Sunday, May 24, 2015
I posted this one a couple years ago, just as a link to Sleepy Lagoon. Lagoon being gone, I figured it best to do a new post with a fresh link. This is a great record; unfortunately it's ripped at a stinkin' low bitrate. Alas.
Contreras is a Mexican drummer-bandleader with a strong facility for syncretic influence-absorption. His mix of jazz (many faces of jazz), Latin music (in all its multivalent splendor), and exotica/eastern-modalities/experimentalism makes him a singularly fascinating figure at the crowded intersection of Exotica and Latin jazz. Perhaps the best illustration of this can be found on Jazzman's highly-recommended compilation, El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras, but this awesome record, Jazz Tropical, is a strong contender as well.
It certainly has lots of Latin/Exotica classics: "Poinciana," "Taboo," "Andalucia," "Caravan," "La Malaguena." And all great, of course. It doesn't have his weirdest stuff, like those notoriously-employed choral vocals, or the intense modal workout of a track like "Ravi Shankar" (both of which can be found on the aforementioned comp), but it's just a really good jazz attack on a bunch of Latin/Exotica themes and compositions, and it's a blast. On a less well-trodden note, the best track is probably "Orfeo en los Tambores," which has some really huge Lecuona Cuban Boys-style vocals. "Noche en Tunisia" is really good too.
Hit me up with an upgrade if you have one, anybody. This one deserves to be heard at at least 320.
One last thing: there will be no Explorers Room this week. I'll be back the week after, with Bibliotheque Exotique 3, so stay tuned if you please. I'm also working on a post for Buddy Collette's incredible work of genius, Polynesian Suite, and it too is ripped at an appalling bitrate; allow me to once again solicit the world for a better copy of it before I publish the post.
JAZZ TROPICAL (159) Check the comments for a slightly better 192 rip (though I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet so I can't vouch for it). Thanks to Mischa!
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Just a head up to discerning listeners: Chick Vekters' Travelogue, which I like very very much, is now available in full on Bandcamp. Go check it out. Now is the time to find your lost mid-century utopia and realize to your surprise how alien it always seemed to you. Why were you looking for it, when you weren't ready for it in the first place?