45's and 7's
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World Jazz

Sal Davis: Makini (Fly Records 1969)

Pressed in Belgium for export to Kenya. This Afro Mod / Jazz / R&B mongrel features bi-lingual vocals from Tanzanian Sal Davis. The sound is gritty, near on filthy and tough to resist. This 45 has been recently re-issued by counterpoint on a limited run. […]

Dan Satch: Woman Pin Down

Dan Satch has quite the mysterious background, not much is known about this particular gentleman or his band. Originally from Nigeria and presumably from Aba, according to the back cover of Ikoro’s 70’s Special, “Dan Satch Joseph was a seasoned trumpeter and arranger. He started […]

Duo Ouro Negro – Pata Pata

During my recent travel to Portugal I had quite some records of this group in my hands. I usually checked them out because of their cover art but most of the times the musical content was disappointing. After I already filed them in the don’t […]

Poly Rythmo De Cotonou – Zero + Zero = Zero

I think Frank’s travel and digging reports played quite a role for my growing interest in West African music. I always liked the mixes he put online but at the same time I was not too confident to ever find any of these records as I […]

Baligh Hamdy – Love Story

On this instrumental record, Baligh Hamdy continues in the style that’s also on the earlier EP Gada (featured on Waxidermy). The arrangements combine Western and Eastern instruments, with wild rhythms and Eastern melodies. There’s a drum kit, which you don’t hear that much on Arabian […]

Berry & Coates Friendship Ensemble – Our Kwanzaa Song

If you are like me, you have always had some vague notion of what Kwanzaa is. I always understood it as an 80’s creation, mainly as a non-Christian non-Capitalist multi-cultural holiday alternative to Christmas. Something defined by what it IS NOT rather than by what […]

D.O. Akinola And His Inner Circle Orchestra

Picked this up for a couple of quid. Was kinda hoping it would be like some type of mind-blowing Afro Sun Ra-esque outing but sadly it isn’t as cool as my mind would have me believe. Two side long LP tracks make up the album […]

Mulatu Astatke: Yefikir Tizita (Philips)

A decent hypnotic example of Ethio jazz. This track makes me want to a) Visit Ethiopia. B) Charm Snakes. [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Funky Sounds from Central Africa

I guess this is the kind of record that would scream “grab me” even to the most casual of record browsers so I feel extra lucky it fell into my greedy hands. This is a very rare compilation released in the Netherlands by some forward […]

Elias Rahbani – Mosaic of the Orient

Lebanon’s highest commercial success till mid 70s made a large space for artists to create great music to last & enjoy .. Elias Rahbani considred the godfather of lebanese western music scene from the mid 60s ,composing music for almost every lebanese singer/band that sung […]

Musique Moderne

Here’s an unusual title that may interest ethnic beat and library music aficionados. “Musique Moderne” is a somewhat mysterious release which appears to have been produced by the Moroccan government. I’m guessing early 1980s from the look and sound of it. A possible agenda for […]

Baligh Hamdi featuring Magid Khan – Indo Arabic Variations

The idea for this record occured when Baligh Hamdi, famous Egyptian composer, heard the excellent sitar player Magid Khan when Khan visited Cairo. Hamdi had been expanding the horizons of Egyptian music by incorporating organs, electric guitar and saxes since the late fifties and this […]

Baligh Hamdy – Gada

Baligh Hamdy is a composer well known for his work with Egyptian super star singer Oum Kalsoum and Hamdy’s wife, Algerian born Warda. Here’s a real oddity from his hand, an EP with a rather daring silk screened cover (daring considering it was released in […]

Omar Khorshid: Belly Dance With Vol.3

Dunno what I can really add here that I haven’t already covered in other reviews of Omar’s records, ‘cept to say that there’s an especially DYNO-MITE verson of Gershon Kingley’s “Popcorn” on here. Otherwise, more of the same…

Sylvain Marc and Del Rabenja – Madagascar Now/Maintenant/’Zao

I don’t know very much about Madagascar, apart from the fact that it’s flora and fauna is unique due to the separation of the Island from the African mainland in ancient times. Also, I understand the language Malagasey is amazingly enough of the Malayo-Polynesian family […]

Belly Dance with Themi Kakias and The Continentals

1977 out of Columbus, Ohio. Themi’s bouzouki is backed with guitar and synthesizer, which adds a nice twist on the belly dance sound. “Shades of Rhythm” is a drummer freak out and “Dal se Bami 77” is hypnotic

Jungle Trio – Jazz Meeting At Brazzaville

1984 French pressing, nice Congolese easy jazz with one more grooving track, “Jungle Spirit”

Watusi Drums

Exciting – Wild – Orgiastic from the Burundi records label, ten tracks that sound like field recordings of drumming, some chanting. Listen: Mwami

Various: African Dances

I’m a complete novice when it comes to this type of stuff, but this along with a small handful of other things I’ve been lucky enough to pick up lately has really sparked an interest. This one is simply titled “African Dances” on a (very […]

Omar Khorshid: With Love Vols. 1 and 2

When I found this lp in a thrift a few years back amongst a massive collection of belly dancing records, I had absolutely no idea who Omar Khorshid was. In fact, I think I might have left a few of his other records behind that […]

Hailu Mergia and the Walias – Tche Belew

I picked this up in Springfield, MO on a recent Ozark vacation. A great little store called “Stick it in Your Ear” had this staring at me from the $1.98 piles near the front. I didn’t even notice that Mulatu was a sideman on it […]

S. E. Rogie – Palm Wine Guitar Music

The sweet, old West African tradition of palm wine guitar has few great players left. Palm wine music dates back to the days when Portuguese sailors first introduced guitars to West African port cities. Early African guitarists and bottle percussionists played at gatherings where revelers […]

Omar Khorshid: Rhythms from the Orient

If you dig “east meets west” style exotica ala Ananda Shankar then prepare to have your mind blown, cause Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid is one of the giants! A swirling blend of snakey rhythms played with Moog, organ, belly dance percussion, and of course Omar’s […]

Francis Bebey – Un Petit Ivoirien

Cameroon born novelist, poet, musicologist, historian, radio DJ and multi-instrumentalist Francis Bebey (1929) conjured up this relatively unknown record for Ozileka Records in 1979. If you’re familiar with his classical guitar work, this stuff may come as a suprise. Deploying an assortment of synthesisers, the […]

Pygmies of the Ituri Forest

I suppose that Pygmies, being so naturally small, have a bit of a head start when it come to “getting down”. Bad jokes aside, this is a pretty amazing record. The ambiance is just awesome and on many tracks the jungle is as much a […]