Album Review

Sprigs of Time [coll] – [Honest Jon’s]

ArtCrimes   2/10/2009   CD, International

“78s From The EMI Archive” – Honest Jon’s has done numerous themed collections that we’ve enjoyed here at KFJC, but this one is perhaps the widest ranging one yet. There’s no unifying factor here other than the fact that all these tracks were released on 78s found in one massive archive: EMI, the British based recording conglomerate, which keeps a copy of EVERY SINGLE RELEASE that ever existed in their catalogs, anywhere in the world. Going back to the 1900s, EMI was quick to exploit much of the British Empire by selling the colonies their own music, setting up makeshift studios all over the world and then shipping the results back to the UK for mass production. The selections here capture every style one can imagine, from the traditional African call-and-response of “Umbok” to the amusing antics of Indian funny guy Vengopal Chari (represented by 2 tracks) to the sophisticated Cuban scene back in the age of the rumba (Sacasas). Some tracks are VERY short (like tracks 1 and 30), so note the timings! (crimes)

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