Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Go ahead, find your bliss among this quintet of understated delights. None may send you frothing ecstatically into the street, but don't be surprised if, one day soon, just a wee bit of froth comes oozing to the surface.
1 Four years after fellow Nigerian Babatunde Olatunji's successful African percussion/American jazz "Drums of Passion" fusions for Columbia, Solomon G. Ilori released this sole Blue Note charmer.
2 Colombian composer and band leader Francisco "Pacho" Galán wasn't the originator of the merengue/cumbia hybrid merecumbé, but his orchestra pumped out the most popular hits first.
3 Chet Baker joined Bud Shank on this platter, the sax/flute master's second descent into Beatlemania.
4 I love PSF's description of this OOP Kan Mikami record: "This has long circulated in fan circles and is whispered to be one of the most powerful dates the bald colossus ever played. Captured live at Kochi University in front of a crowd of hyped-up wannabe student revolutionaries, Mikami breathes raging white-heat into a set of lurid, rabble-rousing classics."
5 The short-lived Swiss sextet Magog released two recordings, a live date from Montreux in '73 and this hard-to-find studio session recorded a year later.
Ooze and Ahs...
1 Solomon Ilori & His Afro-Drum Ensemble ~ African Highlife"
(Blogs: Coleção de Sons)
High on Life
This album can be regarded as Solomon Ilori's modest contribution to the appreciation of African music in this country. It is also the beginning of what I see to be a brilliant career as a his fans, particularly at the Village Gate and at Birdland will readily agree. Moreover, those who are familiar with the importance of talking drums in the life of African people will applaud the prominence which they have been given throughout the album...Most of the numbers in the album are Solomon Ilori's fashion of African "high life." To listen to them is to go through a relaxed period of pleasure and delight." (From the liner notes, by Oladejo Okediji)
2 Pacho Galán ~ "El Rey del Merecumbé"
(Blog: El Stinkeyes)
Merengue and Cumbia Had a Baby and Named it Merecumbé
"The maestro Pacho Galán had many facets to orchestrate the different forms, using saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets, piano, percussion, violins, flutes, singers, etc. Instruments where reloaded his musical structure within the context of most of his arrangements of popular music were the saxophone and percussion instruments, having these special participation within each piece of music. In this way he managed to create a sound identity and personal style, then continue adding the other instruments that made up his orchestra in their own style. The merecumbé is a faithful representation of these concepts." (Google translated, from Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango)
3 Bud Shank ~ "Magical Mystery"
(Blog: Van Groove Express)
Another Claims to Be the Walrus
"Bud Shank's second Beatles-titled album of the 60s – and a set that's even groovier than the first! The record features a wonderful jazz-based approach to "second chapter" Beatles–with arranger Bob Florence providing superb arrangements for post-Rubber Soul tunes, which are mixed in with some other hip 60s pop numbers too! Bud plays alto sax and flute–still in the lead on the solos–but also couched wonderfully in work from players who include Chet Baker and Gary Barone on flugelhorns, Herb Ellis and Dennis Budimir on guitars, and Victor Feldman on percussion." (Description courtesy of Dusty Groove)
4 Kan Mikami ~ "Live in Kouchi University, 1972"
(Blog: Japanese Old Prog/Psych Rock)
Yes We Kan
"Kan Mikami sings the blues, brutal, universal, sad. He sings fado. His voice hits you in the guts and resounds like the howling of the wind. There’s something immutable about his ballads, slowly weathered over time under the lights and in the shadows. A clear electro-acoustic guitar contrasts with his powerful voice that rasps slightly as if damaged and torn countless times." (Franck Stofer, at Sonore )
5 Magog ~ "Magog"
(Blog: William Tell's Guitar)
"A bit of Swiss jazz won't hurt. Founded by trumpeter Hans Kennel, this is a high level mix of complex conventional, fusion and experimental jazz. The album was recorded in November 1974 at the Tonstudio Bauer (in Ludwigsburg, Germany) and released on Japo Record in 1976. The album is fairly calm and soft all the way through with some energetic Fender Rhodes and trumpet blows. A mellow marriage which you will love I'm sure!" (Commentary by Paul Dormenfy, at William Tell's Guitar )
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