The Barry Sisters- A Time To Remember

If my calculations are correct, today marks the first night of Hanukkah.  Happy Hanukkah everybody! To celebrate this event, here is the effort from the Barry Sisters.  It was 43 and probably bought specifically for this event (or maybe Passover- who can remember?).

I have featured the Barry Sisters on this site before so if you want to learn anything else about Minnie and Clara, I suggest you either search for the last post or check Google.  Did I mention I am on vacation?

This record was released by ABC Records in 1967 and is a collection of pretty standard Yiddish tunes. Well, I believe they are pretty standard.  Not 100% up to date on my Yiddish material.  Anyway, this was done around the end of their career but still a good little record.  A couple real interesting pieces. Perhaps if I were not on vacation, then I would be inclined to write a little more or at least re-read the back cover and regurgitate that information (according to the back cover, the song “is a happy wishing song” translating into “I Wish, I Wish”).

For a sample, here is “Alevai, Alevai” which I am sure means something but am too lazy to look into any further.

Satisfactory.

Nestor y Jorge y su conjunto- Festival de Colombia

This album was $2 .  I got it for my continual search for Colombian music.  At this point, I have not written a post in a good month and a half.  I like getting ahead of myself but find that it is almost impossible to keep the website current, since I am still reflecting on things going on in November.

As discussed somewhere in this blog, I went to Bogota, Colombia back around 2011 or so, maybe 2010.  I went for an oil show, which was beyond awesome.  During this time, I was exposed to several forms of local music at the exhibitors booths.  There were various bands, similar to what is on this record with horns, harps, and guitars.  There was also a few exotic dancers, a gymnast who came down from the ceiling, a Argentinian couple doing the tango, and for one brief moment, a Brazilian samba group took over the show. 

There was a lot of harp and a lot of saxophone as well in a weird Colombian style. There was the rolling whiskey cart. There was some Colombian rapper in a pink hat as well as a bunch of oil executives doing the limbo and conga lines. On top of this, there were local street artists as well.

Anyway, these pictures are from that show, back in the day when I had a crappy camera or perhaps a crappy camera phone.  Either way, after looking at these pictures, I was taken aback at just how much music/culture I was exposed to during this Oil Show.  This is also on top of the graffiti and radio music I documented in an earlier post.

Anyway, here is this, 12 songs written by Colombian composer Leonor de Valencia, from Ibague, the musical capital of Colombia.  These songs are performed by Nestor and Jorge, whom even less is known.  Not really feeling out research today.  Not sure when this came out, but here we are with a good collection of local songs from the coffee belt of Colombia.

For a sample, I went with “Sanjuanero” and “Cafe suave de Colombia” as I have been struggling to make up my mind these last two weeks (or next two weeks- I guess it is a question between my writing these and you reading these).

Satisfactory record.

Ian & Sylvia- Four Strong Winds

Being that good Canadian that I am, I totally snagged this for a dollar.

Ian and Sylvia (who were on my blog when I was between jobs and had the time to write books on the subject) really broke thru the Canada and US market with this album, the couple’s 2nd, brought to you by those folk stalwarts at Vanguard Records.  Man, that is one long run on sentence. Released in 1964, the title track, composed by  Ian Tyson, also was a major hit both in Canada and among the folk world.

Perhaps I should state more but you can look at the earlier post for more information.  As far as this album went, I felt there was a large influence of American traditional music on it.  The album features guitar from John Herald.  I am so close to finishing up this month, this is really where we are going to leave it.  If you want to learn more, Google it.

For samples, I went with the French ” V la L’Bon Vent” as well as “The Royal Canal” which was the basis from Brendan Behan’s ‘Auld Triangle” which has been on this blog several times.

Top Rated Record.  One more post and this month is done.

Omsk Russian Folk Choir- ST

As you can probably tell , I am winding down the month.  You can tell obviously by date, but but also the quality of posts.  Really running and gunning to get these done. Maybe you can tell be the lack of consistency this weeks posts have had.  Well no use blabbing about it.  Let’s get this one out of the way. This was $2.  If you read these posts, you should know of my love of Russian Music.

The Omsk Russian Folk Choir, according to the back sleeve, was founded in 1953 by Elena Kalugina.  By the time 1963 rolled around the Choir was directed by G. Pantukov.  The ensemble sings both traditional folk songs as well as songs written by local Siberian musicians.  The back cover also states that many members are former amateur singers which I do not know how to process.  The back cover , by the way, is in Russian,, English, and French.

Let’s learn about Omsk, the Sister City to Millwaukee

 

Anyway, here is this effort, which is pretty good.  It is from the at the time State run Melody label.  from what year, I do not know. Sometime after 1964 I imagine.  It is hard to detect with any accuracy when it comes to records from the USSR or China, especially when you do not want to put too much more effort into it. Anyway good stuff. Some instrumentals if I remember right.  Some female driven chorus numbers, some male numbers, and some mix of the two.

For samples, I went with “The Cossack Song” and “Mantani”.  At least that is what I think they are.

Good record.  Satisfactory.

Chitti Babu- Musings of a Musician, Vol II Accompanied by his Disciples

I got this with a handful of other Indian albums at the melting pot of used records that is Sugar Land Half Price Books.  I think the title, plus the artists’ stable of musicians on the back drew me to this purchase.  It was $4.00.

Chitti Babu.  It is a fun name to say.  I think I will do it again  Chitti Babu. Anyway, Chitti Babu was born in 1936 in Kakinada in the Indian State of Andnra Pradesh.   Born to musicial (or at least supporting of music) parents, he studied the classical Southern Indian style of Carnatic music.  In order to support himself, Chitti Babu worked in film as an artist/ composer/ and musical director.  However, it is his classical playing for which is most reknown, winning various awards and touring the world.  According to Wikipedia, Chitti Babu, in the world of Carnatic music, became a legend in his own time.  Pretty heavy statement.  With that being said, Chitti Babu died of massive cardiac arrest in 1996 at age 59. Also, he is no relation to the comedian Chitti Babu, who is also dead.

If you think the instrument on the cover is a sitar, then you are quite ignorant my friend.  It is a Veena.  The Northern Indian Veena, which plays like a stick zither, is used in Hindustani music and for the most part , has largely been replaced by the sitar.  In Southern India, however, the Veena functions more like a lute and is still popular in Carnatic music circles.  Also according to Wikipedia, the Veena has become synonymous with the artist on this record so when you say Veena, you are talking Chitti Babu.

The webpage below is an excellent source of information on Chitti Babu and greatly expounds on the information above.  I suggest checking it out.  One takeaaway I got was a quote from Chitti Babu himself, ” Music starts with M and in my opinion the M is for melody.  If You remove that M out of music, it makes USIC (you sick)”.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Link to webpage on Chitti Babu

Anyway, here is this effort from 1972, as the title would suggest, accompanied by his disciples (a very lofty way of saying students), Shelia Pathy, Shanti, Kala, Hema, and Lakshmi.  It should be noted that Chitti Babu had many disciples over his life and many of them became important Veena musicians in their own right.  Not sure why they are all female on this record, but then I again, I am quite sure why.  But back to this album, side one features five classical raga movements in a traditional Indian form.  Side two on the other hand, features six songs that are more western in nature.  Truth be told, I really liked side 2 and picked around 4 of the 6 for possible samples.

In that vein, I decided to use “Fifth Movement: Raga: Sankarabharanam” from side 1 (or at least what I think is the fifth movement).  From side 2, I went with “Rhythms Indiana” and “Of The Rocks” which I believe is my favorite.

Great little album from Chitti Babu.  had to say it one more time.  Satisfactory.

 

Martin Denny- 20 Golden Hawaiian Hits

Doubling down on the Hawaiian this month with a record from the guy who was mentor to the earlier posted effort (Arthur Lyman), Martin Denny.  This was $2.

This record from Liberty in 1964 is not the stuff out of Denny’s prime (the late 50’s), but it is not bad either.  If I can remember right, there are none of the sound effects heard so prominently on his earlier albums (also missing is the female on the cover), but other than that, this is the classic Denny sound, applied to a series of songs (20 to be exact) related to Hawaii.  I probably mentioned this already but Denny would die in Honolulu in 2005.  His ashes were scattered at sea.

Decent album.  I liked a lot of songs and had quite a few slated as samples, but as always I go back to my favorites which are “Hawaiian War Chant” and “The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai”.  I already provided some background this month on “War Chant”.  “The Cockeyed Mayor”, on the other hand, dates back to the 1930’s I believe and celebrates the town’s custom of having honorary mayors.  I could recount the story here but I am lazy and will direct you to the link below.

News article on the mayor of Kaunakakai

Good record.  Satisfactory.

Caterina Valente with Edmundo Ros – Silk ‘N Latin

When I was going thru my records, I was really surprised I had this album because I had no recollection of buying it.  I mean this happens time to time with lessor albums, but for two big names that I have posted on this blog (and whose records I have enjoyed), I found it strange that I would not remember buying this.  But the fact is, I do not.  It seems I would be really stoked to see this album. Somehow I got this for what was $6.  I bought this this year as well which makes my lack of recollection even sadder.

But here we are with this, a joint effort from two international superstars who are (or at least were) pretty famous on the other side of the ocean. Apparently, the two had done some significant work together, prior to this. From London Records in 1969 ( a lot of records this month are from 1969 or 1970- strange), this record features these two in a collection of latin tunes which in reality, sounds more Brazilian like Sergio Mendes or so.  A lot of samba tunes.  Real good album.  I was a bit underwhelmed by the first side, but the second side really hit it out of the park.  

For a sample, I went with the duo’s take on the Beatles “Fool On The Hill” as well as “O Meu Violau”.

Would have been a good album if this was just by one of them.  Together, it is great.  Satisfactory,

Arthur Lyman- Hawaiian Sunset

This record was $1. Lyman’s reputation in the field of exotica makes it hard to pass up his records.  Since I have posted several of his records in the past, there is not much more to say on the subject.  I chose this by design since it made for an easy post to write.

I believe this effort was Lyman’s third album under his own moniker.  Released in 1958, the songs all have a Hawaiian connotation as the title would suggest.  Good stuff.  I mean, it is consistent with Lyman’s other works.

For a sample, I went with what is one of my favorite songs, “Hawaiian War Chant”.  Written by Prince Leleiohoko in the 1860’s, the song has become sort of a jazz standard being covered by jazz bands of the 30’s and 40’s as well as its inclusion in the Tex Avery 1952 cartoon, “Magical Maestro” .  Oddly enough, the original song is not a war chant but a clandestine meeting between two lovers.

Satisfactory Record.

VA- Slop N’ Mash Vol 1.

This was $8.00.  I got it as there is just not enough Jamaican music on this page.

A few years back, well decades really, sometime in the mid 90’s, I got this four -CD set of Jamaican music, from Mango Records, titled Tougher than Tough.  Starting with the Folkes Brothers “Oh Carolina” from 1961 and ending with the same song by Shaggy, (which at the time represented the present day of Jamaican music), the compilation details the history of the genre from early ska from the 60;s, to the heavy reggae of the 70’s, to the dancehall of the 80’s/90’s.  Really good collection.  I got a whole lot of mileage out of the set.

So when I saw this record, I went ahead ant snapped it up, despite the high price. This collection predates the cd set described above a bit by presenting some seminal works from 1958 to 1962.  The genres hit on the ska and easybeat sounds which birthed the nation’s music.  A lot of decent artists on here including Owen Gray, Duke Reid, Lord Lebby, Derrick Morgan, Lauren Aitken, and Byron Lee.

For a sample, I was struck by three tunes in particular.  “Crazy Dog” by Beans, Dumplings” by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, and “Palms of Victory” by Azie Lawrence.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Nico Gomez and His Orchestra- Fiesta Braziliana 2

Here is another record that I bought last November when I was in Amsterdam.  It was one Euro. At the time of this writing, I am having a fierce internal debate as to whether I should go back to Amsterdam this year for vacation.  God knows I need it.  Money is tight though.  Well, I am sure by the time you read this, I will have already made up my mind as to if I am going or not.  

This record comes from one Joseph van het Groenewoud, born in Amsterdam in 1925 and resettled in Belgium in 1947.  He was active in the 1950’s thru the 1970’s, mostly in latin flavored jazz.  He recorded a slew of records under the alias Nico Gomez as well as a couple under Peter Loland.  He would pass in 1992 but his son, Raymond, became a famous Belgian musician in his own right.

This record by its title, would imply that this is Brazilian music.  I tend to disagree. The titles and the music would imply more of a Mexican sound.  Perhaps there is not much differentiation in styles when you are in Europe, but in this hemisphere, it is pretty noticeable.  But overall, it is still a good little album. 

For a sample, I went with “La Bamba” which is a Mexican standard.

Decent record.  I was hoping for something more Brazilian in nature, but the price is still right for the music. Satisfactory.