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NEWSLETTER #147
Ethnic & World Music
Blond Blond ->
Beto Villa

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 

AFRICA-ALGERIA BLOND BLOND Buda 860134 Jewish-Arab Song Treasures $15.98
10 tracks, 53 min., highly recommended
Like many of the Arab-Jewish singers, Blond-Blond was born in Maghreb but spent most of his time playing in France, more specifically in the Latin district of Paris. Albert Rouimi, whose stage name, Blond-Blond, refers to the fact that he is an albino, recorded for Odeon in the 1950s. And despite some excellent booklet notes chronicling the history of Jews in Northern Africa, no one bothered to identify the recording information for these tracks, or if anyone did, it's not in English. Doesn't matter though. These songs in the French-Arab style ("Francarab") are startlingly original slices of a little explored musical world. Imagine a Jewish wedding band in Morocco made up of Greek musicians who share a passion for 1930s American jazz. It's like that, but not really. Blond-Blond began singing covers of Lili Labassi and 3 of the cuts here bare his name, including Wahran El Bahyia. Blond-Blond originals include L'Albinos, El Banco - Hannouka, and two others. It deserves longevity, but don't expect it to stay in print forever. (JC)

 
CAJUN THE CREOLE BELLES Arhoolie 535 Cajun And Creole Traditional Music $12.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco songs and tunes performed by San Francisco Bay Area based female quartet. Although only guest musician Andrew Carriere has a Louisiana pedigree the group really captures the sound and spirit of the great Cajun and Creole musicians of the past. Singer and fiddler Delilah Lee Lewis spent a long time in Louisiana learning from musicians like Canray Fontenot, Dennis McGee, Dewey Balfa and others and she has learned well. She shares the lead vocals with Andrew Carriere (the son of legendary Creole fiddler Bebe Carriere) and both are splendid. They perform a varied selection of classic songs and tunes from the repertoire of musicians like Canray Fontenot, Wade Fruge, Adam Hebert, Boozoo Chavis, Lawrence Walker and others along with a couple of original compositions by Carriere. As a purist I was prepared to not like this but the group's spirit and convincing musicianship won me over from the first song. (FS)

 
MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital 10 Black Mirror - Reflections In Global Music $14.98
24 tracks, 24 min., recommended
The title refers to 78rpms, and the compiler has selected two dozen performances recorded between 1918-1955 from many parts of the world with his personal admiration for each song as the only guiding principle. Countries represented include Syria, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Greece, Cameroun, Bali, Turkey, Ireland, Portugal, Laos, Vietnam, Ukraine, and many more. As ecletic musically as can be imagined, this collection reveals many obscure and beautiful performances, including the Paul Pendja Ensemble's Ngo Mebou Melane, Javan singer Nji R. Hadji's Tjimploengan, and the early flamenco selcetion by Nino de Priegos titled Envidia Yo No Tengo A Nadie or, in English, You're Envious And I Have No One. Better known performers include the great rebetika singer Marika Papagika, classical pianist (and teacher to the great Alfred Brendel) Edwin Fischer, and perhaps Naim Karakand, who appears on Rounder Records "The Music Of Arab Americans." But for the most part, the stuff here is pretty obscure. And while most of it is surprisingly good, western ears may find certain songs to be an acquired taste. The only track from China (Mother's Uproar by Ahehongyi with Nendi Zhaoguan) is an example of the "little-studied Rulin style of drama from the southeastern Fujian region of China" and may prove to be strong medicine for most. But cuts such as the early fado (Portual) Fado de Passarinhos by Prof. Lucas Junot and others make the aural exploration a satisfying one. Sound quality is pretty darn good considering the sources. (JC)
NERIMAN ALTINDAG: Soyledi Yok Yok (Turkey)/ GONG BELALOEWANA BALI: Kebyar Ding, I (Bali)/ BURMESE MUSICIANS: Yein Pwe (Burma)/ CYGANSKA ORCHESTRA STEFANA: Cyganske Vesilia, Part 4 (Lemkos)/ NIŮO DE PRIEGO: Envidia Yo No Tengo Nadie (Spain)/ NJI R. HADJI DJOEAEHN: Tjimploengan (Indonesia)/ CHRISTER FALKENSTROM: Baklandets Vackra Maja (Sweden)/ EDWIN FISCHER: Handelís Chaconne, Teil I (Switzerland / Germany)/ PIPE MAJOR FORSYTH: Mallorca (Northumbria)/ HUTZL UKRAINIAN ENSEMBLE: Welsisni Melodyi (Ukraine)/ PROF. LUCAS JUNOT: Fado De Passarinhos (Portugal)/ NAIM KARAKAND: Kamanagah (Syria)/ SATHOUKHRU LUKKHAMKEOW: Nakhone Prayer (Laos)/ LATA MANGESHKAR: Aayega Aanewaala (India)/ M. NGUYEN VAN MINH-CON: Nam Nhi-tu (Vietnam)/ MARIKA PAPAGIKA: Smyrneiko Minore (Greece)/ PAUL PENDJA ENSEMBLE: Ngo Mebou Melane (Cameroun)/ PETAR PERUNOVIC-PERUN: Narodne Saljive Pjesme (Serbia)/ REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DEMOCRATIC YOUTH: Djanger (Bali)/ SINKOU SON & KOURAN KIN: Songs in Grief (Japan)/ THIRUVAZHIMILALAI SUBRAMANIAN BROS. & NEEDAMANGALAM MEENAK: Manasa Sri Ramachandra (India)/ THEWAPRASIT ENSEMBLE: Phleeng Khuk Phaat, Part 2 (Thailand)/ PATRICK J. TOUHEY: Drowsy Maggie (Ireland)/ ZHEHONGYI WITH NENDI ZHAOGUAN: Motherís Uproar (China)

 
GREECE VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77105 Rembetika 2 $28.98
Four CDs, 87 tracks, essential
Complementing JSP 7776 ("Rembetika" - $28.98) this is another fantastic collection of this incredibly powerful and moving music from Greece that has parallels with American blues in it's visceral impact. The recordings here cover the period 1908 through 1946 along with one track from 2000 showing that the music is still alive. Intensely emotional vocals with varied instrumental accompaniments including clarinet, oud, violin, cimbalom, guitar, bouzouki, lyra, mandolin, banjo and other instruments in varying combinations. Compiled by rembetika expert Charles Howard who provides notes, discography, brief biographies and excerpts from the songs. Sound quality is outstanding - even the four tracks recorded between 1908 and 1910 sound great. The first volume was one of the best releases of 2006 - this one is sure to be one of the best of 2008. (FS)
RITA ABADZI: Zoi Ine Afti Zoitsa Mou/ MARKO MELKON ALEMSHERIAN: Shed Araban Taksim/ ANONYMOUS: O Bochoris/ D. ARAPAKIS: Manes Sabach/ DHIMITRIS ATRAIDHIS: Rast Mahour/ YEORG. BATIS: O Boufedzis/ To Barberaki/ BAYIANDERAS: To Tragoudhi Tis Agapis/ CAVADHIAS POPULAR ORCHESTRA: Karsilamas Tekirdag/ DALGAS: Ap 'Tin Poli Enas Mortis/ A. DALGAS: Beoglou Manes/ AND. DALGAS: Karotsieris (The Coachman)/ Nei Hasiklidhes (The Young Hash Smokers)/ ANDONIOS DALGAS: To Baglamadhaki Spase/ ANDONIS D. DALGAS: Tsifte-Teli Yiala/ AN. DHELIAS: To Sakkaki (The Stolen Jacket)/ KONST. DOUSSAS: I Trata (The Trawler)/ HAIM EFFENDI: Tchakidji Turkessou/ ROZA ESKENAZI: Voliotissa (The Girl From Volos)/ ELLINIKI ESTOUDIANDINA: Tsifte-Telli, Tha Spaso Koupes/ ESTUDIANTINA GRECQUE LEOPOLD GAD: Ta Kounaga (I Shook the Dice)/ ROZA EZKENAZI: Binda Yiala/ Merakli Rast Manes (Let Me Burn)/ MARIKA FRANDZESKOPOULOU: Ap' Tou Memeti To Nero/ HADZICHRISTOS: Echo Vathia Ton Pono/ AP. HADZICHRISTOS: Kala Mou Topane Mario/ A. HADZICHROSTOS: Ftochia (Poverty)/ JOHN (JACK) HALIKIAS: Mourmouriko Zeimbekiko/ SERVET HANIM: Yeni Turk Zeybegi/ Y. IOANNIDHIS: Apo Kato Ap 'Tis Dhomates/ ANDONIS KALIVOPOULOS: I Eleni I Zondochira (Eleni the Divorcee)/ Y. KAMVISIS: Yiannis Hasiklis (Synchronich) (Yiannis the Hash Smoker)/ ZACH. KASIMATIS: To Koutsavaki (The Dude)/ GEORGE KATSAROS: M'Ena Karedzi Blegmeni/ Pote Mavra Pote Aspra/ Y. KAVOURAS: Dhen Vrethike Yiatros/ STELLIOS KEROMYTIS: M'Ekapses Skyla/ ST. KEROMYTIS-TASSIA VRYONI: Ean Dhen Isoun Ftisikia (If You Weren't Tubercular)/ A. KOSTIS: Kaike Ena Scholio/ K. KOSTIS: Ap' Tin Porta Sou Perno (I Pass By Your Door)/ ATHANASIOS MAKEDHONAS: Tsifte-Telli/ HAR. MAVRIDHIS: Pio Pera Ap' To Zannio/ ZOUNARAS ME ARMONIKA: Smyneiko Minore/ EL. MENEMENLIS: Dhen Mou Lete To Hasisi Pou Pouliete (Tell Me Where They Sell the Dope)/ YEORYIA MITTAKI: S'Ena Deke Skarosame/ THEODHOROS MYTILINEOS: To Salepi/ OGDHONDAKIS: Aptaliko Zeimbekiko/ MARIKA PAPAGIKA: Mes 'Tou Sygrou Tin Fylaki (In Sygrou Jail)/ YIANNIS PAPAIOANNOU: Levendikos Horos/ AGGELITSA PAPAZOGLOU: Galata Manes/ EFSTRATIOS PAYIOMIDZIS: Manges Karavotsakismeni (Manges In Distress)/ E. PAYIOUMIDZIS: Ta Tsaggarakia/ EF. PAYIOUMIDZIS: Manes Rast Neva/ Sfouggaradhes (The Sponge Divers)/ STRATOS PAYIOUMIDZIS: Koritsi Apono (Heartless Girl)/ STELLAKIS PERPINIADHIS: Argiles (E. Papazoglou) (The Hash Pipe)/ Elleni Mikropandremeni/ Manges Mou Symoforthite (Dudes, Behave Yourselves)/ Varvara/ MARIKA POLITISSA: Manes Mahour/ POPULAR ORCHESTRA: Mytilinio Zeimbekiko/ YIANGOS PSOMATHIANOS: Smyrneikos Manes/ STAVROS REMOUNDHOS: Manes Hitzaskiar-Pireotikos/ K. ROUKNOUNAS: Pou Ine Ta Chronia Ta Palia (S. Gavalas)/ K. ROUKOUNAS: Mi Mou Les Pos Dhen Me Thelis (Don't Say That You Don't Want Me)/ KOSTAS ROUKOUNAS: To Marikaki/ DHIM. ROUMELIOTIS: Parigoria Ta Matia Sou (Your Eyes Are My Consolation)/ MARIO SALONIKIA: Bachrie Tsifte-Telli/ SAVARIS & MILIARIS: To Hasisi/ E. SOPHRONIOUS: Ballos Tis Avyis/ Kato Sto Yialo/ DAIZY STAVROPOULOU: Sklirokardhi/ Tha Pao Na Ziso Sta Vouna/ STELLAKIS: Tora Yirnas Stis Yeitonies/ STRATOS: Dhespo/ Ston Lofo Tou Skouze (On the Hill Of Skouze)/ V. TSITSANIS: Dhen Se Thelo Pia/ Dhodheka I Ora (At Midnight)/ Hadzi Baxes/ O Tsitsanis Sti Zoungla (Tsisanis In the Jungle)/ Stis Salonikis Ta Stena/ PANAYIOTIS TSOROS: Dou Dou/ STAVROS TSOURAS: O Stavrakas Mes' Ston Teke (Stavros At the Hash Den)/ M. VAMVAKARIS: Dhen Pavi Pia To Stoma Sou/ M' Eblexes Vre Poniri/ MARKOS VAMVAKARIS: Kaftone Stavro, Kaftone/ Ores Me Threfi O Loulas/ NIKOS VRACHNAS: Randevous San Perimeno (When I'm Waiting For You)/ ALEXIS ZOUMBAS: Pergamia (Dance From Bergama)

 
NORTENO BETO VILLA Arhoolie 9059 Father Of Orquesta Tejana, Vol. 1 $9.98
15 tracks, 72 min., highly recommended
Villa successfully combined the sound of American big bands and traditional Mexican music, becoming the Father of Orchestra Tejana. Recorded in Alice, Texas, for the Ideal label between 1948-1954, these stunning instrumental tracks represent some of the first recordings of Beto Villa's Orchestra, and feature Villa's own alto sax work and the accordion of the legendary Narciso Martinez. A few cuts (Rosita, Rio Grande, Morir Sonando, Rosalia, San Buena Ventura) have previously found their way an Arhoolie CD 364, but that volume of the Tejano Roots Series is sadly out of print. Joyous, infectious music by a true pioneer in the development of Tejano music. Bring on the second volume. (JC)

 

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