Tuesday, 22 December 2009

VA - Orishas Across The Ocean


Orishas Across The Ocean

320 CBR mp3
CD rip & scans from Ryko RCD 10405

As winter progresses, long after its foliage has been shed, the tree loses most of the moisture in its trunk and must rely more than ever on the sap stored in its roots. In this spirit, Soundological would like to share with you a healthy helping of the musical equivalent of sap from said roots and the wellspring from which the branches of most musical traditions featured on this blog -- Blues, Jazz, Soul, Gospel, R&B,
Funk, Rock & Roll, Hip Hop, etc. -- have extended themselves.

Long OOP, this CD fetches a high price (a new copy can go for upwards of $70) and is valuable not only for its pristine presentation of remastered material from the Library of Congress (that's why these recordings fall under the public domain) but for the reverent and revelatory booklet that provides enlightening reading regardless of the degree of familiarity one may have with the religious and cultural diaspora from Mother Africa. One might say this collection is essential for both its text and context, so if you were not fortunate enough to find it a decade ago it's highly recommended you take advantage now.

AMG Review
by John Vallier
The 24 tracks featured on this compilation are aural snapshots of Haitian Vodoun, Cuban Santeria, Trinidadian Shango, and Brazilian Candomble religious ceremonies. They were originally recorded between the late '30s and the mid-'50s by such notable ethnologists as Laura Boulton, Melville Herskovits, and Lydia Cabrera. Culturally speaking, these recordings highlight African diasporic religions that originated with the Yoruba and Dahomean peoples and were brought to the New World with enslaved Africans. Retrieved from deep storage at the Library of Congress and digitally remastered by a team of audio experts, The Yoruba/Dahomean Collection: Orishas Across the Ocean is a powerful audio record that documents both the proud cultural legacy and sophisticated musical practices associated with Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian cultures.

Return to the roots for nourishment with Soundological HERE. (updated 2012-07-27)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Jack Marshall & Shelly Manne - Sounds!

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Capitol ST-2610

The Girls of Sao Paulo

This is the final effort in the Sounds! series of duet albums Manne & Marshall did together during the early 60s. Manne was a drummer who always followed a different beat and was quite a bit more experimental than contemporaries like Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson. It was due to this bohemian bent that he proved the perfect percussionist for what amounts to sound-centred stereo test records that also provided an enjoyable listening experience.

The series was experimental to start with and was conceptualised as a showpiece for the flegdling Hi-Fi stereo sound consumers were still adopting at the start of the 60s and was envisioned as a way to demonstrate the frequency range and cutting-edge studio techniques of the era. In fact, after cruising some of the audiophile forums, it's surprising to see this particular LP in the series is still often slapped on to show off the strengths of a $erious $tereo $etup.

While Marshall has an exquisite tone and picks clean as a whistle throughout, Manne does his very best David Van Tieghem and pounds on whatever is at hand, whether shoe-boxes or sheet metal, giving the proceedings an avant-garde flavour belying the simple melodic strings Marshall effortlessly floats atop the percussion. Although a pleasurable listen in its own right, if you'd like to learn something about mic placement you need look no further than this long-play lesson in room, range and dynamics.

This one goes out to The Oracle for his excellent Portal of Groove blog, where you will also find the other releases in the series as well as a heapin' helpin' of hi-fi hi-jinx covering exotica, the-in-sound-from-way-out, space-age-bachelor-pad music and other auditory delights of the dollar bin variety.

Dusty Groove sez:
Wild! Shelly Manne plays odd percussion behind Jack Marshall's jazzy guitar, and the two of them run through an odd bunch of tracks that will stretch the dynamic range of your stereo. More "hi fi" than jazz, but with a firm jazz base -- even though there's odd bits like shoeboxes, whistling, and handclaps. Cuts include "The Girls of Sao Paulo", "The Rain in Spain", and "Choros".

Jack Marshall - Guitar
Shelly Manne - Percussion

1 Theme From "Lawrence Of Arabia"
2 Sweet Sue, Just You
3 All The Things You Are
4 Choros
5 Am I Blue?
6 The Rain In Spain
7 Spanish Dance No.5
8 S'posin'
9 Yesterdays
10 The Girls Of Sao Paulo
11 A Day In Brazil - Medley

Sound off with Manne, Marshall & Soundological HERE or HERE.