NEWSLETTER #129
Ethnic & World Music

Salum Abdallah -> Various Artists

MOH ALILECHE
CACHAO
JOSE CURBELO & HIS ORCH.
INTI-ILLIMANI
NORO MORALES
LEE SCRATCH PERRY
VARIOUS ARTISTS

 

 

AFRICA-ALGERIA MOH ALILECHE Flag Of Freedom 003 The Source Of Water (Taawit) ● CD $16.98

 
CUBA CACHAO EMI Latin 25329 Cuba Linda ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 77 minutes, highly recommended.  Israel Lopez "Cachao" is a triple threat legend of Cubop and Latin jazz. Famed performer (he plays the bass), composer, and bandleader, you might call him the Cuban Charles Mingus-except that his career lasted over sixty years! He is reputed, along with brothers Jesus and Orestes, to have invented the mambo in the 1930's. He is also famous for his "Cuban Jam Sessions" series of LPs in the mid-1950's. This CD is a jam session (or descarga) produced by actor Andy Garcia as a follow up to Cachao's Grammy-winning "Master Sessions" CDs. (JV)

 
CUBA JOSE CURBELO & HIS ORCH. Tumbao 074 Live At The China Doll ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 55 minutes, highly recommended. Though forgotten today, Jose Curbelo was one of the best and most popular Cuban bandleaders on the New York scene in the 1940's. He gave a start to the careers of such famous later bandleaders as Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez (both of whom play on this CD). He helped found the Havana Riverside Orchestra in Cuba in the 1930's and came to New York City in 1939, where he soon held forth at clubs like the "China Doll" where many of the live tracks on this CD were recorded. (JV)

 
CHILE INTI-ILLIMANI Xenophile 4056 Lugares Comunes ● CD $15.98

 
CUBA NORO MORALES Harlequin HQ CD 78 Live Broadcasts & Transcriptions, 1942-48 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 64 minutes, highly recommended. Portly, percussive, Puerto Rican pianist Noro Morales was an early proponent of Latin jazz, leading a band that played swank New York clubs such as the Stork Club in the 1940's. He began his musical career in Puerto Rico in the influential band of trumpeter Rafael Munoz and immigrated to the United States in the 1930's. This CD presents some excellent broadcasts and transcriptions from his peak period in the 1940's and features a broad range of excellent musicians, ranging from timbalero Tito Puente to trumpeter Doc Severinsen of "Tonight Show" fame. (JV)

 
JAMAICA LEE SCRATCH PERRY Trojan 80266 Jamaican E.T. ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, 74 min, highly recommended. The Master in a wonderful return to form - his strongest in years! The opener grabs you right away: the girl background singers go from singing "one God, One Faith, one destiny" to "LSD - LSD" & "We love you Mr Perry"! In fact, listening to this makes your head swim so you almost feel you're on an acid trip! Most tracks have da riddim down, with a dozen things going on at once including multiple Perry voices. And titles including Hip Hop Reggae/ Telepathic Jah A Rize & Evil Brain Rejector give you an idea what's in store. Love Sunshine, Blue Sky is a great dub version of I Wish It Would Rain! (GM)

 
CUBA VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Note 39855 A Gozar! Latin Grooves On Blue Note ● CD $12.98
15 tracks, 56 minutes, highly recommended. This CD collects classic Latin groove tracks (mainly recorded during the 1960's) drawn from the vaults of famed jazz record label Blue Note and its affiliates. Artists featured fall into two categories - latin musicians (e.g., Machito, Willie Bobo, and Joe Torres) going jazzy and jazz musicians (e.g., Les McCann, Bobby Hutcherson, and the Jazz Crusaders) doing it with a latin beat. Think funky, jazzy, and eminently danceable. (JV)

 
CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS Brazos Films DVD 103 Jai Ete Au Bal DVD  $22.98
114 minutes, color, essential. Now on DVD. Several films have been made on the infectious Cajun and Zydeco music of Southwest Louisiana but, until now, none has tackled the task of putting the most important musicians of the past and present into a historical context. Filmmakers Les Blank and Maureen Gosling with Arhoolie Records producer Chris Strachwitz, whose love affair with French Louisiana's music date back more than 35 years, collaborate on this 1989 film. In this superb film the filmmakers present history with a heart, drawing from interviews, live performance, stills, historical footage and anecdotes to create a lyrical telling of Cajun and Zydeco music from its roots through the 20th century. The film includes exciting footage of then hot stars of the French Louisiana scene: Wayne Toups, Cajun Gold, Queen Ida, Rockin' Sidney and Beausoleil, plus rare footage of the late, great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, and classic favorites such as D.L. Menard, Canray Fontenot, "Bois Sec" Ardoin, The Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy, and Dennis McGee. Strachwitz was inspired to make after reading Ann Savoy's superb book, "Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People." The film was made with the essential contributions and guidance of Cajun folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet and popular musician Michael Doucet of "Beausoleil." Historical segments created from still photos and interviews bring to life early recording artists Joe and Cleoma Falcon, Iry LeJeune, Amede Ardoin, Leo Soileau, Harry Choates, and Belton Richard. The film also features rare film and video footage of the Balfa Brothers, Nathan Abshire and Clifton Chenier. For this DVD release the producers have added 30 minutes of previously unreleased footage and includes an audio commentary by the filmmakers plus information about the filmmakers, production stills and detailed scene info. (WS/FS)

 
NORTENO VARIOUS ARTISTS Brazos Films DVD 104 Chulas Fronteras/ Del Mero Corazon DVD  $22.98
DVD, 116 mins, color, essential. Now on DVD. Two superb films from filmmaker Les Blank with Chris Strachwitz which looks at the music and culture of the residents of the Texas-Mexican border regions. Taken together, they comprise a broad sampling of the diversity of musical styles that grew up on both sides of the Rio Grande. It's all here in the polkas, cancions, and corridas from Chulas Fronteras - the pioneering accordion sounds of Narciso Martinez and Santiago Jimenez, the poignant and fiery vocal work of Lydia Mendoza, and more contemporary sounds of Flaco Jimenez, Los Algres de Teran, and Los Pinguinos del Norte. Performances from Del Mero Corazon feature more great selections from Conjunto Tamaulipas, Chavela Ortiz & Raymond Flores, and Little Joe and La Familia. Rather than just present a series of musical performances the filmmakers have captured, with sensitivity and insight, the important part that music plays in the lives of the people here. Music documentaries don't get much better than this. For this DVD release the filmmakers have included 30 minutes of previously unreleased footage with 14 additional songs and the disc also includes an audio commentary and other information. (FS)

 
CUBA VARIOUS ARTISTS Columbia 63408 Ritmo De La Noce - Very Best Of Latin Jazz ● CD $12.98
16 tracks, 73 minutes, highly recommended. Drawing on the vast vaults of Columbia, Sony, and CTI, this CD collects a wide variety of first rate latin jazz tracks. Recordings date from the 1960's through the 1990's and artists hail from Brazil and Argentina to Cuba and the United States. Highlights include Arstrud Gilberto's version of the Brazilian roots hit "Ponteio," Hank Crawford's take on Carole King's "Corazon," and Mongo Santamaria's hit version of "Watermelon Man." (JV)

 
CUBA VARIOUS ARTISTS Harmless HURTCD 030 Freakoff! Latin Breakbeats, Basslines & Boogaloo ● CD $17.98
14 tracks, 58 minutes, essential. In the 1960's, Puerto Rican musicians in Spanish Harlem discovered the African-American dance, the boogaloo, and began a very fruitful and controversial phase in latin music. This fine, but eclectic, CD combines classic New York latin boogaloos of the era like Joe Bataan's "Es Tu Cosa" (actually a latin cover of the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing") along with tracks by older musicians, like Tito Puente, who didn't like the boogaloo (but couldn't ignore it either) and songs by West Coast latin groups (like El Chicano) who were trying to get in on the act. All are infectiously danceable. (JV)

 
REGGAE VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80398 Dancehall '69 - 40 Skinhead Reggae Rarities ● CD $21.98
Two CD set - The Bunny Lee All Stars, Meditators, Hortense Ellis, Lloyd Charmers, The Reggae Boys, Tommy McCook, King Horror, The Des All Stars, etc.

 

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