Various Artists: Rumba Blues (Rhythm and Blues Records/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Fats Domino: Mardi Gras in New Orleans (1949)
Various Artists: Rumba Blues (Rhythm and Blues Records/Southbound)

From the same label which has brought the superb 4-CD sets of rhythm and blues (here) comes this equally excellent 26-song collection of post-war material which had soaked in a Latin rumba-shuffle influence.

And when you look at who is here, that influence was considerable and across a wide range of artists: T-Bone Walker; the Johnny Otis Orchestra; Lowell Fulson; r'n'b legend Big Mama Thornton (Hound Dog, of course); Ray Charles and BB King; piano players Professor Longhair and Fats Domino (and singer Dave Bartholomew) out of New Orleans;  jump-jive genius Louis Jordan; the little known Ray-O-Vacs . . .

This is slippery and seductive music with that tricky undercurrrent that rumba beats bring, and to hear how thesee diverse musicians adapted and bent it to their own styles is just a whole heap of fun.

More than that though, if you take the time to read the liner note essay -- and the detail on the singers/perfoemrs/songs -- this collection (subtitled "How Latin Music Changed Rhythm and Blues Vol One 1940-1953") is instructive history.

But history that will put a smile on your face and dip in your step. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; ABIGAIL WASHBURN INTERVIEWED: From Middle America to Middle Kingdom

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; ABIGAIL WASHBURN INTERVIEWED: From Middle America to Middle Kingdom

Abigail Washburn was always going to work in China, but along the way she changed the how and the why of it. She started out aiming to be lawyer working in Chinese-US relations and maybe even a... > Read more

Doug Cox and Salil Bhatt: Slide to Freedom 2 (Northern Blues)

Doug Cox and Salil Bhatt: Slide to Freedom 2 (Northern Blues)

Slide guitarist Cox from Canada and Indian veena player Bhatt appeared at Elsewhere a couple of years back with the first of their Indo-blues crossover albums, Slide to Freedom. And Cox... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CHESS BLUES: Taking it from the street

CHESS BLUES: Taking it from the street

Record companies are usually at their best when close to the street, turnlng up talent rather than just distributing it. The Chess label was so close to the street it felt the sweat. Polish... > Read more

Snapshots of strangeness: a collection of odd anecdotes

Snapshots of strangeness: a collection of odd anecdotes

Walt Disney Regrets Last week I spent a morning in the company of a woman who has a curious obsession: she collects soundtracks to those Walt Disney nature programmes which occasionally still... > Read more