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|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, Tellez, and 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 written by timbales player Richard Bean, who initially wrote it as a poem for a girl in his high school algebra class. The song has been called "The Chicano National Anthem" and was arranged for Malo by Bean, bassist Pablo Tellez, and Abel Zarate. Tellez and Zarate also received co-author credits on "Suavecito". Guitarist Abel Zarate gave Malo a distinctive two-guitar sound with intricate harmony and dual solos the norm. 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 Forrest Buchtel, Jr., Ron Smith, Luis Gasca, and Tom Poole in the trumpet section. Malo's music was also hugely 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 with the current Malo band, which is also still touring, featuring only one of its original members, Arcelio Garcia Jr., who took over the band in the late 1970s.
The 1972 "Suavecito" release was sung by Richard Bean with Abel Zarate and Arcelio Garcia on background vocals and Zarate playing the signature guitar riffs. Richard Bean continues to perform the single with Sapo 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 March of 2017 former long-time MALO members who are recognized as Original Kings of Latin Rock, assembled together several original and former MALO member veterans to create a distinct super group named, "MALO Anthology."
MALO Anthology consists 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).
The twelve-member MALO Anthology group features four decades of legacy that were a key part of the core within the MALO music experience. This collaborative of legendary musicians creates the most authentic feel and sound of MALO music today.
MALO Anthology members - Tony Menjivar, Gabriel Manzo, Richard Bean, Leo Rosales, Martin Cantu, Aki Starr, Frank Bailey, Ramiro Amador, Mike Rinta, Bill Ortiz, Victor Bejarano and Victor Bejarano Jr.
|Year||Album||US Top 200||US R&B|
|1986||Coast To Coast||-||-|
|1992||The Best of Malo||-||-|
|1998||Rock The Rockies||-||-|
|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"||-||-|
- "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.