Thursday, March 6, 2014

Crate 02 - Dig' around the World II

I raised the bar for this episode of DITC and dug deeper to get you the gems you never heard before. Go on a musical journey and discover records from Mongolia, Ghana, Moldavian and modern Colombia. Enjoy my second crate filled with records from all around the world!

01) Meridian Brothers - Guaracha UFO
(Desesperenza, Soundway, 2012)

This issue of DITC kicks off with a new song from Colombian Meridian Brothers, who released their first album in 2005 on CD only. Thanks to the new awakening interest on so called "World Music", which can be seen over the last ten years, the group was able to release the LP "Deseperenza" on Soundway Records. The British label is specialized in re-issuing recordings of obscure original Afrojazz, Afrofunk, and Latinjazz artists.

02) Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound - Para ser Rumbero
(La 8va. Maravilla, Fania, 1977)

Roberto Roena has recorded a lot of great music during his career, which stretches over more than five decades. He was part of the supergroup Fania All-Stars, played along Manu Dibango and conducted countless sessions with his own band Apollo Sound. The percussionist from Puerto Rico had his peak during the Boogaloo-hype in the 70's. I could have picked almost any of the ten songs featured on this LP because it's a pleasure from the beginning to the end.

03) Monk Montgomery - Foxy Gypsy
(Bass Odyssey, Chisa, 1971)

I found this record in a record shop in New York called "Gimme Gimme Records". Shortly after I entered the store and started digging through a big crate with rare Funk LP's the owner put on this piece of vinyl. He just got it and wanted to check the condition to fix a price. He didn't came far because I fell in love with this record and grabbed it before I could play the flipside.

04) Heshoo Beshoo Group – Emakhaya (Edit)
(Armitage Road, EMI/Columbia, 1970)

Diggers who are interested in African music might know that there are some really nice Jazz records from South Africa, who were recorded during the 60's and 70's. This is my personal favorite. In one of my first shows I played the great track "Wait and See"from this record. "Emakhaya" is another gem, which was also featured on the compilation "Next Stop....Soweto Vol. 3, Giants, Ministers And Makers" which was released on Strut records in 2010.

05) Syrius - Széttört Álmok
(Széttört Álmok, Pepita, 1976)

This is the 2nd LP from the Hungarian Progrock / Funkrock band Syrius. Their critically acclaimed debut "Devil's Maquerade", recorded in 1972 is supposed to be on of the best European Jazzrock albums to this day. For me as a breaklover the second LP "Széttört Álmok" (Broken Dreams) is even better because it contains some nice drums and funky breaks. Luckily I found this LP on a fleamarket for 1 Euro in between a lot of boring folk and German Schlager music. It was worth the strains.

06) Bayan Mongol Variety Group - Жалам хар
(Эстрадный Ансамбль "Баян Монгол" Чуулгa, Мелодия, 1980)

According to rumours around this record it was pressed in a limited edition of less than 500 copies. At least this would explain why collectors pay up to 300$ for this item. Too much, if you ask me because aside from "Жалам хар" (A black horse) with a drumbreak at the beginning there are not many interesting songs on the album. It's mostly traditional folk music.

07) Ellison - Strawberry Rain
(Ellison, Supreme, 1971)

An English speaking band from Montreal, Quebec that started in 1967 under the name "Johnny Peace featuring Marandola and Arcand", In 1971 they released their first and last album under the title "Ellison". This record is a real gem and people who have seem to have too much money pay more than 1000$ to own a original copy instead of buying the reissue.

08) Mel Tormé - A Day In The Life Of Bonnie & Clyde
(The Music goes round, Liberty, 1968)

Melvin Howard Torma a.k.a. Mel Tormé is a all-rounder. Not only he is a Jazz singer, composer, arranger, pianist and drummer, he also worked as actor and author. The velvet fog, how his manager once called him, started to sing in 1929 with the age of four and was active until the 90's, when he died after a stroke.

09) ВИА ''Оризонт'' - У Мельницы
(Оризонт, Мелодия, 1978)

This is a rare and funky record from the USSR. As far as I know it's a Moldavian band who recorded this album for the socialist label Melodica in 1978. If anybody has more detailed information, please let me know.

10) Tania Maria - Fio Maravilha
(Via Brasil, Barcley, 1975)

Popular music was once a cool breeze wafting over musical psyche. Soft sambas, filled with breathy vocals, swishing percussion, and liquid melodies, created an image of sun-drenched beaches set in a refined, relaxed atmosphere. Emotions glided through the music, quietly accenting it, yet never disturbed the effortless flow of sound. And then came Tania Maria! The coolness of composers like Jorge Ben, who wrote "Fio Maravilha", was still present but it was now contrasted with fiery musical outbursts - intense vocals, pounding chords and incessant rhythms.

11) Lola Martin - Edamise Oh!
(Lola Chante La Martinique, Disques Jojo, 197?)

Lola Martin was born on Martinique, a small French-Caribbean island in the Antilles, from where she moved to Guadeloupe to become a famous singer. Between 1950-1970 she was one of the most famous singers in the region and her Creole chansons were well-known. 

12) De Frank Professionals - Afe Ato Yen Bio
(De Frank Professionals, Anopa Nsonoma, 1978)

De Frank and his Professionals recorded three albums during the 70's, from which this is the last one. If you have the chance to get a copy of any of these LP's - go for it! They all contain funky highlife and as far as they haven't been reissued, buying the rare original press is the only way you can listen to this music. I hope a label will soon release a retrospective of this Ghanaian band.

13) TRT Ara Müzikleri - Çeçen Kızı
(TRT Ara Müzikleri, Yanca, 197?)

This rare gem comes from Turkey, a country that has been in focus for digging at the latest since J Dilla, Madlib and in particular his brother Oh No sampled a lot of music from the Bosporus. The instrumental LP has become sought-after because of tracks like "Çeçen Kızı" featuring ethnomusicologist Nathan Davis who is saxophonist and trombonist. For me this is definately the highlight of the LP.

14) Monument - Give me Life
(The First Monument, Beacon, 1971)

This was a rather mystical progressive album, which is now rare and sought-after by collectors. The four British musicians who recorded the album were members of Zior and the LP was the result of a drunken all-night jam session, which is probably why its such a mish-mash of tempo changes and different styles.

15)  Eden's Children - Come when I call
(Sure looks Real, ABC, 1968)

While the self-titled debut album of Eden's Children was a heavy psychedelic trip, which sounded like a progressive mixture of Jimi Hendrix and Grateful Dead the second LP "Sure looks real" is much more mellow and dreamy. The Psych purist would say the sound is flat, thin and without energy compared to their debut, but even though the first album is great I like the second one just as well. I mean, come on guys, are you not getting bored by hearing the same guitar effects turned up to the maximum all the time?