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NEWSLETTER #133
Ethnic & World Music
Denzil Dennis ->
Various Artists
 

 

 
JAMAICA DENZIL DENNIS Trojan 80438 Me Nah Worry - The Anthology ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, highly recommended Incredible 2 disc compilation by…who?? Denzil had many minor hits & lots of releases starting from his leaving Jamaica for London in '62 at the age of 15. However, he recorded under so many pseudonyms & as part of so many groups that you wouldn't know him by his real name. With producers such as Lee Perry, Laurel Aitken, & Robert Thompon, better known as Dandy - in fact he was teamed with Dandy & several others as The Brother Dan Allstars, also was in The Classics, The Freedom Singers as well as recording as Milton Hamilton, Alan Martin & & Mark Wayne. The music is uniformly excellent - ska, rock steady, reggae, including the wonderful title tune plus Hush Don't You Cry/ Nothing Has Changed/ History Of Africa, etc. on such labels as Trojan, New Beat, Down Town, Pama Supreme & Rio. (GM)

 
CUBA CHEO FELICIANO Sony Discos 87452 Live ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 71 minutes, highly recommended A great recent (2002) live recording by this veteran Puerto Rican salsa singer. Jose "Cheo" Feliciano began his career with Joe Cuba's Sextet in the sixties and sang on hits like Bang Bang and El Pito. He went on to sing with the Fania All Stars. In this fine set, he is backed by an all star band and has a chance to stretch out and improvise on several longer numbers, including his signature song, El Raton. (JV)

 
JAMAICA DERRICK MORGAN Trojan 80410 Moon Hop - Best Of The Early Years, 1960-'69 ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 54 trcks, highly recommended Terrific collection of ska, rocksteady and reggae from Jamaican legend Derrick Morgan who started performing in the late 50s and was still active up until a few years ago. This collection features tracks from Derrick's earliest and most succesful period - quite a few making their first appearance on CD. It opens with the great New Orleans flavored Fat Man from 1960 and ends with the skinhead anthem Moon Hop from 1969 and along the way we hear tracks like The Hop/ Housewives Choice/ Blazing Fire/ I Found A Queen/ I Am A Blackhead Again/ Around The Corder/ It's Alright (a rock steady cover of The Impressions hit)/ Kill Me Dead/ Do The Bang Bang/ HOrse Dead, Cow Fat/ Want More/ Johnny Pram Pram and others. It features duets with Patsy Todd, Naomi, Desmond Dekker, Pauline Morgan and George Agard. (FS)

 
AFRICA-ZIMBABWE OLIVER MTUKUDZI Putumayo 214 The Oliver Mtukudzi Collection - The Tuku Years ● CD $13.98
A compilation of recordings made between 1998 and 2002 by this superb Zimbabwean singer/ songwriter and guitarist. Some were available on previous Putumayo issues and some are from hard to find South African imports. Mtukudze is a powerful and melodic singer who plays guitar in that distinctive skittery Zimbabwean style and is aompanied by a superb group musicians with occasional use of keyboards and sax and soulful backup vocalists. His songs deal with the triumphs and challenges of his own people the Shona and of Africa in general. There are two live tracks - the stunningly beautiful neria the them sonsg to a filkMtukudzi starred and a rare performance in English Hear Me Lord which was covered by Bonnie Raitt.

 
CUBA ELIADES OCHOA Higher Octave 12480 Estoy Como Nunca ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 49 minutes, essential A stunning acoustic set from the "professor of the son." Eliades Ochoa found fame in this country as guitarist in the Buena Vista Social Club, but fans of Cuban music have known this singer/ guitarist/ songwriter and master of the folk music of eastern Cuba for years before that. This CD, a wide-ranging collection of songs, is unified by a lyrical, almost spiritual, feel and mood. (JV)

 
SOUTH PACIFIC VARIOUS ARTISTS ARC EUCD 1709 Music Of The South Pacific- Recordings By David Fanshaw ● CD $22.98
27 tracks, 80 minutes, essential The cream of the South Pacific recordings made by David Fanshawe on numerous expeditions from 1978-92. Wide diversity of mostly traditional sounds -not tourist music --from the many archipelagos in the South Pacific. (Polynesian, Melanesian, & Micronesian island chains + New Guinea). Chants & choral voicings, percussion (bamboo, wooden, stone, shark skin drums, etc), stringed instruments, nose flutes, mouth instruments, conch shells, panpipe and vocal polyphony, natural sounds of ocean, etc. performed in various configurations and styles. Even includes a more modern piece by a "flip-flop band" - using discarded beach sandals and fuzz tone! Most if not all of these recordings have been released on various other Fanshawe recordings, but this is a great cross section, and it excludes some of the self-indulgence that detracts from some of the others, though the 68 page booklet may be a bit excessive. The sounds of the sea on a CD. Released mid 2002 (JVI)

 
SOUTH PACIFIC VARIOUS ARTISTS ARC EUCD 1743 Pacific Chants - Polynesian Himene - The "Singing Reel" ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 69 minutes, very highly recommended Outstanding recordings of a variety of "Polynesian gospel music" - gorgeous and unique choral music combining indigenous rhythm and polyphony and gospel music brought by Protestant missionaries. Himene tarava, from the Austral and Society Islands (incl. Tahiti) has a strong rhythmic element, enunciated by countersinging /yodeling/ falsetto and gutteral vocal techniques (which were "sanitized" out of the music on some western releases such as "Tahitian Choir") and has such a strong tonal center that it sounds as if it were constantly climaxing. Imenetuki, from the Cook Islands has a more modal sound with males singing gutteral rhythm. Both seem to evoke the glow of the rainbows, echoes of the ocean, and the sounds of the coral reefs (5 brief recordings of pure coral reef sounds are included in CD). These recordings should not be confused with the straightforward imitations of hymns often heard in Polynesia; all the forms on this CD have distinctive indigenous characteristics. One Tahitian otea drum dance and a conch shell piece are also included. Released 2002 (JVI)

 
CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie 327 Cajun Champs ● CD $12.98
Collection of 22 great recordings of Cajun music drawn from Arhoolie's extensive catalog of Cajun recordings. Since Arhoolie has recorded and reissued some of the best in Cajun music this disc features some of the best of the best and features recordings from the 50s to the present day. i
NATHAN ABSHIRE: Cannon Ball Special/ Ma Negresse/ DEWEY BALFA: Petite Fille De La Campagne/ HARRY CHOATES: Allons A Lafayette/ OCTA CLARK: La Valse De Soleil Couche/ LUDERIN DARBONE'S HACKBERRY RAMBLERS: Crowley Waltz/ JOE FALCON: Creole Stomp/ ISOM FONTENOT: Madeleine/ WADE FRUGE: La Vieille Chanson De Mardi Gras/ Wade's Blues/ CHUCK GUILLORY & PAPA CAIRO: Grand Texas/ CYP & ADAM LANDRENEAU: La Valse De Minuit/ BREAUX LEBLANC: La Branche De Murier/ FLOYD LEBLANC: Louisiana Stomp/ D.L. MENARD: En Bas De Chene Verte/ AUSTIN PITRE: Contredanse/ Jolie Blonde/ CHEESE READ: T'es Petite, Mais T'es Mignone/ MARC SAVOY: One Step A Chaumont/ THE SAVOY FAMILY BAND: Sam's Big Rooster/ THE SAVOY-DOUCET CAJUN BAND: Amede Two Step/ LAWRENCE WALKER: Boscoe Stomp

 
TEJANO VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie 342 Accordion Conjunto Champs ● CD $12.98
A 21 track collection of Norteno music which features of the greatest accordion players. About half the tracks are drawn from Arhoolie's vast catalog of Tejano music and the rest from rare singles. Most of the recordings are from the 40s trough the 70s and includes Narciso Martinez, Paulino Bernal, Juan Lopez, Fred Zimmerle, Santiago Jimenez, Santiago Jimenez Jr., Tony De La Rosa, Euegenio Abrego, Valerio Longoria, Leandro Guerrero and more.

 
CUBA VARIOUS ARTISTS Concord Jazz 5302 Colors Of Latin Jazz - Soul Sauce! ● CD $8.98
11 tracks, 51 minutes, highly recommended One of six sets in Concord's "the Colors of Latin Jazz" series, this CD tends towards the funky end of the Latin Jazz spectrum and features well-known songs like Cal Tjader's irresistible title track, Guachi Guaro (Soul Sauce, and Mongo Santamaria's Watermelon Man (Mongo is guesting with Poncho Sanchez' band on this version) as well as others by artists in Concord's extensive roster of latin musicians, which includes Ray Barretto, Pete Escovedo, and Tania Maria.(JV)

 
CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7726 Cajun Early Recordings - Important Swamp Hits Remastered ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 102 tracks, highly recommended Four CD box set featuring a wonderful cross section of 102 recordings of Cajun music recorded between 1928 and 1938 by some of the music's great pioneers. The first disc features 16 tracks by Cajun accordion pioneer Joe Flacon including his first recording from 1928 of Lafayette. It also includes tracks by fiddler Leo Soileau with singer and accordion player Mayuse LaFleur from 1928, 1929 recordings of Dennis McGhee and Sady Courville on twin fiddles and two sides by African-American Creole musician Amede Ardoin. The second volume is devoted to the Breaux family featuring 11 tracks featuring the vocals of the wonderful Cleoma Breaux accompanied by her hsuband Joe Flacon plu 14 tracks by Cleoma's brother Amedee Breaux with brother Orphy Breaux on fiddle and Cleoma on second fiddle or Clifford Breaux on guitar. 20 of the tracks on the third volume are devoted to the great Cajun fiddler Leo Soileau in a variety of settings including duos with accordion player Moise Robin or fiddler Allus Soileau as well as various small groups with guitars and occasional piano. This volume feature all six of the early recordings from 1929 and 1935 of the fine and influential singer, accordion and fiddle player Lawrence Walker. The fourth disc features 25 tracks recorded between 1935 and 1938 by the brilliant and versatile Hackberry Ramblers. (FS)

 
MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Manteca 009 From An Early Age: The Incredible Music of the Gypsies ● CD $12.98
14 tracks, essential Absolutely kick-ass sampler of Gypsy music by fourteen different artists/ensembles recorded over the past thirty years or so. The Gypsy musical tradition, that dates back back at least a thousand years, has in the last century forked in much the same way the African American musical tradition has -- one road in the jazz direction, the other, as this disc's compiler Garth Carwright puts it, into the Balkan blues. Which is not to say that these styles don't overlap, but this sampler celebrates the gutsy, exuberant, dance your feet to pieces end of the spectrum. Plenty of brass, plenty of soulful string music in the same musical neighborhood as rembetika, and some rip your heart out vocals -- case in point, Czech Gypsy singer Vera Bila pours out "When I'm Getting Drunk" (Te Me Pijav Laches Rosnes). Performers include Taraf De Haidouks, Muzsikas, Erkose Ensemble, Musafir-Amsafar, Phoebe Smith, and others. (NSN)

 
MEXICO VARIOUS ARTISTS RCA (Mexico) 90914 Las Classicas Rancheras, Vol. 2 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 151 minutes, highly recommended Half a hundred ranchera hits from the past half century compiled by Mexican BMG featuring everyone from enduring stars like Lola Beltran and Jose Alfredo Jimenez to one hit wonders who faded away quickly. If you know this music only from Arhoolie collections of more recent Texas recordings, this collection offers you a easy way to delve more deeply into this moving style of Mexican music. (JV)

 
CUBA VARIOUS ARTISTS RCA (Mexico) 97885 Coleccion - Lo Mejor De La Musical Tropical ● CD $13.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 115 minutes, highly recommended This collection presents forty great examples, in a variety of styles (son, mambo, cha cha, cha, etc.), of classic Cuban music from the 1950's and 1960's from the vast RCA record vaults and serves as a good introduction to this influential and now revived form of music. It includes great stars like Tito Puente, Benny More, and Perez Prado as well as many fine, but less well known, performers. (JV)

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80426 Trojan Carnival Box Set ● CD $16.98
3 discs, 50 tracks, recommended Trojan is finding all kinds of excuses to categorize their countless budget box sets, which is just fine by me! This set includes songs which would be popular around Carnival time, before Easter, many featuring the sound of Carnival - steel drums. These are mostly happy, upbeat tunes including Neville Willoughby - I Love Jamaica, Derrick Morgan - Festival 10, The Techniques - Drink More Wine, & Tinga Stewart - Play De Music. You all know I love reggae covers & this set has the most unique I've seen yet! How about The Fab 5 Inc doing Benny Bell's Shaving Cream? Or Count Prince Miller's version of Mule Train? (GM)

 
JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 80432 Muzik City - The Story of Trojan ● CD $44.98
4 discs, 102 tracks, essential Yeah, it's ANOTHER Trojan box set (well, this one's a "book" set - 4 discs in a hardcover book, with a 52 page book as the liner notes). However, this one's a bit different! The 1st discs has 27 tracks from The Early Days (68-71), many have been reissued countless times, but there's still plenty of lesser-known gems (Dandy - Reggae In Your Jeggae, The Coloured Raisins - One Way Love). The 2nd disc has 25 tracks from their prime, 1971-2003, with all the greats here - Prince Far I, Judge Dread, Lee Perry, The Ethiopions, along with such tracks as Ram Goat Live by Pluto Shervinton. By the 3rd disc, however, we hit pay dirt - starting with the 1st Trojan record, Judge Sympathy by The Duke Reid All Stars from '67, the rest of the disc has "Rarites & Oddities" ranging from wonderful flops like the one described as "the worst record to come out on Trojan", Tribute To Jimmy (sic) Hendrix by Jimmy Lindsay, to rarities like singles by Americans Doris Troy & Clyde McPhatter. And wait till you hear Yodel Reggae by Leroy Gibbs! The final disc has "Rare & Unreleased Gems" - the few things that were previously released never came out outside of Jamaica, includes tracks by Lee Perry, John Holt, Tommy McCook & The All Stars & I Roy. Fabulous book includes detailed liner notes, info on each track, a Trojan timeline, & a list of ALL 40 of the the Trojan labels, with all pics in color. (GM)

 

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