Friday, July 19, 2013
Flash Strap Presents: Jungle Shadows Vol. 4- Discover Jungle Shadows
I present to you, in the dead center of this summer, the fourth volume of Jungle Shadows, a slightly-experimental installment inspired by (and functioning as an homage to) Van Dyke Parks' phenomenal Discover America.
Using that album as a launching-point, conceptual guide, and loose framework, I have designed this Jungle Shadows as an exploration of cultural relationships: between the U.S. and its Southern neighbors, the western world and the greater "exotic" world; the various two-way streets of appropriation, collaboration, homage, and cross-cultural pollinations; the cover and the covered, the artist and the producer.
Many of the original versions of compositions from Discover America are included (notated below with an *). Several of the selections have complex or at least very specific reasons for their inclusion, while others are just great songs that loosely fit the theme. Its not airtight-- give me a break-- but it ought to be interesting, and a fun listen, anyway. The Bermuda triangle of Caribbean music, Black American music, and experimental "pop" music plays a large role here, exemplified perhaps by The Beach Boys diaspora of pop, the soul/funk of Allen Toussaint and Lee Dorsey, and Calypso. WWII-era American obsession with Brazil and Latin America checks in as well.
Please enjoy, make sure to grab both parts (links at the playlist head), and drink some palm soda or coconut juice or something. Have a great week.
1. Have You Been To Baia? (from Three Caballeros)
2. Baia- Cults Percussion Ensemble
3. Four Mills Brothers- The Radio*
4. Riverboat- Lee Dorsey (composed by Allen Toussaint)*
5. Slave (feat. Bert Inniss and the National Recording Orchestra)- Mighty Sparrow
6. Aren't You Glad- Beach Boys
7. Summertime- Sharon Marie (produced by Brian Wilson)
8. Out On The Rolling Sea When Jesus Speak To Me- Van Dyke Parks (cover of a song by Bahamian musician Joseph Spence, and apparently an occasional bonus track on some reissues of Discover America)
9. Sinnerman (1956 original with vocal by Will Holt)- Les Baxter (recording of the classic spiritual from which most modern versions are derived)
10. Our Prayer- Beach Boys
11. Born Again Cretin- Robert Wyatt
12. Out Of The City (Into Country Life)- Allen Toussaint
13. Storm Chant of the Skraelings- Robert Calvert (from Lucky Leif and the Longships, a concept album dealing with how American culture might have been different had the Vikings managed to colonise the continent, produced by Brian Eno)
14. Surf Rider- Eden Ahbez
15. Taboo- Buddy Collette (jazz version of the Margarita Lecuona composition from the awesome album Polynesia)
16. Hindou- Lecuona Cuban Boys
17. Caravan- The Mills Brothers (A capella, save for the guitar accompaniment)
18. Danse Arabe- Xavier Cugat (Rhumba version of the Tchaikovsky composition from The Nutcracker)
1. You Belong To My Heart (from Three Caballeros)
2. Bing Crosby- The Lion*
3. Occapella- Lee Dorsey (composed by Allen Toussaint)*
4. Bacon Fat- Andre Williams & His New Group
5. John Jones- Rudy Mills*
6. Tambo, Tambo- La Cumbia Soledeña
7. Taboo- Cyril Diaz & His Orchestra (1950's Trinidadian, an intense reworking of the M. Lecuona composition)
8. River Come Down- Andre Tanker (the Trinidadian genius)
9. Take Me Away From The River- Fletcher Henderson
10. G-Man Hoover- Sir Lancelot*
11. I Wish I Was a Cowboy- S.E. Rogie (Sierra Leonian palm wine guitarist)
12. Cool Water- Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
13. Cool, Cool Water- Beach Boys
14. Ports O' Call- Paul Page
15. Ode to Tobago- Lord Kitchener*
16. Jingle Bells- Brute Force Steel Bands
As a parting note: if you haven't heard Discover America, one of the greatest albums of the 70's if not all time, then allow me to gently encourage you to to change that fact about yourself. It is a masterpiece and a deep pleasure, and you need it in your life. Either way, anybody might enjoy this incredible video of Mr. Van Dyke Parks talking about the album.