Västindien små Antillerna (1977) Caprice CAP 2004:1-2
The cover is filled with a beautifully dressed dancer, ready to celebrate Carnival. The title, in Swedish, means: "West-Indonesia: Lesser Antilles". Inside this double LP you can find six pages of liner notes with elaborate reports with every track, photo’s of musicians, a map of the area with all the islands and even tone diagrams of the different kinds of steel drums. The liner notes are of course also in Swedish. Luckily they included a pamphlet with the English translation. What turns out?These are field recordings of Antilles music, made by a Krister Malm in the years 1969-1971. Professor Malm, because he is, of ethnomusicology at the University of Gothenburg, left in November 1968 with his yacht Lady Day (he is also a saxophone player) the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He sailed for eight months through the Lesser Antilles, together with his wife and daughter, "looking for music and folklore". At remote places, only accessible by boat, he discovered the most beautiful music. In July 1969 he descended with his family in Trinidad, got on shore, found a place to live, became Assistant Director of the Trinidad & Tobago Government Folklore Archives and worked for three years on this LP. Phew. (Malm did not limit himself to Caribbean music. He is still active and his oevre is impressive – click here) Anyway, this LP is full of Caribbean beauty. The recordings are made under "primitive conditions" with his wife and daughter as help technicians. The quality of the recording is, like Malm says himself, not the same as what you would achieve in a studio. But on the other hand, the music was recorded in the right context, sounding very different than in a studio "where the musicians would feel quite lost".