OLD WORLD (Asia, Arabia, Europe)
The muzikifan podcast has been updated with a midsummer mix, featuring Money Chicha, Viceroys, John Holt, Bana Ngenge, Bembeya Jazz National, Bo Diddley & others
Video distractionWhen life gets you down, try this loving tribute to Guanajuato by Yaxeni and Ricardo a.k.a.
Los Luzeros de Rioverde (she's only 9 and plays accordion, he is only 6 and plays bajo
quinto); and the first single "The Descendant" from their forthcoming album, about immigration.
Watch out Trump (aka Cheeto Jesus), they are here to stay.
If you speak Spanish, here they explain why they felt those facing deportation needed a voice.
GigsLes Mangelepa are on a European tour :
1 July Brussel Recyclart - Brussels, Belgium
2 July Amsterdam Roots - Amsterdam, Netherlands
3 July Hertme Afrika Festival - Hertme, Netherlands
6 July Berlin Urban Spree - Berlin, Germany
7 July Pardon - Warsaw, Poland
10 July Lausanne Festival de La Cité - Lausanne, Switzerland
11 July Geneve Ecoutes Au Vert - Geneva, Switzerland
King Sunny Ade North American tour: skipping the Bay Area, the curse of Bill Graham Productions lives on?
From Haiti, Lakou Mizik are still on the road:
Brasil festival at the Horniman Museum London, with Dona Onete (reviewed below) and others performing free on July 3
CultureExcellent interview (with samples) with Samy Ben Redjeb of Analog Africa records talking music and projects
Free event in LA: "Turntables and Traditional Music: Exploring Multiculturalism through Vinyl Records." Join us for some light refreshments, a lively discussion and an "all-vinyl" sharing event. Bring your favorite record to share! with Glenn Red (AfroFunké/Ecléctica/La Junta), Rani D (Soul in the Park/Radio Afrique), Arshia Haq (Discostan), Reyes (Ecléctica/Trópico de Nopal) on July 14, 7 pm at Trópico de Nopal Gallery Art-Space, 1665 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
End of daysWe don't want to have a permanent Obit column on here, but it's getting inevitable. In June Amjad, one of the Sabri Brothers was murdered by Wahabi-backed talib gunmen in Pakistan. (In case you need a reminder the Taliban are backed by our good friends the Saudis, to whom we keep giving armaments.)
Still, we will celebrate the birthdays of Dr Nico (July 5) and Franco (July 6) in the first week of July, as always.
KONONO NO 1 MEETS BATIDA
ROUGH GUIDE TO ETHIOPIAN JAZZ (RGNET1350CD)
I know this genre has many fans. The Ethiopiques series on Buda has been growing for two decades now. In a recent interview Samy Ben Redjeb, the force behind the pathfinding Africa Analog label, said he was working on something Ethiopian, after meeting Alèmayèhu Eshèté, but the tracks he wanted ended up on Ethiopiques #28. Historians of the music say Armenians were sent there to train army musicians 40 years ago. Military and police bands were the source of the Ethiopian jazz movement. The pioneers include Mulatu Astatke who went to Wales to study engineering in the late 1950s but ended up getting involved in music instead, going on to Boston to study at Berklee College, where Quincy Jones, Jan Hammer, Juan Luis Guerra, Roy Hargrove and Donald Fagan also studied. Although most Ethiopian music is based on a pentatonic scale, Astatke found a diminished 12-tone scale among the Derashe people of Southern Ethiopia and wanted to foreground this in his music. By the late sixties Astatke was transforming the music scene in Addis with input from Gétatchèw Mekuria on saxophone. In 1973 Duke Ellington came to town with his orchestra and jammed with the locals. However only a year later a Soviet-backed military coup took over and imposed a curfew. It was not until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the failure of the Derg dictatorship in Addis that music re-emerged. In 1997 the Ethiopiques series was launched by Buda. I bought the first few then decided I didn't need 30 albums of exotic jazz, though no doubt some will say I have missed out on a great experience. (Liner notes include sentences like: "Mercifully we have not identified the alleged trumpet player," so you can guess what's in store in some of these tracks.) "Out jazz" I don't mind, but Out singing makes me edgy as manifest here on "Aykedashem Lebe" by Tlahoun Gessesse. Gabriella Ghermandi, on the other hand, sings like she listens to a lotta Lata Mangeshkar. (She has also published a novel in Italian.) Overall this is a fine introduction to the music, with some intriguing arrangements and the occasional shining talent on piano (Samuel Yirga), fiddle or sax. While Ethiopiques has put out a couple of samplers, this one takes three cuts from them and the other six are drawn from Daptone, Real World, Jazz Village and elsewhere.
most recent reviews:
(click on maps at the top of the page to get to continent of choice)
Tanbou Toujou Lou: Haiti 1960-81 is filed under Haiti
read about Djelimady Tounkara's latest in Mali part 2
Robi Svard is filed in Spain
Osei Korankye is filed under Ghana
Mbaraka Mwinshehe & Super Volcano's Masika 1972-4 is filed under Kenya/Tanzania part 2
Top 15 of 2015 is HERE.
My Top Ten of 2014 can be found HERE.
My Top 12 of 2013, with best reissues, etc, is online HERE.
My Top Twelve of 2012 is HERE.
My Top Ten of 2011 can be found HERE.
My Top 9 of 2010 is online HERE
Click HERE for my top 10 of 2009
Click HERE for my top 9 of 2008
Click HERE for my top 10 of 2007
Click HERE for my top 11 of 2006
MY BEST-SELLING BOOK!"Essential reference guide to the Congo guitar king" -- SONGLINES 64 **** (four stars)
"I do not know anybody who has such immense knowledge of African music. Congratulations." -- Gerhard G (a purchaser)
BACK IN PRINT (Second edition, November 2012)
A DISCOGRAPHY OF DOCTEUR NICO
Poltroon Press, 2012, expanded to 88 pages; list price $19.95.
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