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PEACE ORCHESTRA – “Shining Repolished Versions” – [G-Stone Recordings]

aarbor   7/29/2020   A Library

Peace Orchestra is Peter Kruder (of Kruder and Dorfmeister) – I think he gave me this record before it was released in 2000. Shining is the only vocal track on the original Peace Orchestra release. It is remixed here by Rainer Truby (energetic with drums), Ian Simmonds, Uptight and The Moerth (spacey vocals). Is that Peter Kruder on the cover? I think so. I liked all the tracks at 45 AArbor

YORUBA! SONGS & RHYTHMS FOR THE YORUBA GODS IN NIGERIA – [coll.] – [Soul Jazz Records]

aarbor   7/29/2020   A Library

Recorded in Lagos, Nigeria and paying homage to the Yoruba Gods: Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others. This recording makes it clear that Yoruba and West African music has been a huge influence on much Western Hemisphere music such as: African American music: gospel, rap, New Orleans Jazz, soul, Afro Latin soul: boogaloo, mambo, Cuban Santeria, Brazilian Candomble even voodoo music from Haiti. The drums here are amazing as is the playing. Be sure to include this in your set. AArbor

Whetzel, James – Matilda Beats

aarbor   7/29/2020   A Library

The Whetzels just had a new daughter in June, whom I’ve nicknamed “Waltzing Matilda, Child of COVID”. As he did for his son Charlie, Whetzel composed songs in her honor and this is the result. The music sounds deceptively childlike but is in fact more complex than it sounds. Whetzel plays many layers of instruments: palm wine guitar, drums, flutes, mbira, and even a trombone – he admitted to me when he made a cameo appearance on my show. AArbor AArbor

AZYMUTH – “Misturada 3” – [Far Out Recordings]

aarbor   7/15/2020   A Library

From 1999, this is a collection of remixes of Azymuth’s Woodland Warrior. Remixers include: Jazzanova, 4 Hero (downtempo), Flytronix (drum ‘n bass), London Elektricity, Electric Soul (Funky) and others. The remixes are in many styles ranging from broken beat to house. AArbor

BHANGRA BEATZ – (Eleven Slammin’ Bhangra Tracks!)[coll.] – [Naxos World]

aarbor   7/15/2020   A Library

An excellent collection of Bhangra tracks from DJs in the UK. Bhangra is the traditional folk music and dance from Punjab, the part of Northern India next to the Pakistani border. In the hands of DJs in the UK and elsewhere it has transformed into popular club and dance music. Often popular Bollywood songs are mixed into club dance hits using the rhythmic vibe of reggae, rap, and R&B. The dhol a 2 headed drum, is the rhythmic center of Bhangra, which came to Britain along with Indian emigres since the 1950s.  Bhangra apparently has made Indian youth outside of India more aware of their culture and heritage.

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SQUARE ONE – “Jump Start” – [Freerange]

aarbor   7/15/2020   A Library

Square One is Mark Wadsworth from Manchester (in the UK). This is his first solo outing from 2001. The track Jump Start has a (continental) European deep house sound with syncopated Rhodes and bubbly synths.  New World has broken beats, jazzy flute and a housey sound. The Jimpster remix of Jump Start is also worthy. AArbor

King Kwela Featuring Spokes Mashiyane – "King Kwela" – [Artone]

aarbor   7/15/2020   CD, International

King Kwela is Spokes Mashiyane, a master of the Penny Whistle from South Africa. As a young child he tended his father’s cattle and to fend off boredom became a master of the reed flute. When he moved to Johannesburg to work as a domestic servant, one of his first purchases was a penny whistle which he mastered as well. While jamming on a street corner he was spotted by a talent scout. Don’t hesitate to play this – all  tracks tuneful and worth a spin. AArbor

Minus 8 – “Remixes Part 2” – [Compost]

aarbor   7/1/2020   12-inch, A Library

Minus 8 is Robert Jan Meyer from Zurich, Switzerland.   The remixes are by Dr. Rockit (Mathew Herbert), Les Gammas, Tiny Trendies (Adam Goldstone from NYC who died at Burning Man in 2006) and Zimpala.  This record is from 2001 on Compost, very early in his career. These days Minus 8 writes soundtracks and other high profile music. All tracks worth a spin.

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Boone, Benjamin With The Ghana Jazz Collective – “Joy” – [Origin Records]

aarbor   7/1/2020   CD, Jazz

Benjamin Boone is a  saxophonist, composer, and Professor of Music at California State University Fresno. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Ghana from 2017-18). He grew up in the small textile town of Statesville, North Carolina, the youngest of five sons. “My brothers pursued history, literature, art and biology, so I have always gravitated towards interdisciplinary projects,” he says. “I like to make artistic statements that address culturally relevant topics …” While he was in Ghana he performed with the musicians on this release: Bernard Ayisa (tenor sax), Victor Dey, Jr. (keyboards), Bright Osei (bass), Frank Kissi (drums) and Sandra Hudson (vocals). This recording was made the week before he left Ghana. Tracks 1, 3, 5 and 6 are Boone’s compositions, the others are his arrangements. Boone says: “In Ghana music is participatory, egoless, and woven into the very fabric of existence. People live with joy and make music with joy.”

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Les Yper Sound – “Explorations In Drums and Sax” – [Figure & Ground]

aarbor   6/3/2020   12-inch, A Library

Originally Les Yper-Sound (also sometimes called Les Hyper-Sound) was a fake band consisting of Michel Colombier and Pierre Henry. On this recording  (which was released in 2016) there are 5 tracks written by the originals and 10 written by Jas Walton [sax] and Miles Arntzen [drums] who are the current version of Les Yper-Sound. The “remarks” on each track will tell you everything you need to know. My favorite remark is “about the track Potato Brain: “Moroccan Qarkabeb. Dramatic. Lights off.” It’s playful, tongue-in-check and lot of fun, after all it’s on clear vinyl – do not miss this one!

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JAMBU E OS MITICO SONS DA AMAZONIA 1974-1986 [coll.] – [Analog Africa]

aarbor   6/3/2020   A Library

Jambu and the mythical sounds of the Amazon. Jambu, it turns out, is an appetite stimulating plant which is used in the cuisine of Belem in the Brazilian state of Para (Northeast Brazil) the gateway to the Amazon. This collection is a well-researched guide to the music of this region by the folks at Analog Africa. A range of styles and music which reflect the local culture as well as influences from the Caribbean and Africa.

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String of Pearls – International 78s [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

aarbor   5/20/2020   12-inch, International

The first release on Canary Records, a sub-label of Mississippi Records. Each track is an old 78 recording from a different country, social, religious, or ethnic group. The performers came from every economic class. Their people were oppressed or oppressors. They barely survived the upheavals of their times or floated above them. They were recognized for their musical gifts and were showered with love for it, or they made a living, made some music and that was that. “They were trained virtuosi performing for people in the know or played in funky dives, or they sang when the occasion called for it – or all of the above. Their influence lives on today, or their names are forgotten. They played something novel and forward thinking, or something comfortable and familiar, or something popular in its time and since lost, or something nostalgic and anachronistic even in their own day. A very mixed bag of performers and performances in an attempt to retell worthy stories. Should be an amazing label. AArbor

King Sunny Ade & His African Beats – “Bobby” – [Sunny Alade Recordings]

aarbor   5/20/2020   12-inch, International

King Sunny Ade was born into a Nigerian royal family. In his musical evolution he started playing in a highlife band then formed his own band, which has changed names several times over the years. This album is from 1983 when his band was called the African Beats. Bobby is “Bobby” Benson another Nigerian musician who died in May of 1983, to whom King Sunny is paying tribute with the suite on the B side of this record. Benson’s music was African melody with a Latin beat. But that sound is not reflected in the music here. Ade’s sound is a gentle griot style with modern instruments including pedal steel guitar, synthesizers, keyboards etc.  AArbor    

Armon-Jones, Joe – “Turn To Clear View” – [Brownswood Recordings]

aarbor   5/6/2020   A Library

Joe Armon-Jones is kind of the MVP of the new London Jazz scene. He seems to play and record with everyone in that scene. He’s a graduate of Tomorrow’s Warriors – the primary training venue for most of the players in this scene. Armon-Jones is a keyboard player whose musical influences include: heavy dub, club culture, R&B, hip hop and even Afrobeat. His bandmates include: Oscar Jerome, Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia. Nubya appears prominently on track 7 which is well worth a play, as are tracks 1, 4, 5 and 8. AArbor  

Parliaments, The – “Baby I Owe You Something Good” – [Revilot]

aarbor   5/6/2020   A Library

Released for Record Store Day 2019 this is an early recording by the Parliaments (with an ‘s’). It’s a period piece from 1967-68 – although not in league with the more popular music of the time. Sadly it lacks the energy and flourish of their later work but it gives the listener a sense of where they came from. Funkadelic later released a song with the same name – quite different. I liked the instrumentals (B side).  AArbor

Gaye, Marvin – You’re The Man – [Universal Music Enterprises]

aarbor   5/6/2020   12-inch, Soul

From 1972 when George McGovern ran against Nixon in the presidential race and a lost year in the life of Marvin Gaye. The title track like its predecessor “What’s Going On” is clearly political but nowhere near as powerful. The issues may be different today but the message is still relevant.    I liked the B sides of both of the records. Apparently Stevie Wonder gave Marvin Gaye a brand new Moog (which had just come out) it appears on the instrumental Christmas in the City and is cool. AArbor

McCRAVEN, MAKAYA – Where We Came From (Chicago – London Mixtape)

aarbor   4/8/2020   A Library

Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven jams and mixes with 4 of the stars of the New London jazz scene: Theon Cross (tuba), Nubya Garcia (tenor sax) and Joe Armon-Jones and Kamaal Williams (keyboards); as well as the more established Soweto Kinch (alto sax), at London’s Total Refreshment Centre in 2017. The players bring dancehall, grime, garage and hip hop into their auditory “vision” of jazz and the remixers take it the next step. Beauty! AArbor

SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS – Wisdom of the Elders

aarbor   4/8/2020   A Library

Shabaka Hutchings is the best known and perhaps the most prolific musician from the new London Jazz scene. This is one of at least 3 of his projects. Recorded in South Africa Shabaka Hutchings plays with an otherwise entirely African group of musicians paying tribute to their musical and familial ancestors. AArbor  

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