Good Music We Can Know

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stranger in Paradise: Ribamar- Dançando com Ribamar (1956)

Gorgeous Brazilian instrumental music from 1956, by accordionist and composer Ribamar. Like several other posts on this blog, this magic came from the Brazilian music blog Loronix, whose links were once excellent but now are all long dead. I only managed to snag a handful of records from the place before all was lost, but I intend to share them all, by-and-by. Not just rare but also wonderful, they all deserve to see more daylight.

Dançando com Ribamar is a delight and a pleasantness. Its charming, expert blend of both Brazilian and American popular music, jazz, and Bossa Nova align the album somewhat with the work of the fellows of Exotica; the influences are so similar, just approached from a different perspective. Reverse-Exotica in a sense. As such, the music would fit in on any Exotica playlist-- as well as one of Brazilian popular-music-circa-1950's, it should go without saying.

Sorry to be posting such Springtime tunes in what must still be a chilly winter for many of you, but the sun is here to stay in this corner of Mexico, so I feel I must post this. Perfect for enjoying a cool beverage in the shade on a sunny day, or just fantasizing about that sunny day to come.

Check out what remains of Loronix here, for some more info.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Jungle Birds, Jungle Drums: Tito Puente- Tambo (1960), Top Percussion (1957)

For anyone who's lovin' the recently-posted Sabu Safari, this will knock your socks off as well. Safari yourself on over to Orgy in Rhythm and pick up this Afro-Cuban/Exotica mindblower (in 320) and play it back-to-back with Sabu. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how great Tito Puente is, but allow me to insist upon the unassailable majesty of Tambo. Amazing stuff.

*Update: So of course Bacosco's link is dead, I was foolish to ever think otherwise. Apologies! What's worse, I don't even have a copy of his certain-to-be-superior 320 rip. All I'm holding is a not-terrible 160 rip, and I've upped a link to that. If anyone can improve on this, let me know. Grab this record here or elsewhere, and you can still pay Orgy in Rhythm a visit for more info on the record.


In order to sweeten this now sadly somewhat soured pot, I've tacked on another Tito Puente exotic blowout, Top Percussion. Not quite as awesome as Tambo, this is still excellent stuff, with more than enough chants and vocalizations to satisfy any desire for such sounds. Blistering percussion, as might be expected. Also, this is a decent rip, so have no fear.

Again, Bacosco has the skinny on this one, so check out more info here.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Ever-Throbbing Drums: Safari With Sabu- Sabu Martinez (1957)

This is not the hardest or rarest thing to find in the blogworld, so I'm gonna keep it brief. I just wanted to make sure everybody got a chance to know how good this is. Anyone who's heard Sorcery! (previously made mention of at this spot, here) knows how massive a Sabu Martinez session gets, and how gnarly and awe-inspiring his brand of Exotica/Afro-Latin jazz can be. This album is easily on the level of Sorcery! It is therefore, essential, so I recommend it in the highest fashion.

Check out the back cover notes over at Orgy in Rhythm, then thank him for rebirthing this monster into the world. His link is no longer hot, but it was the original, and for that I call him a hero.

I'm serious. This is enormous. God-sized jungle visions, scorching the earth in dark green fire. A headlong tumble into the witchdoctor dimension, eating a tiger's soul. Exotica Jazz Masterpiece.

SAFARI (320)

If you don't have Sorcery!, then get it you fool!

Friday, February 17, 2012

In Search of New Tabus: Milt Raskin- Kapu (Forbidden) 1959

Milt Raskin's Kapu is a positively sterling addition to Exotica canon. Well-played, thoroughly Exotic, and committed to the specific tropes of the genre, it's a perfect-- if still somewhat slightly unremarkable-- Exotica LP. But what sets it apart from other perfect-in-tone, yet somewhat vaguely underwhelming efforts-- such as Ted Auletta's Exotica, Warren Barker's William Holden Presents: A Musical Touch of Far Away Places, to name just a couple-- is that the record contains a set of (almost?) exclusively original Raskin pieces.

A swing jazz pianist from way back, and a widely-employed, if not widely-known, session player, Mr. Raskin here employs his gift and experience in the disreputable and glorious art of the Exotica facsimile. The results are, as has been previously noted, sterling. Dreamy, Polynesian in flavor, lightly percussive, lush with strings and harp, Jungle Book flutes, and laden with bird calls... a casual listener might easily feel he was listening to a set of Exotica standards, but they're all unique. That said, once examined, none of the songs seem as though they could have become standards or standouts; they aren't that distinctive or weird, and their melodies don't endure like, say, "Taboo" or "Quiet Village". Which is okay. Think of this as a lost soundtrack to an old safari movie, and enjoy Mr. Raskin's excellent piano work and pitch-perfect production details. Notice that there ain't a bad track.

Just to clear up any confusion, this record has some alternate titles and artwork, so Exotic Percussion and Exotic Tahiti are essentially the same record as Kapu (Forbidden). The tracklisting may vary, but the selections do not.

This is eminently listenable, lovely, and original 2nd-tier Exotica. Not an all-time classic, but a must-have for any medium/large collection.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ghetto Organs and Cactus Riddims: Carlton Barrett and Family Man- (The Sound of) Macka Dub (197?)

This is one of my favorite dub records. The rhythms are badass and crunchy, and most every track showcases just the nastiest organ or piano work. The sound of the organ is so right & good. It's a panic of goodness.

This is a simple record of dub instrumentals with relatively light effects and outrageously solid playing. There's not all that much I can say about it (except, it seems that calypso legend Mighty Sparrow turns in some drum work here). The organ sound just slays, though, making this an absolute essential.