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Album Review

Grupo Naidy – “Arriba Suena Marimba : Currulao Marimba Music From Columbia ” – [Smithsonian/Folkways]

Thurston Hunger   5/13/2006   CD, International

Outstanding call-and-response vocals over a migrated marimba.
Liner notes detail the history of the African marimba finding
roots in the rich soil of Columbia, soundwise it just has a
sweet, cascading sound, especially when the voices drop out
and the marimberos drift from the melody for a few bars,
scurrying up into quick cloud runs, and then descending back
down into the groove. I can see reggae fans getting into this
album, even though its more of a calypso twirl, still the ever
insurgent elation of the repeated rhythm should connect. Plus,
singing often has a kind of raspy, sour, throaty timbre (check
out “La Maravilla”). Not too far for a rastafarian to journey.
“El Botellon” is a beauty to pour open the album, but the same
underlying music is raised above the cielo by the slightest
adjustments to get “Vamos a Adorar a Antonio” – that track is
sublime. Man, it almost converted me back to Roman Catholicism.
This release is as warm and bitter as life, and again the call
and response connotes the joy and juxtaposition of the one and
the tribe. Suenas for suenos! -El Hombre del Hambre

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