Guinea

Truly classic. From Guinea, "Bembeya Jazz combined the best of their Manding heritage with an Africanized jazz sensibility and a strong affection for Afro-Cuban music to create some of the most sublime big band music..". A must have for your musical tour around the African continent. Buy the full album: "Montagne" is worth that price in itself.

''Classic Titles plunges listeners into the heart of a special era, an age when African music was undergoing a period of unprecedented change, and the collection is shot through with traditional Mande melodies and rhythms. These feature strongly on Le Rail Band feat. Mory Kante (an album by the Ambassadeurs' direct rivals in Bamako) and Bembeya Jazz National featuring the guitar wizardry of "Petit Sekou" - aka the Guinean guitarist Sekou Diabate (who caused such a stir at the International Festival of Negro Arts in Lagos in 1977 that journalists dubbed him "Diamond Fingers").''

Diamond Fingers & Enchanting Rhyhms!

I had never heard Bembeya Jazz National before, but I spotted this CD at a shop in Kuala Lumpur recently and snatched it up because it was part of the "World Music" series on the Cantos label. I also have CDs by Tabu Ley/ Rocheraus and Ismael Lo in this series and they are very good, so I was tempted by this one too.

Well, wow and yow! My mind is indeed blows; some great music on this CD! You can read about the history of this group elsewhere, but here are the basics: They are a band from Guinea, founded in 1961, and in those early years the band included 24 musicians and singers! The band's guitarist, Sekou Diabate was known as "Diamond Fingers", and in the liner notes to this CD it mentions that he borrowed a few techniques and tricks from Jimi Hendrix, including playing with his teeth!

There is an enchanting rhythm and lightness in these songs that reminds me a bit of the vintage Tabu Ley recordings. Very buoyant and atmospheric, and mostly instrumental. But if I was forced to compare Bembeya Jazz National to another act, I'd say they are closer in sound to Orchestra Baobab. Either way, you can't go wrong, right?

After falling in love with this music, I did some more searching on Amazon and was pleased to see a few other CDs that are available. From what I can tell, only one of the songs from this CD is on the 2-CD collection "The Syllphone Years", and nothing is repeated on another collection, "Hommage a Demba Camara." Another CD, titled "African Classics: Bembeya Jazz", not only has the same cover as this one, but the same exact 9 tracks (over 70 minutes of music).

The only reason I'm not giving this CD 5 stars is due to the lack of information about the recordings. Were these songs recorded in the 1960s or 1970s, or even the early 1980s? No idea. The CD comes with a thin insert that has a short biography about the band, but no information as to when these particular songs were recorded or which albums they came from. Nevertheless, this is amazingly great music, and I plan to pick up some of the other CDs by this group. -Donald E. Gilliland

1. Télégramme 6:52
2. Lanaya 7:06
3. Yekeke 7:51
4. Petit sekou 6:11
5. Koumba Tenin 5:09
6. Sabu 6:05
7. Gnagna 8:49
8. Yarabi 5:50
9. Montagne 18:29

USA

''Alan Lomax is a legendary figure in American folk music circles. Although he published many books, hundreds of recordings and dozens of films, his contributions to popular and academic journals have never been collected. This collection of writings, introduced by Lomax's daughter Anna, reintroduces these writings.''

Reviewed by Benjamin J. Harbert

Following the death of Alan Lomax in 2002, an onslaught of literature has scrutinized his life’s work with the fervor of an IRS auditor (Gordon 2002; Work et al. 2005). Rather than engage in the politics of defense or critique, Ronald D. Cohen’s collection of Lomax’s shorter writings offers an eclectic portrait of one of America’s most controversial—albeit most venerable—folk music scholars, fieldworkers, and advocates. The sixty-three year span of writings offers a grand context that stretches from Roosevelt’s New Deal, McCarthy-era blacklisting, the Civil Rights movement, and emerging multimedia technologies. What is most striking is our opportunity to follow Lomax’s passionate, articulate writing about music, unwavering in its insight and intensity from his teenage years through his developing and ever-changing career. For ethnomusicologists wary of an association with the ill-fated Cantometrics project (a multi-disciplinary, comparative research program that Lomax initiated in 1961 correlating folksong styles and social values), this collection offers a selection more fair to Lomax’s prolific contribution to our understanding of music.

The book divides these shorter writings into five chronological and somewhat topical parts. Each part has a biographical introduction justly contributed by a diverse group of authors: ethnomusicologist Gage Averill, Alan Lomax Archive archivist Matthew Barton, historian Ronald D. Cohen, folklorist Ed Kahn, and ethnomusicologist Andrew L. Kaye. Unfortunately, the minimally edited Lomax selections do not explicitly state their origins. One must hunt through the introduction or appendix to find the detailed publication information. A 23-minute Alan Lomax Anthology CD sampler from Rounder Records accompanies the book, containing 11 tracks of Lomax’s commentary, excerpts from his radio programs, and his field recordings. A track listing in the back of the book cites the pages that give further explanation and context the well-digitized recordings.

The first part of the book houses Lomax’s writings from 1934-1950. For most writers, the early period would contain more biographical context as an unpublishable, nascent style and direction fermented. Lomax, however, begins his writing career as a prolific and sought-out writer. At age eighteen, he rivaled his 65-year-old father in documenting and disseminating American traditional music. Through this set of writings, we see Lomax quickly emerge as a collector, popularizer, performer, theoretician, and political activist. This collection of writings ranges from book excerpts to journal articles. Lomax is already handling an eclectic range of interests: his song collecting in southern prisons, his Haitian fieldwork, and his cooperation with the Roosevelts in the White House.

These early writings from Our Singing Country, Vogue magazine, and radio presentations show Lomax as the ever-dramatic character that he was. His writing style is poetic and romantic; however, his subject seems less folk music than the act of collecting. His work for Decca records and pioneering discography of traditional music exemplify Lomax’s verve for preservation and exploration. In this early period, Lomax’s juvenescence stands for a youthful vitality in the study of traditional music—a discipline formed less from discipline and more from passion. To characterize Lomax as a dilettante zealot would be to miss the point. Lomax’s training under musicologists Curt Sachs and Charles Seeger, anthropologist Melville Herzkovits, and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston gave Lomax’s zeal weight and trenchancy.

In part two (1949-1960), Lomax expands his horizons to the ambitious project of documenting the world’s music. We learn that this shifting focus is in part a result of Lomax’s evasion of McCarthyism. Relocating to England, Lomax begins traveling to Spain and Italy, making pioneering quality recordings of their traditional music. The advent of the LP fueled Lomax’s documentary mission. While much of Lomax’s writing in this period still romantically describes the fieldworker, his tone changes to that of an advocate. Lomax describes the advocate scientist as a necessary figure who could help preserve the expression oral tradition and, by extension, the health of civilization. It is also during this period that Lomax tightens his theories on traditional music. In his treatment of aesthetics, meaning, and social utility of folk music, we see the ingredients for his Cantometrics project—an analytical system that measures song style and its connections to social phenomena across geographic boundaries.

The third section covers Lomax’s writings upon his return to the United States. He returned to the 1960s urban folk revival in full swing and assumed the role of an eccentric royalty of American folk music. Announcing the birth of bluegrass, acknowledging the urban “folknik,” and nodding his head to the importance of rock and roll were against the grain of the traditionalists and the precedent of romantic nostalgia set by Lomax’s father. This writing introduces the contrary voice of Lomax in defense of a broader understanding of traditional music and community. Retaining his place in the pantheon of folk authorities, Lomax published The Folk Songs of North America, another tome in the series of Lomax anthologies of American folk song. His scholarly article “Folk Song Style” originally published in American Anthropologist (from the last section) echoes through “The Good and the Beautiful in Folksong.” Always balancing science with advocacy, Lomax’s writing reflects his unwavering support of the emerging Civil Rights movement.

If there were an academic equivalent to the “outsider artist,” Lomax’s highly criticized Cantometrics project would have earned him the title of “outsider academic.” The Columbia University-based team absorbed much of Lomax’s attention for decades. His writings from this era are often considered curios of ethnomusicology. Defeating Cantometrics’ anachronistic reputation, Gage Averill prefaces Lomax’s writing by describing Cantometrics as a visionary and ambitious study that sought to return the study of folk music to performance. Unfortunately, the determinism and ethnocentrism proved fatal to Lomax’s efforts. Nevertheless, reading Cantometrics and Choreometrics with Averill’s sympathetic characterization is rewarding and revealing, reminding us of ethnomusicology’s temperamental aversion to grand comparative studies. The last two selections in part four concern civil justice, “Appeal for Cultural Equity” and the role of film in ethnography, “Cinema, Science, and Cultural Renewal.” While these two topics seem mixed with Cantometrics as an accident of chronology, they help diffuse the unmerited claims that Lomax must have been an outmoded bigot.

The final part of this collection covers Lomax’s writings from 1978 to 1995. His diverse roles as researcher, popular advocate, fieldworker, theoretician, filmmaker, lecturer, television producer, performer, and multimedia designer produce an equally diverse range of subject matter. His ripened prose is still poetic and inspiring as it described his Global Jukebox multimedia project, Jelly Roll Morton, musical creolization of the American South, fieldwork in the West Indies, and the ballad singer Jennie Devlin.

In Lomax’s writing we metaphorically see ourselves and the emerging discipline of ethnomusicology—as young, maturing, exuberant, and attentively focused on the pulse of music and culture. His balance of science and advocacy finds expression in the fluid writing absent of any semantic tiptoeing around the term “applied ethnomusicology.” Insightful and inspiring, Lomax deserves the attention that Cohen offers both for ethnomusicologists and thoughtful citizens.

Scotland

Master Ballad Singer

It takes a master to portray the various emotions of the joyful, sad and at times heart-breaking lyrics and stories folk music brings. This CD is packed with "traveling" stories, sung by the captivating, masterful singer Jeannie Robertson. I have truly enjoyed this compilation of song from the old people, and would highly recomend to anyone who enjoys learning of the past and coming to know of the hardships and sratagies of the generations before us to listen, come to love and sing along so the people of the 21st century may always keep the beauty of folk ballad singing alive. -Rachel Kerksiek

Hearing these recordings of the great Scottish balladeer, one thinks of Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson, voices of such emotional energy and tender tone that they can completely overwhelm the unsuspecting heart. These recordings bring the listener into the intimate setting of Alan Lomax's London flat in 1953, where the musicologist documented Robertson's great a cappella repertoire and personal history in interviews. Though she never sang outside of the British Isles, Robertson developed a considerable following during the British folk revival. And yet, upon hearing this voice--with its magical, flute-like purity, its precise vibrato, the whole mystery of its grace--"folk" seems too small and conventional a word. As a singer of traditional British Isle ballads, she was simply without peer. --Roy Kasten

Part of the Alan Lomax Portrait Series, this volume is devoted to Scottish folk singer Jeannie Robertson, whom Lomax recorded in London, England on November, 1953. The tunes go as far back in Scottish folk history as anyone can possibly document and all are sung beautifully and effectively a cappella by Robertson. Included are several previously unreleased performances and interview segments where Lomax gets her to illuminate on the background to several of the songs. One great song and story follows another on here; they are seamless and abound all over this disc. But special attention must be paid to "Son David," "The Battle of Harlow," "The Moon Shined On My Bed Last Night" and "Bonnie Annie and Andrew Lammie," true highlights of the disc, while the interview segments are nothing less than thoroughly charming in their guileless manner. Robertson was at the peak of her singing glory back in 1953, a marvelous repository of tradition and pride, and these recordings will hold you in their stark, trance-inducing spell. -AllMusic Review by Cub Koda

1. The Reel of Tullochgorum 0:46
2. When My Apron Hung Low 6:26
3. She'd a lot of old songs (interview) 2:49
4. Son David 2:36
5. It's a true song (interview) 1:01
6. The Battle of Harlaw 4:50
7. Wi' My Rovin' Eye 1:39
8. Never Wed an Old Man 2:15
9. The Moon Shined on My Bed Last Night3:41
10. The Laird of the Dentidoonbye 2:55
11. The Handsome Cabin Boy 3:43
12. I doubt she could have been a good girl! (interview) 1:07
13. She Was a Rum One 2:46
14. Lord Lovatt 5:14
15. Introduction to "Bonnie Annie and Andrew Lammie" 2:17
16. Bonnie Annie and Andrew Lammie 13:24
17. Commentary on "Bonnie Annie and Andrew Lammie" 3:19
18. The Queen Among the Heather 5:37

Note
Incl. booklet

Brazil

Evocative, eclectic, intimate, and rhythmically complex, TRANSA contains everything that has made Caetano Veloso the most distinctive and, arguably, most important voice in modern Brazilian music. The record was cut in 1972, shortly after Veloso's return from political exile in England. Though the songs are not overtly political, they seem allegorical, celebratory, and plaintive at once, and point to a tension between the artist's expressive impulse and the strictures of his native country. This tension is further heightened by the presence of lyrics in both English and Portuguese. The beautiful, desperate "You Don't Know Me" may be the world's first bilingual bossa nova/folk-punk anthem of identity. The jazzy "Nine Out of Ten" gives way to the gear-shifting "Triste Bahia," which features webs of accelerating Brazilian percussion. A spare treatment of the classic samba "Mora Na Filosofia," the cosmic ditty "Neolithic Man," and the 12-bar "Nostalgia," (ending with the wise line "That's what rock & roll is all about") close out the set. TRANSA is a jewel in Veloso's discography and a must for anyone interested in Brazilian pop--or brilliant, original pop in general.

I became an addicted listener to Caetano Veloso when I was around 15. Twenty years have passed but my great genius of the Brazilian music still keeps visiting my home day after day and heartbeats assault me nervously whenever a new cd springs up or a show calls for me. To tell the truth, I still can't help feeling excited with Caetano Veloso, really.

The 'Transa' record goes back to 1972 and it's among those Top10 records of our lives which I would take to that desert island all of us have already been invited to visit. 'Transa' was recorded during the London phase of Caetano, when he and Gilberto Gil were forced to exile for political and dictatorial reasons. It is a superb record, full of a wide musical richness, where silence achieves a never-heard dimension. Marked by solitude and also by the fact that he was living in a foreign country, 'Transa' shows a Caetano with traces of musical psychedelism, geniously seasoned with musical flavours from Northeast of Bahia, his homeland. The father of Tropicalism gave birth to an album with a strong identity, strongly winking at the European sound (many of his songs are sung in English), with several references to rock (one of the flagships of Tropicalism), to the Beatles ('woke up this morning / singing an old, old Beatles song' , in 'It's a Long Way') , but still deeply Brazilian. It's a record made by an unknown singer in the London of that time, a record by someone that lived in a country that he didn't know and that wouldn't dare to expect his music being fully understood by those to whom he would open the door of his talent. Solitude and depression that he was facing at that time blurred some musical freshness, categorically evidenced in some of his Brazilian albums. There is no room for doubt when Caetano sings: 'You don't know me / bet you'll never get to know me / you don't know me at all.', in the opening track.
'Transa ' is a conceptual album about homesickness, about absence, about his anguish imprisoned in European walls, about nostalgia and its own marks engraved on music, on his Popular Brazilian music, on rock'n roll which Tropicalism merged with to expand and that definitely changed everything about the sound produced in Brazil. As Caetano sings in 'Nostalgia', the last track of the record: 'That's what rock'n roll is all about / I mean, that's what rock'n roll was all about.'
The best justice that we can do to 'Transa' is, obviously, listening to it from the bottom of our hearts. -Carlos 

1. You Don't Know Me 3:50
2. Nine Out Of Ten 4:55
3. Triste Bahia 9:32
4. It's A Long Way 6:05
5. Mora Na Filosofia 6:16
6. Neolithic Man 4:42
7. Nostalgia (That's What Rock'n Roll Is All About) 1:20

Jamaica

Essential collection of Classic era Ska and Rocksteady (and a few Reggae tunes too) with Justin Hinds and friends

• CD debut for seminal Treasure Isle album • Many tracks new to CD • One of the most popular and influential Jamaican groups of all time Formed early in the 1960s, Justin Hinds & The Dominoes swiftly became one of Jamaica’s most celebrated vocal trios, their pioneering work with Treasure Isle producer, Duke Reid opening the way for the roots sound that would come to dominate the island’s musical landscape the following decade. The trio of Hinds, backed by old school friends, Dennis Sinclair and Junior Dixon remained hugely popular into the next decade, securing major ska, rock steady and reggae hits that included ‘Carry Go Bring Come’, ‘Rub Up, Push Up’, ‘Here I Stand’, ‘Save A Bread’, ‘Drink Milk’ and ‘Mighty Redeemer’. Duke Reid’s passing resulted in the collaborations with Treasure Isle’s new owner, Sonia Pottinger, which spawned further hits in ‘Oh What A Feeling’, ‘Rig-Ma-Roe Game’ and ‘Wipe Your Weeping Eyes’. In 1976, the producer also released the group’s long overdue debut album, ‘From Jamaica With Reggae’, which featured some of the trio’s biggest hits to date, along with a number of previously unissued tracks from the preceding eight years. Previously unissued digitally, the LP forms the basis of this collection, with the original dozen tracks bolstered by a further 14 recordings, many of which appear on CD for the first time.

Heavy intricate varied rhythms (from fast Ska tunes, through laid back smooth Rocksteady to Rural Reggae (spanning from the early 1960's to the late 1970's), floating keyboards (here and there), subtle horn lines, and great harmonies and songs (+ thoughtful lyrics) from Mr Hinds and The Dominoes.
Some of these Tracks are easily gettable elsewhere (but not with this sound quality), but some are not.

First time reissue on CD for the Reggae trio’s 1976 debut album, featuring some of Justin Hinds And The Dominoes’ biggest Jamaican hits and 14 bonus tracks……Ian Canty relates the odd story of a highly successful singing outfit who had to wait over ten years before they were permitted to release a long playing record…..

It is a puzzler how Justin Hinds and the Dominoes had to wait until 1976 to release their debut album. The band had been around one form or another since the early 60s and had a lot of success in Jamaica through the years, Carry Go Bring Come being their big Ska era smash. The Dominoes had a close relationship with Duke Reid, the record baron that was at the top of the pile all through Rocksteady, but by the 70s the Duke was ailing. Sonia Pottinger took over the production side of the group as well as Reid’s Treasure Island label and her intervention is probably what gave the Dominoes a shot at a LP. But on finally getting an album release, From Jamaica With Reggae was still an enigma. It was a hotchpotch mix of differing styles, due to it being an amalgam of their hits through the years plus some new recordings.

Justin Hinds (Horace Andy’s cousin) was another young out-of-town music fan who sought fame on the Kingston music scene, but his heart was always in the countryside where he came from. This showed in his 1971 song Botheration, in which he clearly elucidates the frustrations of city life from his viewpoint as a grounded countryman. He was a deeply spiritual person who would later convert to Rastafarianism and his work was marked by references to proverbs and fables, hoping to pass on the lessons he had learned in his life through his songs.

He was blessed with an appealing voice too and started a singing group with his school friends Dennis Sinclair and Junior Dixon in Steer Town. In 1963 Hinds and the Dominoes (the name coming from their mutual admiration for US R&B star Fats Domino) set off to find their fortune in the big city. Hinds’ talents in song-writing would prove invaluable to the band in their adventures in Kingston. There were many vocal trios trying for fame in the world of Ska, but not many with a built-in hit writing machine.

After an initial knockback from Coxsone Dodd, a friend with connections got them an audition with Dodd’s rival Duke Reid. The three impressed the Duke and with their first recording for his Treasure Isle label they made the Ska classic Carry Go Bring Home. This set the trio on a path of success, but as the Jamaica record business was far more geared towards 45s at this time, they never got to cut a long playing record on Duke’s watch. The run of hits that continued through the changes from Rocksteady, to original Reggae right through to Roots in the mid-70s, did not make any difference.

As the 70s wore on, the music scene was changing though and there was a demand for a Justin Hinds And The Dominoes LP. Weakened by ill health, Reid sold his music business over to Sonia Pottinger. She oversaw some new sessions and these, jammed together with some of Hinds and the Dominoes biggest hits, meant enough material was available to bundled together for an LP.

Unsurprisingly the album itself is, it has to be said, a bit strange. Even the title is a little rum, you would think from that it was made for the foreign market, but was only released in Jamaica. As a listening experience, From Jamaica With Reggae a little odd too as its running order places songs side by side that were as much as twelve years apart in vintage. You could have something from the early Ska era like Carry Go Bring Home followed by a new recording with a “Modern” Reggae sound like Whatever You Need, then back to the Rocksteady sound of Here I Stand and that’s just the first three tracks! They are all quality recordings, but it is a little disconcerting, all the leaps backwards and forwards through time.

On the positive side, the newer material showed that Hinds was still a match for most, with the sunny, lazy sound of mid-70s JA perfectly evoked on You Don’t Know and Sinners (Where You Gonna Hide). Despite the feel-good sound Justin always had a message, a stern one for the forces of oppression on the former. In contrast, Drink Milk is a direct hit from the Reggae of 1969, a call to action by any other name and a sparky and exciting song. The Little You Have is touching and soulful and Hey Mama (AKA Cock Mouth Kill Cock – nothing dirty about this one, being basically “watch what you say”) a fine cut from 71. Though the album naturally lacks cohesion, it contains a lot to love, as do the 14 bonus tracks.

Those extras presented here mean finally From Jamaica With Reggae becomes the Greatest Hits of Justin Hinds and the Dominoes it was perhaps meant to be. Rub Up Push Up again is not quite the saucy number I originally took it for, being really just the song of a lover wronged. It is a brilliant piece of original Ska with the Jazz influence in the horn section and a strong rhythm. The Dominoes score again on that count with Mother Banner and Peace And Love, which has a noise on it that sounds like someone playing the spoons! I know it isn’t, but whatever it is, it really works.

Sufferation 1969 and the aforementioned Botheration show how easily Hinds and the Dominoes changed over from Rocksteady to Reggae and how convincing they were when they did. Though the tunes were great the words were always worth hearing too. Hinds shows how he kept evolving with two late 70s tracks backed by the crack Channel One outfit the Revolutionaries, Rig-Ma-Roe Game and Wipe Your Weeping Eyes. A couple of excellent pieces of Reggae for the time that could compare with Lee Perry-produced cuts of roundabout the same era for atmosphere, musicianship and vocal skill. It’s great listening and still would pack the dancefloors at a Reggae Revival show. Altogether this adds up to sonic history of the evolution of Reggae from 1964 to 1978 in miniature, one band, form.

Hinds carried on working after this album was released and recorded widely until the mid-80s. He slowed down from then on, still setting down tracks in the studio more occasionally (once with Keith Richards producing) and playing live. Sadly he passed away in 2005 at the age of 62 having made a big mark on Reggae music in Jamaican almost since its inception.

Though the original album will always be a strange one, the music contained on it and the bonus tracks included here are mostly very good indeed. Justin Hinds and the Dominoes managed to safely negotiate all of the fads that the Kingston music scene could throw at them and came up trumps with some cracking sounds with thought-provoking lyrics. At their best, they measured up well to most anyone who ever showed up at Duke Reid’s door and that’s taking in a lot of talent. Another ace whipped from the sleeve of Doctor Bird, listen to this collection, its good for your soul. -Ian Canty

1. Carry Go Bring Come 2:54
2. Whatever You Need (aka If It's Love You Need) 3:37
3. Here I Stand 2:31
4. Do All The Good (aka Once A Man) 2:50
5. You Don't Know 2:52
6. On The Last Day 3:02
7. Sinners (Where You Gonna Hide) 3:17
8. Drink Milk 2:02
9. The Little You Have 2:35
10. Hey Mama (aka Cock Mouth Kill Cock) 2:54
11. Oh What A Feeling (aka Whole Lot Of Feelings) 3:17
12. Teach The Youth 3:13
Reissue Bonus Tracks:
13. Mighty Redeemer 2:32
14. Save A Bread 2:49
15. Mother Banner 2:40
16. You Should've Known Better 2:48
17. The Higher The Monkey Climbs 2:59
18. Rub Up Push Up 2:48
19. On A Saturday Night 2:51
20. Botheration 2:12
21. Sufferation 1969 2:46
22. Say Me Say 2:25
23. Peace And Love 2:29
24. Warm Up 2:41
25. Rig-Ma-Roe Game 3:13
26. Wipe Your Weeping Eyes 3:56

Notes
Musicians can include: The Skatalites, The Supersonics (Duke Reid All Stars), The Revolutionaries
Vocals: Justin Hinds, Dennis Sinclair, Junior Dixon
Producer/Engineer: Duke Reid, Sonia Pottinger, Errol Brown
Studio: Treasure Isle (JA)

Sound mastering is excellent.

Philadelphia

Early Philly Soul. The sound quality overall is good, the voices are incredible, a much underrated group who didn't have the commercial material or exposure of the Motown Girl groups, the Supremes, Marvelettes or Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles are the sound of Philadelphia at its best. Patti began her singing career with the Ordettes, which evolved into The Bluebelles in 1962. The group members included Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, and Cindy Birdsong who left to join the Supremes in 1967. This collection features all their early '60s chart toppers, including the song they're perhaps best known for - "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman".

"I SOLD MY HEART TO THE JUNKMAN" how can you resist this one?

This is the true early 1960s sound of the group.
What great voices they have! Raw and powerful!
A reflection of the uncomplicated bye gone days.
15 of the 27 tracks are stereo.
The "Bluebells" had 8 songs on the pop chart from 1962 to 1975.
In 1977 the group disbanded and Patti LaBelle started her solo career.

The liner note give two pages of information about the group.
All original recordings.
Recommended keepsake of the days when rhythm and blues was just plain that - RHYTHM and BLUES! -majormusiclover

A complete serving of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles' promising Nicetown/Newtown stint from 1962 to 1963 featuring two takes of "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," their first hit that really wasn't. The Bluebelles received the credit, but the Starlets, a Chicago group, actually recorded the song while visiting Philadelphia. The Starlets sued, got paid, and, eventually, got credit. These are the door openers, the songs that made the Bluebelles the sweethearts of the Apollo and the Uptown theaters. Knock-'em-dead renditions of "Danny Boy," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Down the Aisle" are but a few of many highlights. A thorough account of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles' entire career, excluding the LaBelle sides, would take at least 60 tracks to cover. -AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton

1. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman 2:28
2. Tear After Tear 2:23
3. You Will Fill My Eyes No More 2:56
4. Danny Boy 2:54
5. Decatur Street 2:26
6. One Phone Call 2:52
7. Go On (This Is Goodbye) 2:44
8. Where Are You? 3:14
9. Down The Aisle 3:34
10. What Kind Of Heart? 3:19
11. You'll Never Walk Alone 3:13
12. Love Me Just A Little 2:39
13. C'est La Vie 2:45
14. I Believe 2:32
15. Cool Water 2:38
16. Have I Sinned 3:04
17. Itty Bitty Twist 1:58
18. Island Of Unbroken Hearts 2:37
19. Impossible 2;47
20. Academy Award 2:07
21. My Bridal Gown 3:23
22. When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home 3:39
23. I Walked Right In 2:59
24. Please Hurry Home 3:53
25. Joke's On You 2:44
26. It's Written In Our Hearts 2:36
27. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman (Alternate Version) 2:42

Notes
Incl. booklet

Tracks 2, 4, 10, 21, 26 & 27 previously unreleased.
The original master tapes were obtained for the production of this quality Relic reissue when available, SOME IN TRUE STEREO FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Reconstructed, Mixed and Edited by Walter Devine of Boston, Mass.

USA

Studio date for a trumpeter on fire. The New York Times dubbed him “the Mohammed Ali of jazz trumpet players”.

An exciting, serpentine solo maker in the mold of Don Cherry -- Peterson has chops but leaves precision to the wind in favor of spontaneous eruptions of melody. Peterson has a more well-rounded technique than Cherry, however, and plays with greater force. Unlike many contemporary free jazz players, Peterson is adept at older styles; he's played under such adventurous yet tradition-bound bandleaders as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gil Evans, and Elvin Jones, and with such dyed-in-the-wool avant-gardists as Roswell Rudd, Ken McIntyre, and Deidre Murray.

As a youth, Peterson learned drums and cornet. He attended North Texas State University from 1967-1969 before moving to New York in 1970. That year, he toured the East Coast with Kirk; the next, he joined Evans' orchestra, with which he would continue to play into the '80s. In the early '70s he performed and recorded with a variety of big-name leaders, including Pharoah Sanders, Roy Haynes, and the aforementioned Jones. He also led and played trumpet and koto with the Sunrise Orchestra, a group that included the cellist Murray. Tenor saxophonist George Adams was a frequent collaborator. Peterson has led recording sessions infrequently; his first album was called Children of the Fire, for the defunct Sunrise label (1974). He recorded subsequently for Enja, MPS, and Inner City. Though as a performer he's kept something of a low profile over the years, Peterson -- now known simply as Hannibal -- emerged in the mid-'90s having composed the monumental African Portraits, an orchestral piece that incorporated a jazz quartet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conducted by the eminent composer/conductor Daniel Barenboim), the Morgan State University Choir, the Kennedy-King College Community Chorus, the Doris Ward Workshop Chorale, four operatic singers, various traditional African musicians, and a handful of African-American vocalists. The meticulously composed (and critically hailed) piece differed greatly form the small jazz ensemble contexts with which he had made his professional name. A recorded version was issued by the Teldec label. -Artist Biography by Chris Kelsey

1. The Rabbit 2:36
2. Revelation 7:36
3. Misty 7:54
4. The Voyage 6:34
5. Soul Brother - In Dedication To Malcolm X 13:47

Credits
Bass – Stafford James
Bells, Percussion – Chris Hart
Cello – Diedre Murray
Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Whistle, Timpani – Thabo Michael Carvin
Piano – Michael Cochrane
Trumpet, Koto, Vocals – Hannibal Marvin Peterson

Notes
Recorded: July 1 and 2, 1975, Tonstudio Bauer Ludwigsburg/Germany

obscure '70s funk

If you like uncut funk, you'll love this compilation of obscure '70s funk sounds from artists like Leroy & the Drivers, Sons of Slum, and Jake Wade & the Soul Searchers. Funny names aside this is good potent funk, not the self-contained funk band stuff that owned a piece of the charts in the '70s but harder, wicked tracks that would make James Brown and Dyke (of the Blazers) proud. You'll think you're listening to James Brown when "Let the Groove Move You" by Gus "the Groove" Lewis cues and starts spinning; you'll swear Bootsy Collins was playing the hyper basslines, and Lewis has Brown's grunts and groans down pat. Frank Williams must have been schooled at Dyke & the Blazers University because that's who he sounds like on "You Got to Be the Man," spirited horns signifying every line Williams sings. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" by Robert Moore is straight from the Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Band book of funk and is similar to "Express Yourself."

Women can funk too, as Spanky Wilson proves on "You," a funky riff with some good shout/singing. Other funkers include Dave "Baby" Cortez & the Happy People's "Happy Soul," "The Tramp Part 1" by the Showmen, Inc., "Jan Jan" by Detroit's Fabulous Counts, and "Iron Leg" by Mickey & the Soul Generation. Though most of the artists are unknown, the familiar rhythms, riffs, horn play, use of backing vocals, drum patterns, and basslines aren't. Collectors and casual fans alike can appreciate this one, funk is funk, no matter who's singing it, and a grunt is a grunt is a grunt. -AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton

1. Herb Johnson Settlement - Damph F'aint 3:32
2. Leroy & The Drivers - The Sad Chicken 2:52
3. James Lewis Fields - How Long Shall I Wait 2:28
4. The Village Callers - Hector 2:36
5. Gus 'The Groove' Lewis - Let The Groove Move You 2:50
6. Fabulous Caprices - Groovy World 3:38
7. Fabulous Counts - Jan Jan 2:23
8. Mickey & The Soul Generation - Iron Leg 2:10
9. Frank Williams - You Got To Be Man 2:44
10. Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers - Searchin' For Soul 2:40
11. Sons Of Slum - The Push & Pull 2:41
12. James Spencer - Take This Woman Off The Corner 2:25
13. Robert Moore - Everything's Gonna Be Alright 2:35
14. The Showmen Inc - The Tramp Pt 1 2:15
15. Chris Jones - I'm The Man 2:52
16. Al Brown - The Whip Part 1 3:20
17. Spanky Wilson - You 2:15
18. Camille Bob - Brother Brown 3:06
19. Dave Cortez & The Moon People - Happy Soul 2:59

Brazil

The sound of funky 70s Brazil!

Selected by Bossacucanova's DJ Dalua and Ziriguiboom's Béco Dranoff & Marc Hollander, this collection features kicking tracks recorded in the 70s by the most significant members of the SambaSoul movement... an absolute party record, the indispensable accessory for a hot, hot Summer 2018!

''In the late '60s and '70s the funk and soul music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and many other African American superstars sparked a cultural awakening of black pride around the world. In Brazil that awakening expressed itself in the music of young people of color from Rio to São Paulo, who Brazilianized those North American styles into their own groove thang. The result was a musical movement called samba soul, and this thrilling 16-track collection offers a sizzling, seductive, and syncopated snapshot of the best singles from the period. The genre emphasized snappy backbeats, deep and funky bass lines, and jazz horn sections with tinges of salsa and homegrown samba. Jorge Ben's uptempo "Cosa Nostra," performed by Erlon Chaves, was the anthem of the era, and organist Ed Lincoln's pioneering De Savoya Combo, along with Trio Mocoto, laid the foundations for the genre with their respective hits "Jogaram o Caxanga" and "Que Nega e Essa." The musical range of Samba Soul reaches from the CTI Records-sounding jazz fusion of Orlandivo's "Onde Anda o Meu Amor" to guitarist Bebebto's discofied shoutout to Africa, "Princesa Negra de Angola," and the proto-bossa nova of Wilson Simonal's "Não Vem Que Não Tem." The great Afro-Cuban conguero Mongo Santamaria is given tribute on Som Tres's south-of-the-equator boogaloo "Homenagem a Mongo." Today DJs from around the globe are sampling this music, but with this disc you can dance and trance to the real thing: a truly African American music on a hemispheric scale.'' -Eugene Holley Jr.

Towards the end of the Sixties, the influence of the Black Power movement and  figures like Cassius Clay and Martin Luther King inspired musicians in Rio and São Paulo to adopt the Black Is Beautiful motto and to create their own Afro - Americano - Brazilian hybrid, bringing together elements of soul/R'n'B and Samba. Brazilian Black Music (or SambaSoul) was born, and went on to transform the music of the next decade.

At the end of the 1960's, the American 'Black Power' movement and figures like Cassius Clay and Martin Luther King were huge influences among Brazilian musicians. 1968 marked the 'Black Is Beautiful' era, inspiring Brazilian musicians to bring American Black Music and the Brazilian vibe closer together. By 1969 Brazilian Black Music was already around in urban centers like São Paulo and Rio. The SambaSoul sounds and ideas would go on to transform the music of the next decade and can still be felt today.

Signs of change were already present at the 'Festivais de MPB' (national TV contests of Música Popular Brasileira), on protest songs against dictatorship, and the Tropicália and Jovem Guarda (literally 'Young Guard') movements. Samba was in search of new forms, claiming more space for the electric guitar and incorporating the beat on the first tempo and harmonies from the Blues. People like James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, O.C. Smith and the whole Motown cast were extremely popular. SambaSoul aggregated the most diverse styles of Funk and R&B.

During the 70's, the SambaSoul/SambaRock movement took real shape with the release of seminal records by Jorge Ben, Trio Mocotó, Tim Maia, Elis Regina, Gilberto Gil, Cassiano, Gerson 'King' Combo, Elza Soares, Tony Tornado, Marku Ribas, Wilson Simonal, Bebeto, Dafé, Martinho Da Vila, Luis Melodia and many more. Big bands like Erlon Chaves' Banda Venêno, Dom Salvador & Banda Abolição, César Camargo's Som Três and the great Banda Black Rio, as well as maestros and Jazz musicians like Milton Banana, Ed Lincoln and Wilson Das Neves also joined the party and enriched the movement.

Like Jazz to the Bossa Nova in the early 60's, the 70's were the right time for Black Music and Funk to be incorporated to the 'Jeitinho Brasileiro' (the 'Brazilian Way') and the result was the unique SambaSoul/SambaRock sound. The legacy for the Digital Beat generation is a fusion of styles and forms that facilitates the creation of today's Dance/Funk/Hip Hop/Rock sounds of the new millennium. The Brazilian Gospel, our Soul/Beat music and it's innovative language brings the sounds of the old 'Gafieiras' (classic Samba clubs) to the dancefloors of the DJ era. -João Parahyba / Trio Mocotó

1. Erlon Chaves - Cosa Nostra 3:57
2. Wilson Simonal - Não Vem que Não Tem 2:32
3. Som Três - Homenagem a Mongo 4:18
4. Di Melo - A Vida em Seus Métodos Diz Calma 3:42
5. Wanderléa - Mané João 4:13
6. Dom Salvador & Banda Abolição - Guanabara 3:09
7. Milton Banana Trio - Fato Consumado 3:04
8. Elis Regina - Bicho do Mato 3:21
9. Bebeto - Princesa Negra de Angola 3:40
10. Elza Soares - Saltei de Banda 2:58
11. Orlandivo - Onde Anda o meu Amor 3:39
12. Branca di Neve - Nego Dito 4:04
13. Banda Black Rio - Maria Fumaça 2:24
14. De Savoya Combo - Jogaram o Caxangá 3:21
15. Gal Costa - Barato Total 3:48
16. Trio Mocotó - Que Nega é Essa 5:11

Note
Incl. scans

Cuba

Wonderful combination of Chano and Arsenio tracks. Top drawer stuff!

Legendary Sessions, a very interesting album combining tracks from four sources: Chano Pozo's group, with Arsenio as a sideman, Machito's big band, with both Chano and Arsenio as sidemen, Arsenio's 1948 conjunto (the source of this recording) and several interesting extended length medleys from 1950 (or 1953 - depending on which source you believe!) with Arsenio's first New York conjunto. It's all great, but the six tracks from 1948 are of "desert island" quality.

Only six tracks on this album of US recordings feature Pozo (on congas and vocal) but they give a great taste of Pozo's catchy songs and his brilliant congo playing. Pozo is helped out by a ''Conjunto for Pozo'' including eminent friends such as Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Arsenio Rodriguez and Marcelino Guerra.

Chano Pozo is best known as the conga player who helped Dizzy Gillespie get into his Afro Cuban bebop bag in the late 40's. Although Pozo died at a tragically young age, he left a strong mark on Latin music that still resonates today. This CD features a number of recordings that Pozo cut with Cuban guitarist Arsenio Rodriguez in the 40's when Rodriguez was visiting New York, plus a number of records that Rodriguez made on a later visit to the US. The sound is very raw, with a tight early Afro Cuban groove, and the kind of Latin jazz sound that the two players helped to establish.

1. Serende 2:40
2. Seven Seven 2:26
3. Rumba En Swing 2:35
4. Porque Tu Sufres 2:46
5. Cometelo To' 2:33
6. Paso En Tampa 2:45
7. Tumba Palo Cucuye 2:57
8. Apurruñenme Mujeres 2:40
9. Tintorera Ya Llego 3:00
10. Yo No Engaño A Las Nenas 3:09
11. Tocoloro 3:01
12. Monte Adentro 2:50
13. Cumaye / Semilla De Caña Brava So Caballo 5:00
14. Los Guapos En Yatera / La Yuca De Catalina / El Reloj De Pastora 5:54
15. No Vuelvo A Moron / Las Tres Marias / Apurruñenme Mujeres 5:30
16. Que Caña / Mi China Me Boto / Cangrejo Fue A Estudia 5:07

Notes
Incl. booklet

Tracks recorded:
1-2: New York City, February 10, 1947
3-6: New York City, February 7, 1947
7-12: La Habana, February and July 1948
13-16: New York City 1953

Jamaica

Griffiths Records have acquired previously unreleased/unheard, Ska, Reggae, Dub, scorcha’s which kick starts with King Tubby.

King Tubby is to this day synonymous with dub. Tubby was the man with a passion for messing with sound equipment and turned his nous into a whole new musical genre, making his name as one of the most respected around the world. King Tubby worked with virtually every artist through-out Jamaica, with his name on a mix being a seal of approval that could not be questioned. The Lost Dubs stand testament to this originator, revolutionist who was the king of the sound system. -Album Notes

1. Ash Oil 2:33
2. King Tubby's Syndicate 2:44
3. Choice 3:33
4. Dub of an Angel 3:14
5. Ride Easy 2:52
6. Satta in the Sky 3:10
7. Tubby's Dancing 3:38
8. Dumpling and Calaloo 3:28
9. Ghost 3:32
10. Woodland 3:57

USA

A definitive 60s latin jazz PARTY album!

Ray Barretto (1929–2006), a.k.a. King of the Hard Hands, was a Puerto Rican jazz and salsa musician who was widely credited as the godfather of Latin jazz.

More so than many latin jazz artists, Ray Barretto is a master of delivering a "kitchen sink" musical approach at its best. Where others in the genre might leave listeners desiring a tighter focus, Ray revels (and oh so successfully too) at serving up a totally hot mix of Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, boogaloo and related 60s/70s urban New York sounds, funk, psychedelia, and just plain fun and humor. This is one of several Barretto compilations just on the Fania label, focusing mostly on the 60s, when he was at his most eclectic and experimental. If you're more interested in the deep salsa sounds he settled into later in his career, then this might not be the best comp for you, but if you simply want to have fun Latin "party music" of the top caliber that'll truly make you sway and groove, you absolutely shouldn't pass up on this. If I have only one criticism to offer, it is that at 54 minutes long (strange for a comp), one wonders why on earth Fania didn't just add on another 20 minutes of this groovy stuff. Just a review of the albums and b-sides covered on this collection could've easily yielded another 4-5 choice cuts without Fania even having to break a sweat over licensing issues. -Ramin D.

Despite his Clark Kent looks, Ray Barretto's '60s recordings revealed a Superman of groove-based Latin salsa and soul. His early novelty hit "El Watusi" may have had the most success, but when Barretto began recording for Fania with the 1967 classic Acid, he unleashed some of the brassiest, grooviest, and most powerful tracks ever heard in Latin music. Latin Soul Man is a 17-track compilation of his early career, spanning the early '60s to 1972, and including material originally recorded for Tico, UA Latino, and Fania. After a brief time at Riverside in the early '60s for his debut as a leader, Barretto headed off to Tico and scored his biggest hit with 1963's "El Watusi," which showed off his excellent arranging chops and the power of his early flute-led charanga. Then there was another brief stay, at UA Latino, which is heard here with another novelty, "Señor 007," as well as one of the best boogaloos ever recorded, "Do You Dig It." After that came Acid and a parade of great material for Fania, which saw Barretto stretching out on free-form material while still pumping out plenty of tight cuts with brassy charts for the heavy dancers crowd in New York. Therein lies the lone concern with this collection. While it extends into the '70s with great tracks from his other Fania classics -- 1968's Hard Hands, 1970's Together, 1972's Barretto Power -- there's a heavy emphasis on Barretto's great popcorn and boogaloo material, while completely ignoring the longer, extended grooves like the title track to Acid (probably his career highlight) as well as "El Nuevo Barretto." Extending the running time another 20 minutes would have been easy, and that would have made Latin Soul Man a priceless pickup. -AllMusic Review by John Bush

THE sleeve notes say it best: Ray Barretto was one of the true originals of New York Latin music. His career spanned the whole of its post-war development from dancehalls to the stadium-sized salsa concerts of the ’70s and beyond.

Born in New York to Puerto Rican parents on April 29, 1929, Ray grew up surrounded by a melting pot of musical influences. Drafted into the army at the age of 17, it was in the immediate post-war Germany that he heard the record that changed his life – Manteca by the Dizzie Gillespie band which at the time featured the Cuban percussion legend Chano Pozo on the conga.

Ray went out and bought himself a conga, an instrument he would become synonymous with.

Back in New York, he became a sought after player, making dates with both Latin and jazz bands – but it was the jazz world that made his name. He appeared on sessions with the likes of Kenny Burrell, Art Blakey and Oliver Nelson and became the first-choice percussionist for New York’s big three indie jazz labels, Blue Note, Prestige and Riverside.

Indeed, it was Riverside’s co-owner Orrin Keepnews who encouraged him to record as a leader and also to make those records Latin. With the arrival of Barretto’s group Charanga Moderna, Keepnews got what he was looking for, a presence in the world of Latin as well as the chance to put the label into new markets.

Owing to financial difficulty, however, Barretto left Riverside before it was forced to close and signed with Tico, the leading Latin label at the time. It was there he recorded El Watusi, the success of which paved the way for an amazing career.

But even so, it was the sound of the street that saved him. Owing to the increasing number of Puerto Rican immigrants, there was a growing sense of community that was echoed in their music. Innovators began taking the soul of the Harlem music scene and mixing it with their own musical heritage to create the uniquely Nuyorican sound of boogaloo, or Latin soul.

It was a sound that Barretto embraced and made his name with. Ray Barretto: Latin Soul Man is a collection of his seminal hits that’s been remastered from the original source tapes. It’s a genuinely exhilarating collection of work that features some of the finest Latin funk 45s ever laid down on wax.

Highlights include the out and out funk of Right On and Soul Drummers, the Latin romanticism of Love Beads, the sparkling pianos and hand-clap style of El Watusi, the Connery-era Bond music of Senor 007 and the sharp snappiness of Mercy Mercy Baby. In truth, however, there’s not a bad track among them, so just kick back and enjoy the pleasure trip this inspired collection provides… -Jack Foley

1. Right On 2:45
2. Soul Drummers 3:51
3. New York Soul 2:42
4. Together 2:38
5. Love Beads 2:46
6. El Watusi 2:39
7. Señor 007 2:13
8. El Bantu 2:18
9. Mercy Mercy Baby 2:47
10. Do You Dig It 2:29
11. The Teacher Of Love 2:31
12. Hard Hands 2:30
13. Got To Have You 2:28
14. A Deeper Shade Of Soul 2:48
15. Power 6:09
16. Tin Tin Deo 8:26
17. Babalu 2:08

Notes
Remastered from the original source tapes.

Tracks 1, 15 extract from ''Barretto Power'' (Fania 391)
Tracks 2, 9, 11, 14 extract from ''Acid'' (Fania 344)
Tracks 3, 5, 12, 13 extract from ''Hard Hands'' (Fania 362)
Tracks 4, 16 extract from ''Together'' (Fania 378)
Track 6 extract from ''Charanga Moderna'' (Tico T-1087)
Track 7 extract from ''Señor 007'' (United Artists Latino UAS 6478)
Track 8 extract from ''On Fire Again'' (Tico T-1096)
Track 10 extract from ''Latino Con Soul'' (United Artists Latino UAS 6593)
Track 17 extract from ''Big Hits Latin Style'' (Tico T-1099)

Tze'Elim, Israël

Killer cosmic funk vibes

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestra leader, digital mixologist, and filmmaker: Kutiman’s job description changes by the day. He’s been dubbed the prestigious title of being a “psychedelic funk architect” -- A title Kutiman truly lives up to. But while he may be too modest to agree, everything the talented musician does comes under one general description: pioneer.

'White Monkey' comes as the third official release on Siyal Music. The A-Side features the crisp drums and cosmic synths of ‘White Monkey’, promising a heavy funk psychedelic experience. Flip it over to the B-Side and you’ll find ‘Sefi Ramirez’, the name of the epic trumpeter collaborating on the track. The record exceeds expectations, launching listeners headlong into a funkified tripnographic experience. -Jazzman

1. White Monkey 4:20
2. Sefi Ramirez 3:55

Benin & Togo

What can't you love, just play loud!!!!!

'African Scream Contest' is the third release by the Analog Africa label. The project initially took off in August 2005 when label owner and vinyl collector Samy Ben Redjeb arrived in Cotonou, Benin, 'without any special expectations, just hoping to lay my hands on few good records - what I found in the process cannot really be described in words'. This first trip was followed by eight more to the region. Thirty months and few thousand records later Analog Africa proudly presents this 14-track compilation. 

Just like with the label's first two releases - albums by Zimbabwean 70s bands the Green Arrows and Hallelujah Chicken Run Band - the essence of Analog Africa is clear yet again: searching in dusty warehouses for forgotten music to keep it alive. Ben Redjeb explains: 'Some of the track we've already released would have been lost for ever if we didn't do it. With 'African Scream Contest' this is even more the case as some of the bands and musicians were, and still are, completely unknown. Some of the tracks have not even been released and I found a lost master tape at the producer's house who decided not to release it and just left it aside.' (The compilation contains a track by Vincent Ahehehinnou & Poly-Rythmo which wasn't even released in Benin.) 

All the tracks have been officially licensed, usually from the artists who Ben Redjeb also met with for detailed research. He conducted 16 interviews in various cities in Benin and Togo with artists, producers and sound engineers to reconstruct the history of the 70s music scene for the 44-page booklet which also includes many rare photographs directly received from the artists. 

Like most modern music in French-speaking West African countries, the music of Benin and Togo was influenced by a few main musical currents: Cuban, Congolese and local traditional music, as well as Chanson Francaise. Additionally, the geographical location of Benin and Togo - sandwiched between Ghana and Nigeria - exposed Beninese and Togolese musicians to Highlife music. 

The cultural and spiritual riches of traditional Beninese music had an immense impact on the sound of Benin's modern music. Benin is the birth place of Vodun (or, as it is known in the West, Voodoo), and some of the rhythms used during traditional rituals - Sakpata, Sato, Agbadja, Tchenkoumé and many others - were fused to Soul and Latin music as early as the mid-1960s and later to Funk. That fusion is the essence of this compilation. 

In the late 60s and early 70s rock and soul music started creeping into the region. In particular, the music of James Brown and Johnny Hallyday became immensely popular with university students. It was then that the music scene in Benin really started to take off. 

What made this musical revolution even more interesting is that most of the musicians could not read music. Often the music they made sounded one semi-tone away from being out of tune, but somehow they always managed to bring all the elements together into something new and exciting. 

One of the greatest bands of their era, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, who are of course featured on this compilation, took the Afro sound to another level by showing their musical versatility in many forms. Although they were consciously copying western artists, they would always inject a dose of psychedelic Afro grooves that would make their music unmistakably Beninese. Their biggest song, 'Gbeti Madjro' is believed to have revolutionised the music industry in Benin in the 70s when the country went through a period of political turmoil. The song is full of raw breaks and the hypnotic rhythms as well as screams à la James Brown - after this song many bands in Benin started screaming on their recordings, hence the title of this compilation. 

Latin-influenced sounds are present on this compilation, too. Ouidah, a city on the Atlantic coast of Benin, is home to a large Brazilian community, or, as they are called in Benin, 'Agoudas.' Members of that community are descendents of slaves who returned from Brazil at the end of the 19th century. Their dances (such as Kaléta and Buriyanj) and songs are still being performed and fused into the traditional Beninese rituals. That, too, can be heard in modern Beninese music. 

The proximity of the giant neighbour Nigeria can be heard on the track 'Djanfa Magni' which features the amazing trumpeter/ saxophonist Tidjani Koné fronting the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Koné whose career started in Mali as the founder and band leader of the Rail Band de Bamako, had played with Fela Kuti for a short while hence the strong Afrobeat influence. 

There are countless stories to be discovered in the extremely well-researched booklet and the music is truly mind-blowing. So delve into the forgotten raw and psychedelic Afro sounds from 70s Benin and Togo and experience the African Scream Contest. 

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo crossing the Niger river, 1978
New set from the Analog Africa reissue label joins the ranks of the most essential African funk compilations, partly by covering ground no one else has walked on, but mostly just for relentlessly kicking ass for over an hour.

If you're a fan of classic music from the African continent, you're living in rich times. Interest in the music outside of the communities it was made in is at an all-time high, and there is a new crop of intrepid reissue labels willing to put in enormous amounts of time and energy to bring this music to a whole new set of waiting ears. These are not the fly-by-night exploito outfits of old-- Popular African Music, Sound Way, Analog Africa, the newly resurrected Strut, and Graeme Counsel's recent series of African music projects on Stern's/Syllart do it the right way, tracking down the original masters when available, finding the artists, and making sure they get paid.

Analog Africa's Samy Ben Redjeb already had loads of cred for the way he handled his two previous releases, which featured Zimbabwe's Hallelujah Chicken Run Band and Green Arrows, respectively. He traveled to Zimbabwe and spent time with the creators, digging deep into their stories and emerging with great-sounding, informative compilations that thoroughly introduced the listener to both the music and the musicians. African Scream Contest moves a few thousand miles northwest to Benin and Togo, two chimney-shaped former French colonies (Togo was a German colony until WWI) squeezed between West Africa's Anglophone giants, Ghana and Nigeria.

These are small countries, usually overshadowed by their neighbors in international affairs but nonetheless culturally and musically rich, and both have experienced the numbingly common ailments of former European colonies to varying degrees. Most of Francophone Africa fell heavily under the sway of Congolese rumba in the 1960s and 70s, or developed heavily Cubanized forms of their own-- Senegal, Guinea, and Mali in particular developed their own sounds parallel to rumba. Benin and Togo were certainly not exempt from rumba's charms, but they were also caught in the highlife crossfire between Ghana and Nigeria, and the funk and soul sounds imported in massive quantities to those countries in the 60s and 70s inevitably found their way across the borders.

There's even a case to be made that Afrobeat developed just as much in Cotonou, Benin, as it did in Lagos, Nigeria. Ignace de Souza & His Melody Aces were pulling in rock elements as early as 1962, and there's plenty of funk in his work with the Black Santiagos-- if you can find a copy, Original Music's long out-of-print Ignace de Souza compilation, the Great Unknowns, Vol. 1, is wall-to-wall brilliant. Benin had an amazing surfeit of excellent bands by the early 70s, and Redjeb tracked down many members, a touch-and-go process he describes vividly in the liners, which function as both educational piece and travelogue.

The kings of the Cotonou scene were Orchestre Poly-Rythmo (there are innumerable variations on their name; the most complete is Tout Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey). Though Redjeb makes an admirable attempt to offer as much variety as possible, Poly-Rythmo still shows up three times, once on its own and twice as a backing band. The band recorded in all kinds of styles-- check Popular African Music's Reminiscin' in Tempo disc for their highlife sound, and Sound Way's Kings of Benin Urban Groove for their funk side-- but these three all feature a particularly wicked high-speed groove that they were the first to perfect. Their "Gbeti Madjro" is stunningly funky, with a few head-spinning passages where the band strips back to just guitar, bass and drums as if to say "even at our most skeletal, we are twice as powerful as anyone else."

The quality of the recordings is excellent, and the remastering brings out the depth in each one, but the character of the sound is about as raw funk gets. Togo's Roger Damawuzan (sometimes spelled Damahouzon) has all the screaming charisma of early-70s James Brown, and his "Wait for Me" balances his gruff vocal with a cool, mellow guitar riff and burbling bass. The horns and guitar sound utterly Memphis, but the cracking drums are all West Africa. His countrymen, Napo de Mi Amor et Ses Black Devil's, turn in a burning, organ-led Afrobeat tune that recalls the style of some of their Ghanaian colleagues.

Back in Benin, Orchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes come closest to matching Poly-Rythmo's breakneck Afrofunk groove on the amazing "Ye Nan Lon An", which swivels around an Afrobeat backbeat with a breathtaking guitar part that earns pride of place ahead of the vocals in the mix and makes that upside-down engineering decision sound completely logical. It's counterintuitive moves like this that make African funk such a constant joy to discover, and there are plenty more on this disc. But beyond that, there's just a uniqueness to these musicians' take on funk and Afrobeat that's magnetic. Dig the garage rock organ flipping out over the funk beat of El Rego et Ses Commandos' "Se Na Min". Try not to dance to Picoby Band d'Abomey's outrageously raw and rhythmic "Mi Ma Kpe Dji". If you're into funky African music you won't be able to resist them.

African Scream Contest easily joins the ranks of the most essential African funk compilations, partly by covering ground no one else has walked on, but mostly just for relentlessly kicking ass for over an hour. This is some of the best funk ever recorded anywhere, and it ranges from quick blasts of hyperspeed groove like Le Super Borgou de Parakou's "Congolaise Benin Ye" to the ruminative Fela-style Afrobeat of Vincent Ahehehinnou and Les Volcans' spicy Afro-Cuban workout. Whether you've been hunting down El Rego 45s on eBay for years or just heard and loved your first Fela reissue, this disc is emphatically for you. -Joe Tangari

This disc proves that music doesn't have much truck with geopolitics.

In the 1970s there was no 'world music'. Benin was a Marxist republic recently born out of Dahomey and Togo was in the first decade of what would turn out to be the epic dictatorship of General Gnassingbé Eyadéma. Unless you were born in one of these countries, you’d never have got to hear the voodoo funk music that was being conjured up in what must be two of the richest cultural melting pots on the planet.

Fusion is almost as abused a term as folk. But this is what it sounds like. Pick a track. Mi Kple dogbekpo, the opener, has Cuban brass, a Congolese chorus, a psychedelic riff shaped solely for shaping. On the next one, Mi Ma Kpe Dji, the spirit is blues, but moulded by James Brown and Nigerian High Life. It's A Vanity is more soul, more sex. The band on this, as well as two other tracks, is the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, who took the Afro sound to new levels by ensuring that even while they copied Western rhythms, there was always a fiery injection of Beninese passion or, when relevant, politics. Their big hit, Gbeti Madjro – track five here – was written during a period of turmoil and stirred up its own revolution in the local music scene.

Ouidah, on Benin's Atlantic Coast, is home to a large Brazilian community – the Agoudas, descendants of slaves who returned from Brazil at the end of the 19th century. They brought back dances and proto-samba sounds, which worked their way into the mix in the 70s.

These artists also heard French chanson, Johnny Hallyday – an icon in the West African university scene – US funk, as well as local rhythms on the radio. Out of this chaos, comparable at the time to the far more widely known Brazilian coastal music scene, came great riches. Everything, somehow, gels. Why, it's harder to fathom. Few of these musicians were trained, and all had to learn how to blast their way through out-of-tune solos and off-beat drummers. Perhaps it's the screams and the psychedelic state that holds together the random elements and disparate talents. After all, Benin is the birthplace of Vodun, as in voodoo, which was all about melting pots and losing yourself in wild traditional rhythms such as Sakpata, Sato, Agbadja, Tchenkoumé, to name only a few.

African Scream Contest – what a title – is the third compilation to come from Analog Africa compilation. Like the others, this disc proves that music doesn't have much truck with geopolitics. When New York slicksters thought they were at the centre of the universe - Studio 54, say – these bands were taking the coolest parts of funk, soul and disco, reinventing it and, at the same time, transforming their own music and culture. A lot of the reaction to West African blues has focused on origins and a going-back-to-roots, but the groove in Benin and Togo was far deeper and far more inventive than that. -Chris Moss

1. Lokonon André & Les Volcans - Mi Kple Dogbekpo 3:54
2. Picoby Band D'Abomey - Mi Ma Kpe Dji 4:06
3. Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly Rythmo - It's a Vanity 4:22
4. El Rego et Ses Commandos - Se Na Min 3:21
5. Napo De Mi Amor et Ses Black Devils - Leki Santchi 3:25
6. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Gbeti Madjro 2:54
7. Roger Damawuzan - Wait For Me 3:19
8. Ouinsou Corneille & Black Santiago - Vinon So Minsou 4:57
9. Orchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes - Ye Nan Lon An 3:03
10. Tidiani Kone´ & Orchestre Poly-Rythmo - Djanfa Magni 9:51
11. Discafric Band - Houiou Djin Nan Zon Aklumon 4:18
12. Le Super Borgou de Parakou - Congolaise Benin Ye 2:59
13. Vincent Ahehehinnou - Ou C'est Lui Ou C'est Moi 10:06
14. Les Volcans de La Capital - Oya Ka Jojo 13:23

Note
Incl. scans

Benin

A new treasure-trove of Vodoun-inspired Afrobeat heavy-funk crossover greatness from Benin, West Africa and is very bit as joyous a voyage of discovery as its predecessor!

A great compilation can open the gate to another world. Who knew that some of the most exciting Afro-funk records of all time were actually made in the small West African country of Benin Once Analog Africa released the first African Scream Contest in 2008, the proof was there for all to hear, gut-busting yelps, lethally well- drilled horn sections and irresistibly insistent rhythms added up to a record that took you into its own space with the same electrifying sureness as any favourite blues or soul or funk or punk sampler you might care to mention.

Ten years on, intrepid crate-digger Samy Ben Redjeb unveils a new treasure- trove of Vodoun-inspired Afrobeat heavy funk crossover greatness. Right from the laceratingly raw guitar fanfare which kicks o Les Sympathics' pile-driving opener, it's clear that African Scream Contest II is going to be every bit as joyous a voyage of discovery as its predecessor. And just as you're trying to get o the canvas after this one-punch knock out, an irresistible Afro-ska romp with a more than subliminal echo of the Batman theme puts you right back there. Ignace De Souza and the Melody Aces' Asaw Fofor" would've been a killer instrumental but once you've factored in the improbably-rich-to-the-point-of-being-Nat-King-Cole-influenced lead vocal, it's a total revelation.

The screaming does not stop there, in fact it's only just beginning. But the strange thing about African Scream Contest II's celebration of unfettered Beninese creativity is that it would not have been possible without the assistance of a musician who had been trained by the Russian secret services to "search and destroy" enemies of the country's (then) Marxist-Leninist president Mathieu Kerekou.

Already familiar to fans of the first African Scream Contest as a mainstay of ruthlessly disciplined military band Les Volcans de la Capitale, Lokonon André vanished in a cloud of dust at Ben Redjeb's behest with a list of names and some petrol money, only to return a few days later having miraculously tracked down every single name he'd been given. The source of this Afrobeat bounty-hunter's impressive people-finding skills - his training with the KGB - highlights the tension between encroaching authoritarian politics and fearless expressions of personal creative freedom which is the back-story of so much great African music of the 60s and 70s. Happily, in this instance, Lokonon was tracking the artists down to oer them licensing deals, rather than to arrest them.

Where some purveyors of vintage African sounds seem to be strip-mining the continent's musical heritage with no less rapacious intent than the mining companies and colonial authorities who previously extracted its mineral wealth, Samy Ben Redjeb's determination to track this amazing music to its human sources pays huge karmic dividends.

Like every other Analog Africa release, African Scream Contest II is illuminated by meticulously researched text and eortlessly fashion-forward photography supplied by the artists themselves. Looming large - alongside Lokonon André - in the cast of biopic-worthy characters to emerge from this seductive tropical miasma is visionary space-nerd Bernard Dohounso, who laid the foundations for Benin's vinyl predominance by importing and assembling the turntables that would play the products of his Bond villain-acronymed pressing plant SATEL, a factory that would revolutionise the music industry in the whole region.

The scene documented here couldn't have been born anywhere else but in the Benin Republic , and the prime reason for that is Vodoun. It's one of the world's most complex religions, involving the worship of some 250 divinities, where each divinity has its own specific set of rhythms, and the bands introduced on the African Scream Contest series and other compilations from that country were no less diverse than that army of dierent Gods. At once restless pioneers and masters of the art of modernising their own folklore, the mystic sound of Vodoun was their prime source of inspiration.

One especially irascible Vodoun-adept was Antoine Dougbe, who styled himself The devil's prime minister' while turning ancestral rhythms into satanically alluring modern beats. As Orchestre Poly-Rythmo songwriter Pynasco has observed sagely, Evil is not elsewhere, evil extends into the house'. And African Scream Contest II is a gloriously cinematic road-trip through an undiscovered realm of music lore whose familiarity is every bit as thrilling as its otherness. -Ben Thomson

Here's Some Incredible '60s & '70s Psychedelic Rock From Benin

For a decade now, Analog Africa has been releasing vintage and rarely-found music from across the African continent and its diaspora, some recent highlights include The Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde and the Afro-Cuban fusion of Amara Touré. One of the label's most popular releases over the years has been African Scream Contest, originally released in 2008, which featured a compilation of what the label describes as "Vodoun-inspired, psychedelic afrobeat, and heavy funk crossover" from Benin in the '60s and '70s. Ten years after its release, Analog Africa is prepping the drop of African Scream Contest 2, which will feature 14 rare tracks along with a detailed booklet with liner notes and pictures. We spoke to label founder Samy Ben Redjeb. -By Kam Tambini

How would you describe the sound found in this compilation?

I would say some of the songs are modern renditions of traditional rhythms. Since the music is from Benin, these musical traditions, from what I understand, are mostly rooted in the Vodoun (Voodoo) religion. I am not sure if all of Benińs traditional beats are related to Vodoun, but if they are I've certainly never heard about it. Others are just straight up funk and afrobeat tunes, but since they are played in part with traditional instruments, it gives them a kind of a raw edge which I love.

How did you first come across this music?

At the time my aim was to create a series like the Ethiopiques Series, but for Zimbabwean music. I was spending a lot of time in Southern Africa looking for the musicians, the records and the master tapes but politically things were getting worse by the day. This “worsening" culminated with Robert Mugabés operation Murambatsvina, which was essentially a large-scale campaign to clear the country's slum and resulted in the devastating displacement and loss of income for 700,000 people.

The population in general was struggling to make ends meet, many were struggling to survive, to get food, and there was a huge shortage of fuel, so it was impossible to move. It felt wrong to “do music" in these conditions. So I left Zimbabwe promising to myself that I would come back when the “dust settles down." But now I needed a different idea.

I recall very well traveling back to Germany thinking that there was very little music around from Benin and, being a country “squeezed" between Ghana and mighty Nigeria, surely there must be some good music [to re-release]. I started contacting some important collectors for African music, asking them if they had some records from [Benin] and unsurprisingly, most replied with “nyet." Some even discouraged me to go, “it's too small of a country, I don't think its worth it," I was told.

So I bought a plane ticket and went. I arrived in Cotonou in August of 2005 and in my second day I was taken to the house of a former custom officer who until the early '80s had some record shops scattered all over Cotonou. It was in one of the rooms that I managed to find a good part of what had been produced in terms of vinyl record made in Benin. In fact most of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo musical output and the whole first volume of the African Scream Contest series was found in that very house. That discovery very much floored me and it was hard to believe I had just found so much mind-blowing music that none of us, in the northern hemisphere at least, had heard about. I tend to believe that it was a gift from the gods of Music. I was very much puzzled by the musical output of that gorgeous country and little by little that puzzle started to take shape.

I learned that Cotonou was home of SATEL, one of West Africa's most important pressing plants. It was founded in 1973 by Bernard Dohounso, a visionary entrepreneur and record enthusiast. During the '60s, the music industry in Benin was amateurish at best. While it was not uncommon for the more successful bands—or at least those with wealthy, well-connected managers—to record in one of the professional multi-track studios in Lagos, most Beninese bands had to rely on the sound engineers of Radio Dahomey and their Nagra reel-to-reel, a legendary piece of equipment used by everyone from news reporters to ethnomusicologists to film crews. Fortunately these engineers were highly skilled and could turn any courtyard or empty nightclub into a recording studio. And since there were no vinyl pressing facilities in Benin the tapes usually had to be shipped to France for the records to be made. Some producers managed to have their records manufactured in Lagos or in Accra—where major European labels like Decca and Philips had pressing plants—but to do so they generally had to sub-license their songs, since these powerful multi-nationals didn't see it fit to manufacture records for independent labels and producers. With the sudden availability of inexpensive recording and pressing, the process of making music immediately became more democratic and any band, singer or producer with a great idea and a few thousand francs could have their own shot at immortality. Some hit the bullseye and became established artists. Others were flashes in the pan, recording a song or two backed by one of the country's legendary orchestras, then vanishing just as quickly as they had appeared, leaving little more than their name on the torn sleeve of a dusty old 45, pressed in an edition of fewer than 200 copies. SATEL didn't just invigorate the music industry in Benin, it also initiated a boom in record production all over West Africa. During the 1970s, the total vinyl outputs from countries such as Burkina Faso, Togo and Niger were produced in Cotonou.

What music were these artists in the compilation drawing from for inspiration?

Many of these musicians have rural backgrounds and are from families who've been immersed in traditional music and consequently were also naturally involved in festivities, processions and Vodoun rituals. Often the parents of these musicians were musicians as well, such as Moussa Alpha, the father of Moussa Mama, founder of Super Borgou de Parakou, a mighty band from the north of Benin. His father was initially a goldsmith and had travelled to Ghana to develop his skills. A few years later he returned with highlife music and formed the very fist band of the Borgou State—Orchestre Sinpam. Hearing about the new music young men started showing up at Alpha's place looking for music lessons. An open, forward-thinking man, Alpha hoped that modern music could be an engine of progressive change and made training a priority. Sometimes the pupils would stay just few days, sometimes much longer. Those who did not have money could pay by barter, usually bags of millet or some other food their families had grown. When their apprenticeship was over they'd go back to their villages, form their own groups, and share what they'd learnt. And Moussa Mama was also one of them and had spend years being taught my his own father and he surely became an incredible artist himself.These are just some of the extraordinary stories that were happening all over Africa, but they sometimes feel like parallel universe. Vodoun for many is synonym of dark magic, and although there are people, even musicians, who have used these kind of powers for their own selfish gains, generally its a very peaceful religion made up of 250 divinities and each of these divinities have rhythms related to them, so its probably the most musical of all religions and the modern music of Benin is a reflection of that. But then, like all of us, the whole of Benin in fact all of West Africa grooved to James Brown, Otis Reading but also to some lesser funky stuff like Nana Mouskouri, Charles Aznavour and Johnny Halliday. Additionally Bands in Benin during the 1970s had to rely on live music to survive and most would describe themselves as “variety Bands" which basically means that they would play whatever was in demand at that particular time and as a consequence they had to know how to play all kinds of music, and thats one of the main characteristics of African bands during that period. Cuban music was huge in West Africa particularly in Senegal and in Benin but they performed that genre in a way only them knew how to, with their metal percussion, they gave it a sacred Vodoun spin, reinventing it and in so doing, creating something very fresh. The same with funk.

Tell us about Lokonon André's role in African Scream 2? Who is he and what did he do to help?

Lokonon André was a musician from the police forces, Les Volcans de la gendarmerie de Porto Novo. Lokonon was a particular character, difficult to understand, on the one hand he was one of the coolest cats I met in Benin and on the other he was very stiff and conservative when it came to politics. And I only later understood why. I also didn't know that he would become one of the architects of this project. That role in the past had been taken by Melome Clement, founder of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, who in 2010 when I started preparing this release, was constantly touring Europe and busy spreading his voodoo-embedded sound to a wider audience. So he was only rarely available to help me out. I was bemoaning that fact to Lokonon who replied matter-of-factly “I might be able to help. I have a motorbike, and know the country well, so I can drive around and find the artists you want—just give me their names." I wrote a short list, consisted of 5 names on a piece of paper and handed it over. Lokonon read the note, then quickly tucked it away inside his traditional African “boubou" garment, and said “I will call you soon, just give me petrol money", before disappearing with his bike into Cotonou ́s sunset. Lokonon reappeared a week later and nonchalantly handed me back my list, which now included phone numbers beside the artists' names. Having criss-crossed the country from East to West and North to South, he'd managed to locate all five artists in the space of a week. Lokonon then coordinated all the meetings, helped to sort out the licensing deals—often translating between French and Fon—and generally made sure the project stayed on track. But what intrigued me most was how on earth he managed to find down these people. “So what's your secret?" I asked. “How did you find these guys?" And this was his response: “I was a young musician with Les Volcans, a band affiliated to the police forces, when the revolution started in 1974. The republic was governed with an iron fist by president Kerekou, a man who didn't tolerate nonsense. On Sunday everybody had to wake up early, grab a broom and clean the street in front of your place, everybody. Due to his strict socialist doctrine, Kerekou had lots of enemies, in and outside of Benin. So he sensed the pressure mounting and to secure his safety decided to send some members of the police force to be trained by the KGB (aka Russian secret services), in Moscow. I was one of them and so I know how to find people and, if necessary, how to get rid of them."

Tell us about Les Volcans and this song we're premiering "Glenon Ho Akue"?

That song was the last tune I've licensed for the compilation and is Lokonońs own composition. Since I don't understand the lyrics I better let the man himself explain this: “Due to the fact that I became a man within the police force, where I had been indoctrinated by Kerekoús socialist doctrine and also because Russia had a strong impact on me, my songs often had an affinity with communist ideas, 'Glenon Ho akue' being one of them. It was recorded in Nigeria at the EMI studio in Lagos in 1976. We'd leave Porto-Novo in the morning and return late in the evening. It's a revolutionary tune, sung in Fon, where I encourage unity to build our country. I am singing that without social cohesion nothing can work. There are no isolated cultures, there are no isolated customs, that they are all connected. The Fon, the Bariba, the Dendi and the Yoruba are all tribes that speak different tongues, have different traditions and live in harmony within the same borders. That was the message on 'Glenon Ho Akue.'" -www.okayafrica.com

Via Exy!

1. Les Sympathics de Porto Novo - A Min We Vo Nou We 6:16
2. Ignace de Souza & The Melody Aces - Asaw Fofor 2:55
3. Stanislas Tohon - Dja Dja Dja 7:41
4. Elias Akadiri & Sunny Black's Band - L'Enfance 2:10
5. Picoby Band D'Abomey - Mé Adomina 2:41
6. Antoine Dougbé - Nounignon Ma Klon Midji 5:53
7. Orch. Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Moulon Devia 7:34
8. Black Santiago - Paulina 4:45
9. Lokonon André et Les Volcans - Glenon Ho Akue 4:53
10. Sebastien Pynasco and L'Orchestre Black Santiago - Sadé 5:13
11. Super Borgou de Parakou - Baba L'Oke Ba'Wagbe 3:15
12. Cornaire Salifou Michel et L'Orchestre El Rego & ses Commandos - Gangnidodo 4:55
13. Gnonnas Pedro and His Dadjes Band - How Much Love Naturally Cost 6:19
14. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Idavi 5:07

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