The Night: World Music
With music from Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Mali, Portugal & the United States of America.
1- The Lusafrica Years – Orchestra Aragon.
Orquesta Aragón is a Cuban band that was formed in 1939 by Orestes Aragón Cantero. The band originally had the name ‘Ritmica 39’ and then ‘Ritmica Aragón’. Orquesta Aragón was certainly one of the best bands in Cuba in the 50s and 60s. Their trademarks included playing high-class instrumentalists in a tight ensemble style, and rhythmic innovations that kept their sound up-to-date. Over the years, their styles have progressed in a wide variety. To date, they are still performing in Havana.
CD. The Lusafrica Years – Orchestra Aragon. Label: Lusafrica (2009), code: 562412. VIDEO
2- Casa de Fado – Maria Emilia.
Maria Emília was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but she came to Portugal at a young age, where she accompanied her father, listening and singing to the fado in ‘Taberna do Ganso’ and other well-known occasions in the region. She returned to Brazil and sang in ‘Alfama dos Marinheiros’, where she received the Fado baptism from the Brazilian ‘Godfathers’. Maria Emília then returned to Portugal and started her career as a fado singer. She worked in the most emblematic Fado tents, and performed internationally. The voice of Maria Emilia is fresh and clear, clear. She sings about love, jealousy and compares Fado with Carnival.
CD. Casa de Fado – Maria Emilia. Label: XANGO music (2018), code: 0702-2. VIDEO
3- Biserta e Altre Storie – Bottasso E Simone Sims Longo.
If you exclude the background that led to the birth of the album Bizerte and other stories for a moment, if you listen to it with your eyes closed, without knowing the facts, the stories, the projects, the journey will take shape here. The sounds and harmonies of an Arab character, extremely melancholic, enriched by the natural sounds of birds and the sea, are the key to the panorama. The songs accompany the listener to an indefinite place. There are times when you have the feeling that you are close to the abyss, moments when the light of hope resonates with the melodies. Equally important are the languages that can be observed and that reinforce the idea to meet different people from different ethnic groups during the journey.
CD. Biserta e Altre Storie – Duo Bottasso E Simone Sims Longo. Label: Visage music (2019), code: VM3023. | XANGO music. VIDEO
4- Talkin’Blues – Bob Marley & the Wailers.
On this album, with various sources, we can trace the development of Bob Marley & the Wailers between 1973 and 1975. The largest part comes from a radio concert from 1973, which was performed for a handful of listeners of the ‘Record Plant studio’ in San Francisco, broadcast by radio KSAN-FM. In July 1975 the band played two shows at the ‘Lyceum Theatre’ in London, and that immediately meant their breakthrough in the United Kingdom. Finally, the musical tracks alternated with fragments from an interview with Bob Marley performed in September 1975, but these fragments are very difficult to understand for non-Jamaicans.
Cd. Talkin’Blues – Bob Marley & the Wailers. Label: Tuff Gong | Island Records (1991). VIDEO
5- Jazz Masters 13 – Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Antonio Carlos Jobim’s album is part of an extensive series of historical reissues of the ‘Verve Jazz Masters’ label and is one of the best Jobim anthologies available. It does not have too much historical reach, because it stops in the mid-sixties, just before Jobim left the label Verve’ Almost all of Jobim’s biggest songs are here in their final versions, and the whole has been carefully probed, which ensures that the album has a logical flow. It is beautiful music, and also the birth of the ‘Bossa Nova’.
Cd. Jazz Masters 13 – Antonio Carlos Jobim. Label: Verve / Polygram (1994), code : 314 516 409-2. VIDEO
6- Getz/Gilberto, featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim.
An album by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, with pianist and composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, who also composed many of the songs. The album was first released in 1964 on ‘Verve Records’, and contains vocals by Astrud Gilberto, including the title: The Girl from Ipanema. This title received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Getz / Gilberto is considered the record that has popularized Bossa Nova worldwide and was one of the best-selling albums of all time. Later it was recorded in the music magazines ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘Vibe’ as the best album of all time.
Cd. Getz/Gilberto, featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim. Label: Verve / Polygram (1994), code: 314 516 409-2. VIDEO
7- Cold Fact – Rodriguez.
Sixto Rodriguez was born in Detroit of Mexican immigrant parents and spent his entire musical career there in the sixties and early seventies, but without any noteworthy success. His debut album Cold Fact (published in 1970) was a flop in the United States. The album is a patchwork of folk, psychedelic rock and pop, built around a workman-like voice and simple melodies. To Rodriguez’s great surprise, his success was thousands of kilometers across the Indian Ocean, in South Africa, where the album Cold Fact became a huge hit, widely accepted as ‘rock classic’. The album sold about 60,000 copies during the Apartheid era (very good figures for South Africa) and was copied much more often.
Cd. Cold Fact – Rodriguez. Label: RCA-Victor (1986), code: VPCD 6745. VIDEO (South Africa) VIDEO (Interview BBC) VIDEO (Sugar Man song).
8- Radio Mali – Ali Farka Touré.
One of the internationally most successful West African musicians is definitely guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré.
This album is inspired by the African rhythmic and musical traditions that have been going back for generations, with material originally recorded for broadcast on Radio Mali between 1970 and 1978. It was these tapes that brought Touré’s unique guitar style to the attention of his compatriots. Once available in Europe, these were among the very first commercial albums of Malian music.
Cd. Radio Mali – Ali Farka Touré. Label: World Circuit (1996), code: WCD 044. VIDEO