many of Malo's original band members left the group in a rift widely popularized in the media. Buchtel went on to play with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jaco Pastorius and Woody Herman; Harrell became one of the most lyrical trumpet soloists of all-time, working often with saxophonist Phil Woods; Abel Zarate went on to play with Latin-jazz legend Willie Bobo and continues to play Latin/Brazilian Global jazz in San Francisco with his group Zarate Pollace Project. Richard Bean formed the group "Sapo" with his brother Joe and still tours throughout Northern California; Jorge Santana embarked on a solo career and still plays frequently.
The 1972 "Suavecito" release was written and sung by Arcelio Garcia with Abel Zarate and Richard Bean on background vocals and Zarate playing the signature guitar riffs. Richard Bean continues to perform the single with MALO and recently shared his story of writing "Suavecito" on CalMagazine.com Channel 9.
In 1995, Malo released a new CD entitled Senorita on the GNP Crescendo records label. The title track of the CD was written by new lead singer Martin Cantu who like previous band members also grew up in San Francisco's Mission District. Martin also went on to co-write "Take My Breath Away" with long-time friend Damon Bartlett and two other songs, "More Than Friends" and "Malo Ya llego," co-written with Arcelio Garcia. Since leaving Malo in 1998, Cantu has played with his new Gospel/Christian band, L-Rey pronounced (El Rey). In 2010 Martin Cantu & L-Rey released the song "Jesus Cristo," a gospel rendition of Malo's hit song Suavecito.
In 2004, Malo released a new CD/Album entitled "Malo en Vivo" on the EMI Latin record label which featured Aki Starr on lead vocals. Before joining Malo, Aki Starr was part of the Warner Bros group Spanish Fly, known for their success in the pop and freestyle genre. Spanish Fly's two hits, "Crimson & Clover" and "Daddy's Home" both charted on Billboard's top 100 pop singles of the US chart in 1995 and the group still tours globally today. Aki Starr sang with Malo from 1999 to 2010.
In March of 2017 original Malo founding member, Richard Bean, former Malo member, Tony Menjivar along with many former long-time MALO members who are recognized as Original Kings of Latin Rock, assembled together former MALO member veterans to create a distinct super group to carry on the Malo music legacy.
The current MALO band is led by Richard Bean and Tony Menjivar who are some of the original writers, composers, singers and artists who brought forth an ingenious part of the Malo musical journey. The group perform hits from their 1972 debut self-titled wax album project, "MALO" that produced the all-time MALO Classic, "Suavecito" through "MALO Dos" (1972), "Señorita" (1996), "Latin Legends Live, " (1997) and, "MALO En Vivo" (2005).
Richard Bean wrote the all-time classic hit song, SUAVECITO which is the only song for MALO that charted on Billboard’s top 20 at #18 for 10 weeks since its release in January of 1972.
Tony Menjivar co-wrote, Ritmo Tropical and Techno Rumba which debuted on the Thump Records, Latin Legends Live album released, October of 1997. Tony also recorded on the Senorita album released in 1995 by GNP Crescendo Records
Robert Quintana recorded on Malo’s Senorita album released in 1995 by GNP Crescendo Records. Robert also recorded on the Latin Legends Live album which was recorded at The Hop in La Puente, California released, October of 1997 by Thump Records.
Aki Starr recorded and sang lead vocals on the Malo En Vivo album released in 2005 through EMI Latin Music Distribution.
|Year||Album||US Top 200||US R&B|
|1986||Coast to Coast||-||-|
|1992||The Best of Malo||-||-|
|1998||Rock the Rockies||-||-|
|2004||Malo En Vivo||-||-|
|Date||Name||US Hot 100||US Billboard AC|
|"I'm for Real"||-||-|
|1973||"I Don't Know"||-||-|
|1974||"Love Will Survive"||-||-|
|1981||"Lady I Love"||-||-|
|2004||"Dilo Otra Vez"||-||-|
- "wingswest.net - wingswest Resources and Information". wingswest.net. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- "Redirecting". serious-oldies.blogspot.com. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- "Searching for "Arcelio Garcia Jr."". Discogs.com. Retrieved September 15, 2016.