Various: Musica Negra in the Americas (Network/Soutbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Congos: Fisherman (Jamaica)
Various: Musica Negra in the Americas (Network/Soutbound)

Some years ago the estimable Network label released the groundbreaking Desert Blues collection of music from the Sahara region, a superb double disc in a beautiful and informative long-form package.

This re-release of the similarly conceived collection of the music of the various slavery cultures of the Americas is its equal: two discs of 33 tracks which is a geographical tour-de-force as much as guide through numerous vibrant rhythms and songs from the Mississippi Delta (Big Mama Thorton with Muddy Waters) through the Caribbean (Cuba, Haiti, the Congos' glorious Fisherman representing Jamaica) and into Central America, small regional musics (the coastal Garifuna style -- see Andy Palacio tag) and through Peru, Brazil and so on.

So here are exciting tracks by some names which may be slightly familiar to Elsewhere listeners (Palacio from Belize, Susana Baca from Peru, the Abyssinians from Jamaica) but mostly offers the delights of the unfamiliar: music from Suriname, Curacao, Guadeloupe . . .

With just a track or two from each country there is a danger that this could lose the thread, but as with their Sahara collection (and the Sufi Soul set), the compilers are people who really know their stuff and one track flows seamlessly into the next.

A terrific, colourfully presented double set (with an essay and historical notes on each artist, country and style) which will constantly surprise, delight and illuminate.

Party on.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

CARLOS GARDEL: The voice of Argentina

CARLOS GARDEL: The voice of Argentina

Just as there is no English-language equivalent of Jacques Brel (suggestions anyone?) or Edith Piaf, so there is no equivalent to Carlos Gardel (1890-1935) who became the voice of Argentinean... > Read more

Various Artists: The Sound of Siam (Soundway)

Various Artists: The Sound of Siam (Soundway)

Increasingly the globe becomes a village -- and the local radio station is broadcasting oldies and archival stuff. Consider the recent excavating of music from Ethiopia, Nigeria,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Pixie Williams: Maori Land (1949)

Pixie Williams: Maori Land (1949)

If Pixie Williams had done nothing else, she would still be in the history books for what happened on October 3, 1948 when she turned up at a makeshift recording studio in Wellington, New Zealand,... > Read more

Tom Petty: Village scribe, meet the village idiot

Tom Petty: Village scribe, meet the village idiot

For more years than I can recall when people have asked me what I did I have variously answered “I‘m a writer“ or, when Customs officials look difficult I would say... > Read more