56 years before Sean “Puffy” Combes went into Steve Stout’s office accompanied by several burly bodyguards and allegedly smashed him over the head with a champagne bottle, a percussionist named Chano Pozo went to his music publicists office in New
York City and trashed it over unpaid royalties. When he returned a day later, the publicists bodyguard shot him three times in the back. Yet This did not stop Pozo from continuing to perform. And unlike it would the Hip Hop industry, this incident did not bolster his records sales. Mr. Pozo was more than a percussionist. He was also a singer, dancer, and a composer often cited as one of the founding fathers of Latin Jazz and Cubop. The man had a tremendous influence on Dizzy Gillespie and many other Jazz musicians in New york in the 1940’s. Growing up in Cuba in abject poverty, Pozo became a practitioner of Yoruba, a West African religion closely related to Santeria. He lived a wild life of heavy drinking, Cocaine use and being an all around bad ass. Mr Pozo was killed after being shot by a drug dealer he smacked in a bar over the quality of some marijuana he had purchased. Yes Mr. Pozo was on some real gangster shit, but beside all of his issues Pozo was an absolute genius. He captivated New York audiences with his impeccable drumming skills, singing, dancing, and his beautiful compositions. His music gives me goosebumps and still remains as one of the most influential Jazz musicians of his era.