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New Releases: March -> October, 2011
Ethnic & World Music
Bombino -> Various Artists

 

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
AFRICA-NIGER BOMBINO Cumbancha 20 Agadez ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, very highly recommended
On the northern fringes of the Sahara Desert in the 1980s-90s, the nomadic Tuareg tribes rebelled against the governments of Mali and Niger, and the music of the rebellion came to be known as the Tuareg Guitar Revolution. This guitar music was used as a political weapon to relay messages on cassettes throughout Tuareg society; needless to say, such political commentary was officially banned by the Niger government in the early 90's. But following a peace accord between the rebels and the respective governments, the music and songs came to become more popularized with the people. The most well known exponents of this music in the West are the ten piece band Tinariwen but now we get to hear a new giant of the music - singer/ guitarist Omara "Bombino" Moctar from Agadez in Niger accompanied by a small group. Bombino is a beautiful singer and his guitar playing is magnificent drawing on the influences like the great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure as well as American blues and rock musicians though never indulging in instrumental histrionics - his music is both hypnotic, soulful, truly haunting and utterly compelling. A real find! (FS)

 
CUBA CELIA CRUZ Nascente 025 Cuba's Queen Of Song, 1950-1965 ● CD $15.98
2CD, 57 tracks, highly recommended
Celia Cruz was one of the most recognizable faces in Latin music with a large catalog to match; this latest collection compiles her early work with the band La Sonora Matancera (the Latin version of the Duke Ellington Orchestra), who she sang with for 15 years and who recorded for the American label Seeco. The first disc contains son and guaracha classics from La Sonora, including hits like Burundanga and Caramelos. While the second, although there are more cuts from La Sonora, focuses on little heard tracks Cruz cut in the mid 60's with the bands of Rene Hernandez and Vicentico Valdes. All of these songs put together give a fair overview of this phase of Cruz's career, before she went solo and began working with Tito Puente. Any respectable music collection of Latin music has to contain some Celia Cruz - one of the most influential singers ever - and this compilation, with its excellent liner notes and crisp sound, is a good place to start. (GMC)

 
GREECE APOSTOLOS HADZICHRISTOS JSP JSPCD 77146 A Unique Greek Voice: Selected Recordings, 1937-1953 ● CD $28.98
Fours CDs, 88 tracks, recommended Another fine collection of Greek rembetika music compiled by Charles Howard for JSP. Hadzichristos is not as well known outside Greece as some of his contemporaries but was a very popular artist. He was a fine singer and a superb bouzoki player and he is often featured in the company of other great Greek artists like Markos Vamvakaris, Dalgas, Papaioannou, Rosa Eskenazi and others. Sound quality is superb thanks to remastering by Ted Kendall and there are brief notes and English transcripts of the songs. (FS)

 
AFRICA-SOUTH AFRICA MAHOTELLA QUEENS & SOUL BROTHE Nascente 22 RS The Very Best ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 47 tracks, 154 mins, very highly recommended
Fantastic collection of South African township music featuring two very different performers. The Mahotella Queens were first formed as a vocal group in the early 60s and the first disc features recordings from the 60s and 70s, often in the company of the amazing Mahlathini - "The Lion Of Soweto." Mahlathini's "ukubodla" or rasping, bellowing "goat voice" is the hard edge of urban Black South African music and brings to mind the great bluesman Howling Wolf. Their lithe and soulful style of mbaqanga/ township jive is known as mgqashiyo - "the indestructible beat", and this disc has some fantastic examples of why this is so. Many of the tracks features the jet propelled accompaniment of The Makgonatsohle Band with Marks Makwane and guitar and West Nkosi on sax. The second disc is devoted to the Soul Brothers - a very different group that blended township sounds and American soul to create a sound that made them one of the most popular groups in South Africa in the 1970s and 80s. Formed in 1974 the group has had a number of changes over the years but has always featured the silky quavery lead vocals of David Masanto and the harmony vocals and keyboard work of Moses Ngwenya. The Soul Brothers play a style of mbaqanga that is much smoother than Mahlathini and The Mahotella Queens - you might even call it silky but the sound is full of delightful details in the guitar work, while the sax and keyboards provide an interlocked jiving groove that rides comfortably over the firm bass and drum foundation, with some fine riffing in the instrumental parts. Though perhaps not quite as exciting as some of their contemporaries their music is a joy to listen to. All in all this set is a fabulous introduction to the wonders of South Africa's township music in the form of two of it's most popular exponents. (FS)

 
AFRICA-SOUTH AFRICA MIRIAM MAKEBA Not Now 413 The Sweet Sound Of Africa ● CD $9.98
2 CDs, 45 tracks, 114 mins, highly recommended
The queen of African popular music, the original recordings that made her famous world-wide.what more do you want from a CD? This collects Makeba's two 1960 albums; her self-titled debut album and "The Many Voices Of Miriam Makeba," plus earlier recordings with The Skylarks and The Manhattan Brothers. Includes the original album version of Phata Phata and The Click Song her rousing version of Mbube (the root song of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight,") Thaayi/ Nagual (Witch Doctor Song,)/ Where Does It Lead? a cool version of House Of The Rising Sun, The Naughty Little Flea, and many more great songs. Truly a musical genius and someone who doesn't get near the respect and airplay that she deserves, this collection is all the proof that you need. (JM)

 
AFRICA-SOUTH AFRICA THE MANHATTAN BROTHERS Stern's Africa 3013 Their Greatest Hits, 1948-1959 ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 53 mins, highly recommended
Available again. Wonderful collection of 20 sides by the most popular South African vocal group of the 1950s. Their music was a blend of African American jazz and vocal group stylings, a dash of rock 'n' roll and a South African sensibility and is truly delghtful. Several songs are sung in English a couple of songs features the group accompanying Miriam Mekba. Set comes with superb 20 page booklet with detailed and very interesting notes by compiler Rob Alligham. (FS)

 
MUZSIKAS Nascente 031 Fly Bird Fly - The Very Best Of Muzsikas ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 26 tracks, essential
Fantastic retrospective of traditional and original Hungarian folk music from Hungary's best and most long lived folk group featuring recordings ranging from the 1970s through the early 21st century. In the 1970s musicians in Eastern European nations were rebelling against the formalized "folk ensembles" that were required as part of Soviet Bloc culture and wanted to rediscover the authentic rural music that the formal ensembles only hinted at. Muzsikas were one of the first groups active in Hungary as part of the "Dance House Movement" that was beginning to take shape and rapidly rose to become the best and most well known. The core of the music is a stunning melding of violins, viola and string bass performed with verve and energy. The group used also additional traditional instruments - bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, long flute, hammered dulcimer, etc. and over the years experimented with less instruments like blues harp and bouzouki but their music rarely strayed from the core values that they started with. In addition to their dazzling instrumental skills they were also blessed to work with East Europe's finest singer Marta Sebestyen. At times her singing will bring to mind Irish singers Mary Black or Dolores Keane but with an added quality of open throated Eastern European vocal technique. On the sad songs her vocals will raise goose pimples and possibly a tear in your eye. On this collection they perform dances, liturgical songs, and folk tunes and original tunes in traditional style. I used to listen to Muzsikas a lot but had almost forgotten about them until this great collection came along. The set was compiled and annotated by Joe Boyd who issued several of their albums on his Hannibal label, two of which are still available and there are others available as imports all of which we will be happy to get for you and I am so excited at this rediscovery that I will reviewing further releases by them in the future. After 35 years the group is still active with three of the original four members! (FS)

 
 
JAMAICA LEE PERRY Spectrum 2059 Reggae Genius - 20 Upsetter Classics ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
Lee "Scratch" Perry is one of the defining artists of dub and reggae music; as a producer, mixer, and songwriter, few can match his influence. This collection of his production work includes important early recordings from Bob Marley (Small Axe/ Duppy Conqueror), the original version of Police & Thieves (so influential on the Clash), and some of Perry's best solo work (People Funny Boy/ Return of Django/ Dreadlocks In Moonlight). There are also some tasty tracks from Junior Byles, Max Romeo, The Heptones, and Susan Cadogan. There's a lot of compilations of Perry's recordings-many of which are very shoddy indeed, and one should proceed with caution-but this is a legit collection that does a good job of introducing the uninitiated to Perry's mercurial genius. (GMC)

 
AFRICA-MALI BOUBACAR TRAORE Lusafrica 562 492 Mali Denhou ● CD $19.98
11 tracks, 59 min., highly recommended
A blues sensibility filtered through the Malian experience, that's the staging area for Traore's singular songwriting and emotive acoustic guitar work. This album is atmospheric without ever sacrificing its driving insistence, fragile without being delicate, vocally haunting as any country blues. On title track the singer trades lines with the harmonica in a Malian-blues conversation concerning the responsibility of government. Another worthwhile outing from a master. (JC)

 
CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17206 Acadian All Star Special - Cajun Recordings of J.D. Mil ● CD $97.98
Incredible three CD set with 78 tracks and 80 page hard cover book featuring recordings of Cajun music made between 1946 and 1959 for legendary Crowley, Louisiana record producer J.D. Miller and issued on his Fais-Do-Do and Feature. Miller is best known for his classic blues recordings released on Excello (Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim, Lazy Lester, etc). Information on these Cajun recordings has been very sketchy and many of the recordings are exceedingly rare and most are making their first appearance on LP or CD! The material ranges from the simple fiddle and guitar records of "Doc" Guidry and "Happy" Fats to the raucous sides of Robert Bertrand and the Lake Charles Playboys. Included here are the first recordings of Jimmy Newman, Terry Clement's original recording of Diggy Diggy Lo and Papa Cairo's Big Texas - the song that was adapted by Hank Williams as Jamabalay. Other artists include Jimmy Choates & The Melody Boys, Austin Pete (Pitrie) & His Evangeline Playboys, Amidie Breaux & The Acadaian Aces, Lionel Cormier & His Sundown Playboys, Abe Manual & His Louisiana Hillbillies and others. Cajun music expert Lyle Ferbach, who wrote the book, tracked down as many survivors and relatives to interview. The book is crammed with rare photos, label shots and includes full discographical information.
ROBERT BERTRAND & THE LAKE CHARLES PLAYBOYS: Drunkard's Two Step/ Lost Love Waltz/ AMIDIE BREAUX & HIS BAND: Hard Luck Waltz/ Hey, Mom!/ AMIDIE BREAUX & THE ACADIAN ACES: Acadian Two Step/ Criminal Waltz/ Jole Blonde/ Poor Hobo/ PEE WEE BROUSSARD & HIS MELODY BOYS: Chere Tu Tu/ Creole Stomp/ Le Valse De Bayou Blanc/ M&S Special/ The Pee Wee Special/ The Waltz That Carried Me To The Grave/ JIMMY CHOATES & HIS MELODY BOYS: Chere Meon/ Petite Negress/ TERRY CLEMENT & HIS RHYTHMIC FIVE: Diggy Liggy Lo/ Le Valse De Te Maurice/ LIONEL CORMIER & HIS SUNDOWN PLAYBOYS: Sundown Playboys Special/ Welcome Club Waltz/ JIMMY DURBIN & THE COUNTRY BOYS: Drunkard Waltz/ Fais Do Do Two Step/ CHUCK GUILLORY & HIS BOYS: Oakdale Waltz/ Walfus Two Step/ CHUCK GUILLORY & HIS RHYTHM BOYS: Chuck's Waltz/ Teiyut Two Step/ HAPPY & DOCTOR AND THE HADACOL BOYS: Crowley Two Step/ La Valse De Hadacol/ HAPPY, DOC & THE BOYS: Allons Dance Colinda/ Bayou La-Fourche/ Chere Cherie/ Dans La Platin/ Don't Hang Around/ Fais Do Do Breakdown/ Gabriel Waltz/ Is It Too Late To Cry/ La Cravat/ My Sweetheart's My Buddy's Wife/ New Jolie Blond/ Setre Chandelle/ Somehow You Don't Care/ Sothe Fermon/ LEBLANC & ADAMS AND THE VERMILLION PLAY: Chere Petite Brun/ Vermillion Two Step/ ABE MANUEL & HIS LOUISIANA HILLBILLIES: Country Gentleman (French)/ Country Girl/ Hippy-Ti-Yo/ I've Got Your Heart Locked Up (French)/ CLEVELAND MIRE & THE JOLLY BOYS: Hudson Breakdown/ Prison Waltz/ JIMMY NEWMAN & THE RHYTHM BOYS: (I Know Now That) I've Made A Big Mistake/ I Don't Know What I'm Going To Do/ PAPA CAIRO & HIS BOYS: Big Texas (English)/ Big Texas (French)/ AUSTIN PETE & HIS EVANGELINE PLAYBOYS: Chatatinia Waltz/ Evangeline Playboys Special/ High Point Two Step/ Redell Waltz/ AUSTIN PETE & THE LOUISIANA RHYTHMAIRES: Janot Special/ La Valse De Chagrin/ Prison Two Step/ ALDUS ROGER & LAFAYETTE PLAYBOYS: Hix Wagon Wheel Special/ Love Sick Waltz/ Mardi Gras Dance/ The Lafayette Playboys Waltz/ LEE SONNIER & HIS ACADIAN ALL STARS: Acadian All Star Special/ Along The River/ Cankton Two Step/ Chere Catan/ Chere Eci Et Cher Laba/ Dans Les Grand Meche/ La Blues De Cajin/ War Widow Waltz/ LOUIS SPELL & HIS FRENCH SERENADERS: Lover's Waltz/ The Fifty Cent Song/ THE VETERAN PLAYBOYS: Chinaball Special/ Eunice Waltz

 
AFRICA-MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital 22 Opika Pende - Africa At 78 RPM ● CD $54.98
Four CDS, 100 tracks, essential
Fabulous collection of African music drawn from 78s recorded between 1909 and the mid-1960s none of which has been issued on CD until now. Except for North Africa where there was a recording studio in Egypt in the early years of the 20th century there was little indiginous recording until the 1930s or 40s and many recordings prior to that were made by performers visiting or brought to Europe to record along with field recordings made by ethnographers. Although only scratching the surface this is the first broad based collection of vintage African music spanning the continent. Each disc covers a different region of Africa and the music encompasses both traditional village music and more broadly based popular commercial music which, though influenced by European music, remains distinctively African. The instrumentation ranges from traditional drums, kora, ghaita, one string fiddle and oud to western instruments like guitar, banjo, trumpet and accordion with one track from The Seychelles featuring an Hawaiian steel guitar! The scope of the music is so broad that it would be impossible to discuss the music in depth in this short review but the wonderful 112 page softcover takes care of that with detaled information on every track by compiler Jonathan Ward discussing both the performancea and the context in which they were recorded. There are numerous rare illustrations including record labels, environments, artists and more. The 4 CDs are in a separate portfolio and ths et is housed in a deluxe cloth slipcase. This is one of those sets that you can listen to all the way through or dip in at random to find musical treasures you've never heard before. This set is both musically and historically important. (FS)

 
SLOVENIA VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 2306 Slovenia, USA ● CD $24.98
3 CDs, 59 tracks, 3 hours 7 min., recommended
Although a regular JSP box set, this one is really more like three individual releases by artists who left Slovenia for America a hundred or so years ago. CD "A" features 20 tracks by the Hoyer Trio, recorded between 1926-29. Leader Matt Hoyer (original unAmericanized name Hojer) plays full chromatic, half-chromatic, and diatonic button accordion and was inducted into the Polka Music Hall of Fame in 1987. Bandmates Ed and Frank Simms play guitar and banjo, respectively, although Ed also plays accordion. And what at first listen appears to be an uncredited tuba player floating about is just some skillful accordion work by Hoyer. CD "B" dedicates its 19 cuts to singer Anton Schubel's recordings of 1928-30. Schubel sang with the metropolitan Opera from 1932-46, spent the next three years as a talent scout for Carnegie Hall, discovered famed Texan pianist Van Cliburn, and served as the director of the International Ballet in New York during his few spare moments. CD "C" offers 20 tracks from the vocal duet of Mary Udovich and Josephine Lausche who are accompanied by Dr. William Lausche (Josephine's brother) on piano and by an unidentified studio orchestra. Recorded in New York between 1927-31, the duet (with Mary as alto and Josephine as soprano) is of course the most famous Slovenian duet of all time, or so say the brief booklet notes, which also describe William Lausche as the father of the Cleveland style of polka. In all, the box set will please the polkaphile in the family as well as students of Slovenian-American music of the 1920s. Sound quality is generally quite fine and the three booklets include just enough information to whet the appetite. All in all, a bargain. (JC)

 
ALGERIA VARIOUS ARTISTS Membran 223536 Les Legendes Du Rai, Vol. 1 ● CD $7.98
10 tracks, 66 min., recommended
No notes with this one, just a sample of some of the early rai artists that put the form on the proverbial map, mostly in Algeria and Morocco. While rai can be laced with touches of techno and synthesizer, this collection keeps it traditional, with the three Rimitti tracks setting the standard. The presumably early cuts by Khaled (Alach and Berd El Ghaba) stand out in the small crowd and should send listeners looking for his more recent stuff. Other tracks include Cheikh Cherif Ouldsaber's Libiya Li Nebghik, Noura's Ouili Menak, and Driassa's Hna Al Ghorba, among others. Like Arabic Rembetika. (JC)

 
AFRICA-MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Nascente 078 Beginner's Guide To African Blues ● CD $17.98
Three CDs, 36 tracks, highly recommended
While the argument rages as to how African music affected the development of the blues there is no question that many African musicians have listened to American blues singers and incorporated some its elements ino their own music and this superb collection shows some of the results - most of the recordings are from the past 20 years. THe first disc is devoted to music from Mali and Senegal where the style of John Lee Hooker and other down home bluesman has strongly affected the music of musicians like Ali Farka Toure and Amadou And Mariam. Although neither of these artists is featured on their own Ali Farka Toure can be heard providing gorgeous guitar riffs behind Idrissa Soumaoro and the great Bouboucar Traore. We also hear bluesy playing on the indiginous kora from Ballake Sissoko and Toumani Diabate. The first seven tracks of the second disc take us to Ethiopia - most of these tracks from the 70s, often with large groups with a very exotic sound to them. This disc ends with some of the exciting high energy electric sounds coming from the nomadic Berbers known as The Toureg. The third disc features recordings from West and Central Africa as well as the Islands of Mauritania and Reunion. A wide variety of styles is heard here including a fascinating collaboration between English blues guitarist Justin Adams and Gambian singer and one string fiddle player Juldeh Camara on the cutely titled Fulani Coochie Man. You won't hear any 12 bar blues on thsi set but the influence of the blues is readilly apparent. Includes informative notes from compiler Phil Meadley. (FS)

 
AFRICA-SOUTH AFRICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 376 Cafe Africa ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 111 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of South African music - most of it from the mid/ late 50s. During this period South African musician were blending elements of traditional music with American jazz and the result is exciting music. During this period one of the most popular styles was "kwela" which utilized the penny whistle as the lead instrument and about half of the titles fall into that category including the big U.K. hit Tom Hark by Elias And His Zig Zag Jive Flutes which was originally used as the theme music on a T.V. drama, was released as a single and reached #2 in the charts in 1958. Other artists performing in this style include Little Lemmy & Big Joe, Spokes Mashiyane, Black Mambazo (no relationshp to the great acapella group that formed in the 60s) and others. The penny whistle eventually gave way to the saxophone and there are a number of performances featuring saxophones and other bass instruments from artists like The Elite Swingsters, The Brown Cool Six, Reggie Msomi's Hollywood Jazz Band (the wonderful Midnight Ska which adds some ska into the mix) and olthers. There are solo vocal performances from the great Miriam Makeba including a great wordless rendition of Duke Ellington's Rockin' In Rhythm accompanied by a pennywhistle group and group vocals from the Dark City Sisters and Nancy Jacobs and Her Sisters. The set is rounded out by the classic 1939 recording of Mbube by Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds which was reworked as Wimoweh in the USA and later became a big hit as The Lion Sleeps Tonight in 1961 all without Linda receiving any royalties who died in poverty in 1962. A thoroughly enjoyable collection with fine sound and brief notes. (FS)

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Primo 6125 Essential Early Ska ● CD $10.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 115 mins, highly recommended Here is an excellent collection of classic Ska; it really does a fine job rounding up cornerstone performers and key songs that defined the Ska movement. Rough and Tough by Stranger Cole, The Skatalites with Lucky Seven and several more, Toots & The Maytals with Monkey Man plus two more, Desmond Dekker & The Aces with 007, John Holt with The Tide Is High, The Pyramids Shotgun, The Ethiopians, Baba Brooks, Don Drummond, Justin Hinds, Byron Lee, and the list goes on. A fantastic starter collection for beginners, but enough deep tracks for the hardcore as well. (JM)
LAUREL AITKEN: The Ska Is The Limit/ ROLAND ALPHONSO: James Bond/ Sandy Gully/ Yard Broom/ BABA BROOKS: River Bank Pt 1/ Twilight Zone/ Dr. Decker/ STRANGER COLE: Rough And Tough/ DESMOND DEKKER & THE ACES: 007/ DON DRUMMOND: Burning Touch/ Corner Stone/ Eastern Standard Time/ Occupation/ THE ETHIOPIANS: Everything Crash/ JUSTIN HINDS & THE DOMINOES: Botheration/ Over The River/ The Higher The Monkey Climbs/ JUSTIN HINDS, BABA BROOKS & DRUMBAGO: Jordan River/ JOHN HOLT: The Tide Is High/ BYRON LEE & THE DRAGONAIRES: Oh Carolina/ TOMMY MCCOOK: Cotton Tree/ Musical Store Room/ Silver Dollar/ Inez/ Magic/ Strolling In/ THE PYRAMIDS: Jesse James Rides Again/ Prisoner Of Alcatraz/ Shotgun/ THE DUKE REID GROUP: Rude Boy/ BLUE RIVERS & THE MAROONS: Guns Of Navarone/ THE SKATALITES: Green Island/ Independence Anniversary Ska/ Latin Goes Ska/ Lucky Seven/ Street Corner/ Twelve Minutes To Go/ TOOTS & THE MAYTALS: 54-46 That's My Number/ John James/ Monkey Man

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Sunrise 003 The Story Of Blue Beat - The Best Of Ska ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 58 tracks, very highly recommended Wow, this brings back fond memories. When I was a teenager in London I landed a job that was a music fanatics dream - working in a record shop on Sunday mornings. The person I worked for ran two record shops - one on the famed Petticoat Lane market and the other in Stamford Hill. I got to work at both of them and the latter was one of the first to almost exclusively specialize in Jamaican music attracting West Indians from nearby Hackney and from all over London. Although it's been over 50 years one thing I strongly remember is that during my time there it seemed like almost everything I sold was on the Bluebeat label and now here comes this wonderful collection featuring 58 tracks recorded for Bluebeat and its subsidiaries in 1960. The popular Jamaican music at the time was ska although for my customers it was called "Blue Beat" after that all important label. Ska was essentially American rhythm and blues grafted onto Jamaican mento music with an insistent and distinctive rhythm. Here are all the greats from the era - Laurel Aitken, Higgs & Wilson, Derrick Morgan, Owen Gray, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires and other artists that my customers couldn't get enough of. Incredibly appealing music with excellent sound and a great 16 page booklet with an informative history of the label. Hoepfully there will be more volume scovering later years. (FS)
LAUREL AITKEN: If It's Money You Need/ Jeannie Is Back/ Low Down Dirty Girl/ Lonesome Lover/ Mary Lee/ Railroad Track/ Tell Me Darling/ Boogie Rock/ Heavenly Angel/ More Whisky/ Judgment Day/ Yea Yea Baby/ ALTON & EDDY WITH CLUE J & HIS BLUES BLA: Muriel/ THE BLUES BUSTERS: Little Vilma/ Early One Morning/ THE BUBBLES: Bopping In The Barnyard/ The Wasp/ CHUCK & DOBBY WITH DUKE REID & HIS GROUP: Cool School/ Till The End Of Time/ LLOYD CLARKE WITH DUKE REID & HIS GROUP: Parapinto Boogie/ CLUE J & HIS BLUES BLASTERS: Silky/ CLUE J'S BLUES BLASTERS: Easy Snapping/ Goin' Home/ OWEN GRAY WITH KENNETH RICHARDS & HIS BAND: Cutest Little Woman/ Running Around/ HIGGS & WILSON WITH KEN RICHARDS & HIS C: Manny Oh/ When You Tell Me Baby/ LYNN HOPE: Blue And Sentimental/ Shockin'/ THE JIVING JUNIORS WITH DUKE REID & HIS GROU: Dearest Darling/ I Love You/ I Wanna Love/ Lollipop Girl/ My Hearts Desire/ KEITH & ENID WITH TRENTON SPENCE & HIS G: Everything Will Be Alright/ Send Me/ Worried Over You/ BOBBY KINGDOM & THE BLUE BEATS: Baby What You Done Me Wrong/ Go Pretty Baby Go/ AZIE LAWRENCE: Come Rumble And Tumble With Me/ Jamaica Blues/ BYRON LEE & THE DRAGONAIRES: Dumplin's/ Kissin' Gal/ THE MAGIC NOTES WITH KENNETH RICHARDS & HIS: Album Of Memory/ Why Did You Leave Me/ THE MELLOW LARKS WITH CLUE J & HIS BLUES BLA: Love You Baby/ Time To Pray (Allelujah)/ DERRICK MORGAN: Fat Man/ I'm Gonna Leave You/ Don't Cry/ I Pray For You/ Lover Boy/ Oh My!/ DUKE REID & HIS GROUP: Pink Lane Shuffle/ DUKE REID'S GROUP: Duke's Cookies/ The Joker/ What Makes Honey/ TRENTON SPENCE & HIS GROUP: People Will Say We're In Love

 
AFRICA-GUINEE VARIOUS ARTISTS Syllart 6140252 African Pearls: Guinee 70 - The Discotheque Years ● CD $22.98
Two CDs, 25 tracks, very highly recommended
Another fabulous collection of African music - this time Guinea which achieved it's independence from France in 1958 and for 26 years was ruled by Marxist dictator Sekou Toure who put great emphasis on boosting Guinea's pride, both on a cultural and spiritual level. His party sponsored numerous local, federal and national orchestras who produced some of Africa's greatest and most influential music in the 1970s when the recordings here were made. The music made in Guinea drew on local traditions, Afro-Cuban, pop, rhythm & blues and rock influences. Powerful lead singers, wonderful vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements including hard driving horn sections, dynamic guitar work and in the case of the Super Boiro Band some amazing organ work. The traditional balafon is heard in the recordings by Horoya Band National and Sopry Kandia Kouyate and the rock influences make their presence felt in the incredible music of Pivi & Ses Balladins who's Samba is considered one of Guinea's best dance tracks ever with it's incredibly propulsive rhythm, fuzz guitar and soaring horn work. You'd need to have a strong heart to dance to this one! Lots of other great artists are here including the venerable Bembeya Jazz National featuring the twinkling guitar of Sekou Diabate, Camayenne Sofa, Kaloum Star, Tele Jazz De Teleme and others. Another wonderful and indispensible collection. (FS)

 
AFRICA-CONGO VARIOUS ARTISTS Syllart 6147472 African Pearls: Congo - Pont Sur Le Congo ● CD $22.98
Two CDs, 24 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing Syllart 6139342 (Congo 70 - Rumba Rock - $22.98) this is another superb collection of recordings made in the Democratic Republic Of Congo and The Republic of Congo in the late 60s and 70s. Alongside familiar names like Franco & L'OK Jazz, Tabu Ley and Zaiko Langa Lango we have lots of lesser known names - at least outside of Africa - most of them had big followings in their home country like the wonderful singer and dazzling guitar player Dewayon or Franco's younger brother Bavon Marie Marie. If you enjoyed the previous volume with its sensuous irresistible rhythms, haunting vocals with gorgeous harmonies, lyrical guitar playing and rich horn work then this one is a sure fire winner too. (FS)

 
MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Tompkins Square 2608 To What Strange Place - Music Of The Ottoman-American Diaspora ● CD $35.98
Incredible new production from the imaginative folks at Tompkins Square Records. A three CD set with 53 tracks featuring music of the immigrants from the dissolving Ottoman Empire recorded in the USA and the old country between 1916 and 1929. It features musicians from Anatolia, the Eastern Meditteranean and the Levant. The intermingled lives and musics of Christians, Jews, and Muslims represent Middle Eastern culture as it existed within the U.S.A. in the first part of the 20th century. It comes with a 24 page booklet with extensive notes on each of the tracks on the discs with lots of biographical and background information. We've heard a preview of this set and can say that the music is gorgeous and the sound quality is stunning.

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 2700584 The Trojan Calypso Collection ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, 115 mins, highly recommended A condensed version of the out of print three CD box issued about ten years ago - "The Trojan Calypso Box." A delightful collection of Trinidadian calypso, its Jamican cousin mento along with some ska - all from the 50s and 60s. Includes sides by Count Lasher, Chalie Binger & His Quartet, Tommy McCook & The Supersonics (two tracks from this legendary Jamaican instrumental group including an amazing ska version of Get Me To The Church On Time), Lord Spoon & David (wonderful music on the cusp of mento and ska), Phyllis Dillon, Marva Moore & Gaysters, Lord Kitchener, Nora Dean, Lord Creator, LOrd CRisto (the fabulous Dumb Boy And The Parrot), Mighty Sparrow, Mister Calypson (a tribute to Muhammad Ali), LOrd Tanamo, Lord INvader and others. Great music but notes in booklet are unreadably small. (FS)

 

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