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Bulletin - September 2008
Ethnic & World Music
Joe Bonsall ->
Various Artists



CAJUN JOE BONSALL & THE ORANGE PLAYBOYS Swallow 6209 Cajun Jamboree ● C D $15.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Great collection of sides recorded in the 60s and 70s by one of the giants of Cajun music - singer & accordion player Joe Bonsall. Joe started performing in the 1930s but didn't make to record until the early 60s and from 1963 on came under the wing of Cajun DJ, producer and promoter John "Tee Bruce" Broussard who produced most of the recordings here. Joining Joe are his suoperb group The Orange Playboys featuring Wilson LeJeune on steel guitar, Bobby Caswell on rhythm guitar and the great Floyd LeBlanc on fiddle. The material is a mix of original and traditional songs and tunes with the occasional oddity like their French language cover of Jim Croce's Bad, Bad, Leroy Carr but most of it is gorgeous straight ahead traditional style Cajun music. (FS)

AUSTRIA ANTON KARAS Collectables 0849 The Third Man Theme And Other Favorites ● C D $7.98
14 tracks, 56 mins, recommended
The Third Man Theme
is just one of those odd ball hit songs that comes out of the blue, hits big and then goes right back. A wave of Zither songs didn't follow in its wake, but it's an interesting sound and for fans of atmospheric movie soundtracks it's probably something worth checking out although the version here is not the one used in the film soundtrack. The legend has it that Anton Karas was playing his Zither in a Viennese beer garden when film director Carol Reed stumbled upon him and had an epiphany about using this sound for the movie he was directing. The original The Third Man Theme composed by Karas, became a smash and stayed on top of the pop charts in 1950 for an impressive 11 weeks. Based on this success, the door was flung open to the potential for music from a film to have a life of it's own, not to mention World Music's viability to an American record buying public. So, all in all, an interesting story and collection of music, but possibly not for everyone. (JM)

CAJUN THE SAVOY FAMILY BAND Arhoolie 525 Turn Loose But Don't Let Go ● C D $12.98
15 tracks, 54 min., highly recommended Another outstanding album from the first family of Cajun music, including a reworking of a song Two Step De Prairie Soileau recorded in the 1930s by the great pioneer Amede Ardoin. Other covers include a beautiful waltz by Dennis McGee called Valse Des Reeds (Reed's Waltz), the mournful public domain piece Baby And The Gambler (which Ann Savoy learned from a 78 rpm by Delma Lachney), and the Belton Richard love songs I'll Be Lonely (Je Vas M'Ennuyer and You're So Easy To Love, among others. The only non-Savoys are Drew Simon, who plays drums on three tracks, and Steve Riley, who plays drums on one. Another strong outing. (JC)

GREECE VASSILIS TSITSANIS JSP JSPCD 77111 Rembetika 3 : 1936-1940 All The Pre-War Recordings ● C D $31.98
Five CDs, 101 tracks, essential A third collection of classic Greek rembetika music from the collection of Charles Howard as his associates courtesy of JSP. This one is devoted to the work of the great Vassilis Tsitsanis who was perhaps was one of the greatest performers to emerge from the classic rembetiko period before WW II, a modern Greek hero whose funeral procession drew two hundred thousand mourners. Tsitsanis was the master of the bouzouki, a long necked mandolin like instrument, which he plays on all tracks here as well as being composer of most of the songs and providing accompanying vocals. Unlike many of his fellow rembetes Tsitsanis had a formal education and brought elements of Western Music to his music. Lead vocals are provided by great singers like Yeoriia Mittaki, Sophia Abadzi (sister of the great Rita Abadzi), Apostolos Hadzichristos, Rita Abadzi, Efstratios Payioumidzis (better known as "Stratos"), Stylianos Perpiniadhis (better known as "Stellakis"), Daizy Stavropoulou and others. Considering the rarity of some these recordings the sound quality is outstanding and the booklets have brief biographical notes, outlines of the songs and discographical details. Dusky and smoky as the taverns where it was played, this is timeless music suffused with a profound sense of the joyfulness and the strivings of life. Tsitsanis' musicianship is nothing short of astounding and he plays with both great virtuosity and effortless ease. The whole gamut of human emotion and experience is evoked, playful and flirtatious one minute, yearning and melancholy the next. These magnificent recordings are absolutely essential to fans of Greek music and highly recommended to everyone else! Previous volumes (JSP 7776 and 77105 are equally indispensible. (FS/ DP)

AFRICA-SOUTH AFRICA BARRY VAN ZYL & THE BO KAAP COLLECT IVE Arc Music 2133 Goema Music From Cape Town, South Africa ● C D $13.98
18 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended Goema music is a high energy, upbeat music played by the Muslim population of Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa that utilizes multiple vocal parts in addition to varied percussion, with Bass, Banjo and Guitar. Based on this CD, Goema is a joyous and humorous type of music that is played at full throttle. Barry Von Zyl is a South African drummer/ percussionist, well known for his work Johnny Clegg and others as well as for his soundtrack for the Oscar-winning movie "Tsotsi." The Bo Kaap Collective are Cape Town musicians of various renown. History plus full lyrical transcriptions are provided in not only English, but French, German and Spanish. Here we have some obscure music that is truly an infectious treat that will keep your toes tapping. (JM)

MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Music Of The World 148 Global Voices ● C D $16.98
Three CD set, 43 tracks, 162 mins, highly recommended We've turned up a handful of copies of this superb out of print three CD set originally issued in the mid 60s. THis is an exciting exploration of vocal-based music from around the world. The first disc is all traditional music and includes some truly amazing vocal percussion from South Indxia, overtone singing from Vietnam and Tuva, a Fijian war chant, a Native American sunrise song from Oklahoma, spine chilling polyphonic singing from Sardinia, sung Hebrew poetry from Yemen and more. The second disc is devoted to sacred music and includes a CRoatian choir, a liturgical choral group from HUngary, Buddhist chants, Hindu devotional songs, Sufi chants, African American gospel and more. The third disc features contemporary music including modern acapella stylings, Eastern European improvisations, yodelling, blues, flamenco singing, group singing from Galcia with accompaniment a Breton Folk-rock band and more. Although the third disc is not quite as compelling as the other two there are quite a few very fine tracks here and overall this is a terrific set with outstanding sound and comes with a 56 page booklet with artist photos and discussion of all the performances and some lyric transcripts. (FS)


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