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Bulletin - December 2008
Ethnic & World Music
Barbara Fortuna ->
Various Artists





FRANCE BARBARA FORTUNA Buda 860167 In Santa Pace $15.98
13 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended
Barbara Fortuna is not a woman but a quartet of four young men from Corsica - an island off the coast of France. They perform traditional and contemporary sacred and secular songs with stunningly beautiful polyphonic harmonies that has a lot in common with the polyphonic music of Sardinia (the islands are quite close to each other and Corsica is closer to Italy than France). The songs are sung in the Corsican language and are mostly unaccompanied but there are three solo songs with accompaniment by a small group (bass, accordion, violin & guitar). Lovely and haunting music. (FS)

AFRICA-NIGER GROUP INERANE Sublime Frequencies 034 Guitars From Agadez $16.98
10 tracks, 39 mins, highly recommended
On the northern fringes of the Sahara Desert in the 1980s-90s, the Tuareg tribe 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. Group Inerane, led by guitarist Bibi Ahmed, seeks to carry on the tradition of this new-ish style of music. This is guitar music that doesn't really have many antecedents in Western music: some distorted and dissonant sounds, and bits of picking are the only similarities I can hear. And yet the music is extremely listenable with its whooping vocals, off-beat percussion, and some puzzling (but funky) fretwork. I'm not really doing this music justice in describing it; this stuff needs to be heard to be believed, and once again Sublime Frequencies is doing an excellent job of bringing little heard so-called "world music" to the ears of Western listeners. (GMC)

MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Honest Jon's 36 Sprigs Of Time - 78s From The EMI Archive $18.98
30 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Once again Honest Jon's Records has raided another music archive to bring forth more exotic sounds from the past. This time the focus is on 78's from the London-based Gramophone Company (which merged with Columbia in 1931 to EMI); since the company had branch offices all over Europe, Africa, and Asia, the idea was to sell gramophones and 78's of local interest hence the breadth of material contained on this CD. The tracks originate from places as far ranging as Hong Kong, Bali, Morocco, Baghdad, Spain, Lisbon, Algiers, and Rangoon, and the time frame spans from the 1900's to 1957. There's Cliff Edwards strumming a uke and singing I Ain't Got Nobody in New York from 1926, the Mighty Sparrow delivering The Queen's Canary from Trinidad in 1957, and Sam Mayo declaring that Things Are Worse in Russia (recorded in London in 1922), and that's just a sample of the diversity of this CD. Among the more unusual tracks are a recitation of the "English Sound Table" (1910) and a "Gas All Clear" bell (London, 1939); as document or curio, "Sprigs of Time" is fascinating listening. (GMC)

CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77115 Cajun - Rare & Authentic $28.98
Complementing JSP 7726 and 7749 this is JSP's third foray into the world of vintage Cajun music with 100 superb tracks recorded between 1928 and 1939. It includes legendary names like Joe Falcon, Amede Ardoin, The Hackberry Ramblers (very little duplication with Arhoolie 7050 - $12.98) and Breaux Freres along with great but lesser known performers like Adam Trehan, Anatole Credure, Connor & Grader, Delin T. Guillory & Lewis LaFleur, Miller's Merrymakers, Louisiana Rounders (featuring "Papa Cairo"), The Alley Boys Of Abbeville, etc. Considering the rarity of many of these recordings the sound quality is excellent and there are brief informative notes by Pat Harrison and full discographical data.
THE ALLEY BOYS OF ABBEVILLE: Ja Vas Jamais Lessair Pleurer (I'll Never Let You Cry)/ Pourquois Te En Pen/ AMEDIE ARDOIN: Aimez Moi Ce Soir (Love Me Tonight)/ La Turtape De Saroied (The Turtape of Saroied)/ La Valse Des Chantiers Peteroliferes (Waltz of the Oil Field)/ La Valse Du Ballard/ Le Midland Two-Step/ Les Blues De La Prison (The Jail House Blues)/ Si Dur D'etre Seul (So Hard To Be Alone)/ Tortope D'osrun/ Tostape De Jennings (Tostape of Jennings)/ Valse Brunette/ Valse De La Pointe D'eglise (Church Point Walt)/ Valse De Mon Vieux Village (My Old Home Town Waltz)/ PERCY BABINEAUX & BIXY GUIDRY: Elle a Plurer Pour Revenir (She Cried To Come Back But She Couldn't)/ I Am Happy Now/ Waltz of the Long Wood/ BREAUX FRERES: Egan One Step/ La Valse D'auguste (August Waltz)/ La Valse Des Pins (Pinewood Waltz)/ CONNOR & GRADER: Lake Arthur Two Step/ Valse De Boscoville/ ANATOLE CREDURE: Black Bayou One Step/ Gasport One Step/ Lacassine Waltz/ Lake Charles Waltz/ THE DIXIE RAMBLERS: I've Got a Gal/ La Musique Encore, Encore/ JOE FALCON: A Cowboy Rider/ Fe Fe Ponchaux/ La Marche De La Noce/ Rayne Special/ Vieux Airs/ DUDLEY & JAMES FAWVOR: La Valse De Creole/ BLIND UNCLE GASPARD: Mercredi Soir Passe/ THE GUIDRY BROTHERS: Homme Abandonne/ Le Garcon Chez Son Pere/ Le Garcon Negligent/ Le Mes Beaux Yieux/ Le Recommendation Du Soulard/ DELIN T. GUILLORY & LEWIS LAFLEUR: Ma Petite Blonde (My Little Blonde)/ THE HACKBERRY RAMBLERS: Blue Eyes/ Bonnie Blue Eyes/ Bring It Down To the Jailhouse Honey/ Dobie Shack/ Don't Ever Trust a Friend/ Green Valley Waltz/ High Mountain Blues/ Just Because/ Louisiana Moon/ Mama Don't Allow No Hanging Around/ My Little Girl/ On Top of the World/ Sonny Boy/ Su Charin/ Te Ma Pris De La Maison/ Wandering Man, The/ HARRINGTON, LANDRY & STEWARD: La Stomp Clreole (Sic)/ Ta Aura Regret/ THE JOLLY BOYS OF LAFAYETTE: Abbeville/ Cata Houla Breakdown/ High Society/ Jolie (Brunette)/ La Valse De La Lafayette/ Old Man Crip/ Tant Que Tu Est Avec Moi (As Long As You're With Me)/ There'll Come a Time/ SYDNEY LANDRY: Confession D'amour/ La Vlouse Francaise/ LE JEUNNE & FRUGE: La Valse De La Veuve/ Le Petit One Step/ THE LOUISIANA ROUNDERS: Alons Kooche Kooche/ Ayou, Ayou, Mon Petite Chien Pour Edete (Where,Oh Where Has My Little Dog G/ Bon Whiskey/ Je Vue Ta Figure Dans La Lune (I Saw Your Face In the Moon)/ La Valse a Karo/ Quatre Ou Cinq Fois (Four or Five Times)/ DENUS MCGHEE & AMEDE ARDOIN: Sunset (Sunset)/ Tout Que Rest C'est Mon Linge/ MCGHEE & COURVILLE: Allon a Tassone/ Disez Goodbye a Votre Mere/ MILLER'S MERRYMAKERS: It's the Top of Everything/ Lake Arthur Waltz/ Merrymaker's Hop/ Over the Waves/ THE RIVERSIDE RAMBLERS: Let's Go Fishing/ She's One of Those/ THE SEGURA BROTHERS: Bury Me In a Corner of the Yard/ My Sweetheart Run Away/ FLOYD SHREVE: Darling of Yesterday/ THE THIBODEAUX BOYS: La Manvais Femme/ La Vieux Valse a Ma Belle/ Ma Petite Chere Ami/ Par De Su Les Lames/ ADAM TREHAN: Arcadian Waltz/ Do You Think Work is Hard?/ The Pretty Girls Don't Want Me/ The Waltz of Our Little Town/ JOE WERNER & THE RAMBLERS: The Answer To "Weeping Willow"/ The Lonesome Wanderer

MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Music & Words 4031 The International Cimbalom Festival $15.98
13 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
The cimbalom and its numerous relatives usually consists of a trapezoidal sound box and a sounboard wich supports one or several bridges. The instrument has up to 125 strings and is usually played by striking the strings with hammers or they can also be played with plectrums fixed to the fingers and are then referred to as zithers. This delightful collection was recorded live at the International Cimbalom Festival held in Turnhout, Belgium in 1999 and features a varied selection of traditional, classical and original tunes played on a variety of instruments including the cimbalom from Romania and Hungary, the santur from India and Israel, the hackbrett from Austria, the qanun from Turkey, the yang-qin from China annd the zimbay from Belorus. The recordings include solo performances as well as performances with various accompaniments. (FS)

JAMAICAN/ REGGAE VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Jazz 50 Studio One Soul $21.98
18 tracks, 60 mins, recommended
Another solid compilation from London-based Soul Jazz Records, this one contains more Reggae artists re-interpreting American R&B from the late 60's and early 70's. Highlights include Leroy Sibbles' Express Yourself (originally by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band), Norma Fraser's Respect (Aretha Franklin by way of Otis Redding), The Heptones' Message From a Black Man (The Temptations), Otis Gayle's I'll Be Around (The Spinners), The Eternals' Queen of the Minstrels (aka Minstrel and Queen, The Impressions), and Ken Booth's Set Me Free (aka You Keep Me Hanging On, The Supremes but this version resembles Vanilla Fudge's arrangement). Not everything here comes off perfectly, but even the misfires are interesting in the continuing examination of the influence of American R&B on Reggae music. (GMC)


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