Various Artists: Panama!3 (Sound Way)

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Lord Cobra: Colon Colon (1971)
Various Artists: Panama!3 (Sound Way)

This third installment of this excellent and enjoyable on-going series of music pulled from old singles is subtitled "Calypso Panameno, Guajira Jazz and Cumbia Tipica on the Isthmus 1960-75".

Even if you don't have a clue about those various styles (the liner notes are exceptionally helpful) you can still enjoy these warm sounds which are driven by horns and percussion, accordion and mesmerising guitars.

It is also capable of surprises: Little Francisco Greaves delivers up some hefty hand-clap funk on Moving-Grooving which shows the band had their ears on James Brown and American soul; Ralph Weeks and the Telecasters conjure up a boiling groove that might have found its way onto a blaxploitation flick; Los Invasores get menacing on El Raton (good story attached); and those have enjoyed the slinky and slightly woozy sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club will find plenty to enjoy on material like Partido Calypsonian and the songs by local orchestras.

Timing is everything, and as I write this the sun is beating down and it's hard to imagine a better soundtrack for summer days and night. 

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