NEWSLETTER #128
Ethnic & World Music

Xavier Cugat -> Various Artists

XAVIER CUGAT
THE HACKBERRY RAMBLERS
MACHITO & HIS AFRO-CUBAN ORCHESTRA
OLATUNJI
VARIOUS ARTISTS

 

 

CUBA XAVIER CUGAT Columbia 85341 The Original Latin Dance King ● CD $11.98
26 track reissues of sides from the 40s adn 50s from the first star of Latin music in the USA. Includes his original verson of the Latin music standard Bablu.

 
CAJUN THE HACKBERRY RAMBLERS Arhoolie 7050 Early Recordings, 1935-1950 ● CD $12.98
26 tracks, 72 mins, essential. A joy from start to finish featuring the top Cajun string band of the 1930's, the Hackleberry Ramblers, led by fiddler Luderin Darbonne who is still leading the group at the age of 90! Eschewing the previously popular accordian sound and influenced by blues, Western swing and hillbilly string bands, Luderin and his singer/guitarists, Lennis Sonnier, Floyd and Lonnie Rainwater, and Edwin Duhon created an infectious, danceable sound that was extremely popular. These recordings, cut between 1936 and 1950 mix old time country and blues tunes like On Top of the World/ Just Got To To Hi-De-Hi and Neath the Weeping Willow (a fabulous performance with some lovely steel guitar), with Cajun numbers like Jolie Blonde/ J'ai Passe Devonde Ta Porte/ J'ai Pas Bien Fey, and Jolie Fille. They always had a bluesy, but buoyant style that was in great demand and this great collection makes it clear why. Other tracks include Just Once More/ Mermentau Stomp/ Vinton High Society/ Wondering/ J'ai Pres Parley/ Drifting Along/ One Step De L'Amour/ Fair Pas Ca (their great version of "Trouble in Mind") and others. Sound is generally excellent though a few cuts are from worn 78s. Booklet has informative notes by Ben Sandmel. Wonderful stuff (JM/FS)

 
CUBA MACHITO & HIS AFRO-CUBAN ORCHESTRA Columbia 62097 Mambo Mucho Mambo - The Complete Columbia Masters ● CD $11.98
20 track collection of sides from the 50s by this great Afro-Cuban jazz pioneer with his long time partner Mario Bauza. Includes notes from Machito's friend and Latin music expert Joe Conzo.

 
AFRICA-MISCELLANEOUS OLATUNJI Columbia 66011 Drums Of Passion ● CD $11.98
Reissue of 1960 album featuring African percussionist Babatunde Olatunji - one of the first albums of authentic African music recorded in the West. This CD includes a previously unissued track, rare photos, a commentary by Olatunji and new notes.

 
CUBA VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SNAP 090 Our Cuba ● CD $13.98
20 track collection of Cuban classics recorded in the 50s and early 60s - mostly for the New York based Seeco Records. Includes Celia Cruz, The Cuban All Stars, Orquesta Riverside, Arsenio Rodriguez, Septeto Nacional, Miguelito Valdes, Perez Prado, Alfredito Valdes and Robert Faz & His Conjunto,

 
TRINIDAD VARIOUS ARTISTS Honest Jon's 02 London Is The Place For Me ● CD $23.98
Wonderful collection of Trinidadian Calypso recorded in London between 1950 and 1956. 20 tracks full of topical imagery featuring some of the greats - Lord Kitchener, Young Tiger, Lord Beginner, Lord Invader, Mighty Terror, The Lion and Timothy. Superb sound and incredible 40 page booklet printed on high quality paper with extensive notes by Richard Noblett and crammed with great photos and label shots.

 
GREECE VARIOUS ARTISTS Kalan Muzik 008 Rebetika, 1928-1954 ● CD $19.98
This is, I believe, a Turkish release. It features 21 glorious tracks of traditional rebetika singing and playing in the Smyrnaic style. Among the artists featured are Roza Eszkenazi, Marika Kanaropulo, Rita Abadzi, Aghapios Tomboulis, Haralambos Panayis, Yorghos Papasidheris, Adonis Dalgas, Markos Vamvakaris and othersLovely accompaniments on kanun, ud, baglama, etc. I'm not sure if there is much overlap with other releases though a few tracks sound familiar. Excellent sound and notes in Turkish.

 
CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS Mardi Gras 1071 Cajun Music Hits ● CD $15.98
Fine collection of Cajun music recorded (I think) for Lee Lavergne's Lanor label in the 80s. Includes great old timers like Shirley Bergeron, Vin Bruce, Aldus Roger and others alongside younger generation artists like Johnny Sonnier, Mitch Landry Chester Cormier, etc. 18 tracks in all.

 
AFRICA-SOUTH AFRICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Melt 2000 BW 2148 Roots & Ancestors 1 ● CD $16.98
15 tracks, 51 minutes, highly recommended Wonderful collection of South African traditional music recorded in recent years. This collection features tribes from the Southern part of South Africa including Zulus, Xhosa and San people. There are vocal and instrumental pieces and the instrumentation is mostly traditional intruments - mouthbow, drums, Jews harp, etc along with the occasional guitar or concertina. The music is powerful and haunting. (FS)

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80295 History Of Trojan Records, Vol. 1 : 1968-1971 ● CD $25.98
U.S. issue of Trojan CDTAL 700. The first of two volumes survey the history of Britian's leading reggae label. A double CD with 60 tracks and an extensively annotated booklet featuring tracks by most of the leading and most influential artists of the period along with a healthy helpig of obscurities - Owen Gray, Slim Smith, The Gaylads, Desmond Dekker & The Aces, The Conquerors, The Pioneers, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Gregory Isaacs, Dave Barker & The Upsetters, Dave & Ansel Collins, Ken Parker, Jimmy London, The Tennors, Johnny Osbourne & The Sensations and many others.

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80296 Trojan Ska Box Set ● CD $15.98
Three CD set featuring 50 ska tracks from the Trojan vaults including Lord Tamano, Desmond Dekker, Stranger & Patsy, Carl Dawkins, Justin Hinds & The Dominoes, Lord Brynner, Don Drummond, Eric Morris, Drumagos Orchestra, The Tartans, Owen & Leon Silveras, Owen Gray, Jimmy Cliff, Lee Perry, The Paragons, Tommy McCokk & The Skatalites, Clive & Naomi, Clancy Eccles, Winstone & George & many more.

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80312 History Of Trojan Records, Vol. 2 : 1972-95 ● CD $25.98
2 disc, 48 tracks, 2 hrs., 37 min., essential U.S. issue of Trojan 900. Incredible reggae compilation from one of the great roots labels and a necessary follow-up to the first Trojan collection. A fairly unique division of labor here: Disc one spans the years 1972-74, while disc two covers the next 20 years. Artists range from the well-known to the obscure, but this set proves that Trojan and its various subsidiaries have offered the very best in reggae for the last 25 years. Thrill to Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and The Wailers, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, U. Roy, Marcia Griffiths; The Mighty Diamonds and the Heptones. (A close Jamaican friend loves this set.) Dub to reggae to digital. Some rare sides. Great sound. Beautifully packaged as a small hardbound book it includes 48 page booklet with extensive background and notes on all the performances. A must-have compendium. (PL)

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80327 Trojan Calypso Box Set ● CD $15.98
Three CD set with 50 tracks of calypso, jump-up and mento from the Trojan vaults - Count Lasher, Lord Kitchener, Tommy McCook & The Supersonics, The Might Vikings, Derrick Harriott, The Undergrounds, Chalie Binger & His Quartet, Lord Creator, The Mighty Sparrow, Sampson The Lark, Lord Tanamo, Lord Invader, The Mighty Terror and others.

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80339 Trojan Jamaican R&B Box Set ● CD $15.98
Three CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended In the 50s while the adults in Jamaica were listening to the traditional sounds of mento and calypso the teenagers were grooving to the sounds of American rhythm & blues that could be heard from the powerful radio stations broadcasting from the USA. Eventually local performers started emulating these sounds and pretty soon Jamaican rhythm & blues recordings started appearing. Though strongly modeled on the American recordings the homegrown music featured a distinctively Jamaican slant and was soon to subtly transform into bluebeat, ska and eventually reggae. This wonderful three CD set with 50 tracks from the Trojan vaults (though not exclusively from the Trojan label) showing the influence of American rhythm & blues on the Jamaican music scene in the late 50s and early 60s. It includes some covers of American recordings but many were original compositions. Includes The Jiving Juniors, Lloyd Clarke, Jimmy James, Laurel Aitken, Owen Gray, Chuck & Dobby, Roland Alphonso, The Blues Busters, Rico & Duke, Jimmy Cliff (his first recording at age 14!) and others. Excellent sound considering the fact that many of these sides were recorded in primitive studios and each CD comes with notes. (FS)

 

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