thanks for looking.
so, if you were paying attention last week (and i’m sure you were), you may recall that i said there wouldn’t be any updates during the month of august… welp, i got too many good titles in this week, some new to the shop, some restocked essentials, that i couldn’t help but put ‘em out there in update form. check em out! a new comp of ethnic 78s from ian nagoski and mississippi records (along with some restocks not listed); new and restocked cds from sterns africa (all amazing, don’t snooze on em just because they’re cds); restocked white hills lps; new blues vinyl on monk records outta italy (plus restocks); a grip of byg/actuel and impulse restocks (plus more expected next week)… good stuff! as always check the tequila sunrise records facebook page and/or twitter feed for up-to-the-minute new arrivals and restocks.
as always, many of these titles are in very limited quantity, so if you're interested in anything listed below and can’t make it to the shop you can make a purchase via paypal or over the phone with a credit card and pick them up later or have them shipped (see more information below). i will no longer hold records. sorry.
prices are subject to change without notice.
prices do not include shipping and handling. for those of you shipping within the continental united states I offer a 5.00usd flat shipping rate for any amount of records and/or compact discs. shipping cost for international orders are calculated on an order by order basis. payments for orders can be made via paypal or with a credit card by telephone between 12-6pm/est.
i also offer bike messanger service via timecycle couriers. for the low cost of 10.00usd i can deliver any amount of records and/or cds you wish to purchase to your center city philadelphia location (this includes some parts of south, west and north philadelphia) within two hours (and for those of you who need your records even faster, we also offer ‘rush’ service for the low flat rate of 20.00usd for any amount of records/cds delivered to you within one hour). of course, we are still more than happy to ship records via the usps within philadelphia. orders placed before 5pm/est will ship out that evening and should reach their destination by the following day.
PICKS OF THE WEEK
V/A- STRING OF PEARLS: A COMPILATION OF INTERNATIONAL 78's LP (mississippi, usa)
*another excellent/essential set compiled by ian nagoski (once of baltimore’s true vine record shop, compiler of the black mirror cd on dust to digital -restocks expected shortly-, writer, performer, driver of cabs, etc…). fourteen amazing songs ranging from Calypso, Indian vocal music, Jewish Cantorals, Native American chants, etc… includes detailed (to the best of his digging ability) liner notes. beautiful cover to boot! Co-released by b’more’s Canary Records.
BALLA ET SES BALLADINS- THE SYLIPHONE YEARS 2CD BOX (sterns africa, uk)
*Syliphone was the national record company established in 1959 by the government of newly independent Guinea. Syliphone's premier ensemble was the Syli Orchestre National, which included many of the country's best modern instrumentalists -- among them trumpeter Balla Onivogui. In the mid '60s Balla and eight other musicians branched off from Syli Orchestre National to accept a long-term engagement at the classiest nightclub in Conakry, la Jardin de Guinée. This band, which included trombonist Pivi Moriba, guitarist Sékou 'Le Docteur' Diabaté and singers Manfila Soba Kanté and Émile 'Benny' Soumah, became known as Orchestre de la Jardin de Guinée but eventually took the name Balla et Ses Balladins. This album covers 1968 to 1980, when Balla et Ses Balladins were one of the three most popular bands in Guinea (the others being Bembeya Jazz and Keletigui et Ses Tambourinis). Like the previous releases in the series, this album is a box enclosing two CDs and a 44-page full-color booklet. The CDs contain 28 tracks selected by Guinean music experts Paul Hayward and Graeme Counsel (many of them never released on CD until now), and the booklet is replete with period photos and record cover reproductions along with Counsel's authoritative notes in English and French.
KELETIGUI ET SES TAMBOURINIS- THE SYLIPHONE YEARS 2CD BOX (sterns africa, uk)
*Keletigui Traoré was already a respected professional flutist and saxophonist when he was invited to join the Syli Orchestre National in 1959. In the mid '60s he and several other members of the national orchestra formed a dance band called Orchestre de la Paillote. In 1968 they made their first recordings (including the first track in this compilation), and a year later they changed their name to Keletigui et Ses Tambourinis. Keletigui sang and so did trumpeter Kerfala Camara and bass-guitarist Manfila Dabadou Kanté, but the Tambourinis were best known as an instrumental powerhouse. In addition to his flute and tenor sax, Keletigui also played an electric organ, and his ten-man band included the great alto and soprano saxophonist Momo Wandel Soumah, guitarist Linke Condé, and bala-xylphonist Lansana Diabaté. Keletigui Traoré died last year at the age of 74. This 2-CD boxed set, complete with an illustrated and annotated 44-page booklet, celebrates his most creative years, 1968 to 1976, and is presented as a tribute to his remarkable life and music.
BEMBEYA JAZZ NATIONAL- THE SYLIPHONE YEARS: HITS AND RARE RECORDINGS 2CD BOX (sterns africa, uk)
*Formed in 1961 in the small town of Beyla, Bembeya Jazz relocated to Conakry, the capital of Guinea, in 1970 and earned its 'National' designation by the sheer strength of its talent and the extent of its musical innovations. Still going strong today, Bembeya's peak period was the late '60s and early '70s, when the phenomenal guitarist Sekou 'Diamond Fingers' Diabate led the band and the great Aboubacar Demba Camara was the lead singer. For this album Guinean music experts Paul Hayward and Graeme Counsel have collected 27 tracks recorded during the remarkably fecund ten years from 1967 and 1977, when Bembeya Jazz National was the top band in Guinea. In addition to the two CDs, the boxed set includes a 44-page full-color booklet replete with period photos and record cover reproductions along with Counsel's authoritative notes in English and French.
ROCK AND PSYCHEDELIC
WHITE HILLS- A LITTLE BLISS FOREVER LP (drug space, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Always striving to push the envelope white hills is back with a new album that will keep its fans guessing. A Little Bliss Forever is a departure for the band. The dense in your face production of early releases is left behind to open the door up to a more airy sound. The two side long tracks are acid drenched spaced out jams that are brooding and moody. Imagine PiL meets Can on a fist full of downers or Les Rallizes DeNudes in a brawl with The Stooges. Guitars are susupended in mid air, drums tumble over themselves, while oozing bass lines sew it all together. The production is immediate and raw. The first pressing of the album sold out within 2 months of it's release. The second pressing comes with different cover artwork, a poster, insert, and is limited to 600 copies. This is release also marks the first outing with Kid Millions, of the Brooklyn based band Oneida, on the drums.
WHITE HILLS/THE HEADS- COLLISIONS V.1 LP (rocket recordings, uk)
*shop favorite restocked, no more blue vinyl, black this go ‘round… Rocket Recordings are proud to announce the release of the all new Collision Series. We celebrate Volume 1 of this series by coupling together two monolithic fuzzed transmissions by gods of heavy psychedelia, New Yorks White Hills and the UK legends The Heads. The record survey’s both bands voyage towards a single lengthy Incursion, a whole side of burnout bliss. Each track will navigate the listener to explore Rocket flight paths until he/she is gasping for time in the air lock. The White Hills ‘I Will Bring You Peace of Mind’ traces paths explored on previous Rocket favourite Heads on Fire (Launch 029), but this time the journey expands till it kicks the dust storms into a spacerock void. The slow pulse of pounding bass and pendulums of fuzz guitar swirl like a battle against unleashed elements, lost in the bottomless depths of the cosmos. Head for the wind, dark and frozen. Finally the whole piece concludes with a field recording gradually fading out into eternity. A parallel previously harvested by the freaks of Finland in the early 70’s. With an all together heavier payload, The Heads ‘Camden Brain Slurry’ pilots further uncharted territory. From the off, the thrust of the entire band pummel the onboard circuits until the propulsion dials are teetering in the red, until it’s eventually time to bailout in a free fall haze of fuzz and feeback. Then the fun begins. In microbursts of repetitive transmission’s The Heads signal the ether before the engines are re-fired in hypnotic thrusts of distortion, eventually suffocating you until your brain screams for release. This is when we resume our journey with The Heads marching on in a Krautrock blitz until red eyes have taken them and you have to lower your landing gear.
BLUES AND ROOTS
DOCK BOGGS- FALSE HEARTED LOVER'S BLUES LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… Born in 1898 in Norton, Virginia, singer/songwriter and banjo player Dock Boggs got his start playing in the mining camps while working in the mines all over the Appalachian region. In 1927, he got a contract with Brunswick Records and began recording and playing parties all over the area. This collection represents his complete recordings from 1927-1929 when Dock was at the beginning and height of his short-lived recording career. 1929, however, was also unfortunately the beginning of the Great Depression and, like many musicians, Dock was forced to give up playing professionally due to lack of audience (no one had money for records or parties anymore). He thankfully was rediscovered in the 1960s by the folk revival movement and went on to record three great albums for Folkways, before his death in 1971.
BLIND WILLIE MCTELL- SCAREY DAY BLUES 2LP (monk, italy)
*William Samuel McTier was born in Georgia in 1898 (according to some sources), and despite his blindness was a talented musician since early childhood. He began his recording career in 1927 for Victor Records in Atlanta and is credited with having created an entire blues sub genre by mixing the hard roots of the Delta style with the more refined East Coast style (Piedmont Blues). His unique 'country blues' can be heard on the grooves of this double lp collection brought to you by Monk records.
CHARLEY PATTON- ELECTRICALLY RECORDED: JESUS IS A DYING-BED MAKER LP (monk, italy)
*twelve more tunes from Patton's 1929 recording sessions. Here the acknowledged 'King of the Delta blues' performs some of his finest spiritual blues, like the title track, and 'You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die.' One the most seminal blues artists of all time, this collection helps keep the legend alive. All tracks recorded in Grafton, WI, October 1929.
CHARLEY PATTON- ELECTRICALLY RECORDED: HIGH WATER EVERYWHERE LP (monk, italy)
*One step further into the life and music of this true superstar of early blues, this compilation features the two-part 'High Water Everywhere,' considered to be one of the greatest blues songs of all time, along with other pearls like 'Devil Sent The Rain Blues,' making this second episode of Monk's retrospective on Patton, another must have. Patton's ability to put the harsh everyday struggle of the Delta dwellers into music makes him one of the most enduring and soulful musicians in the entire history of blues. All tracks recorded in Grafton, WI, October 1929.
CHARLEY PATTON- ELECTRICALLY RECORDED: PRAYER OF DEATH LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… From the granddaddy of Delta blues comes this incredible compilation of his greatest songs. Charley Patton's influence on music cannot be overstated. He began playing music around 1900 and by the time he was 19, about a decade later, he had already written his most popular tune 'Pony Blues' and was on his way to becoming the first superstar of the Delta Blues and a household name. He was soon the most requested performer all over the South and influenced many young musicians, like Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson, to name a few. But it was not only his mastery of the guitar and incredible vocal style that gained him popularity. His rock star-style showmanship and stage antics -- like playing guitar down on his knees or behind his back -- with a girl on each arm and drink in hand after the show, made him the idol of young would-be musicians (and non) everywhere he played. And like a true rock star, by age 42 he was dead, which of course, only fuelled his fame.
CHARLIE POOLE- HUSBAND AND WIFE WERE ANGRY ONE NIGHT LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… Born in North Carolina in 1892, singer and banjo player Charlie Poole is often considered to be one of the grandfathers of bluegrass and modern country music. Poole recorded 60 songs during the 1920s for Columbia Records with his wildly popular North Carolina Ramblers, so this LP is a small sampling of some of his very best songs, many of which, like his first big hit for Columbia, 'Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues,' are blues standards. Although Poole died of an alcohol-induced heart failure at just 39 years old, he still had plenty of time to influence bluegrass greats like Bill Monroe, and more indirectly, Hank Williams and the folk singers of the 1960s. Although Poole wrote none of his own material, his genius lay in his unique ability to rework a song, by changing lyrics and tempo, to make it something entirely new. In fact, many fans bought his records just to see 'how Charlie did it.' His North Carolina Ramblers sold huge numbers of records for the time and Poole became one of the first country music stars.
ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO- MESSAGE TO OUR FOLKS LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 28th volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. Originally recorded at Studio Davout in Paris on August 12th, 1969... the Art Ensemble Of Chicago stands out as one of the most influential and long-lasting avant-garde and free jazz bands of all time. 4 tracks.
ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO- REESE AND THE SMOOTH ONES LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 29th volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. Originally released on the French BYG Actuel label, this a classic album recorded in Paris during August 1969 while the Art Ensemble was on its initial stay there with just a quartet featuring Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors and Joseph Jarman. Reese And the Smooth Ones has a continuous piece featuring all the members playing lots of little instruments (horns, gongs, logs, bells, sirens, whistles, steel drums, marimba, banjo and more) in addition to their mainstays.
SUNNY MURRAY- AN EVEN BREAK (NEVER GIVE A SUCKER) LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 32nd volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. Avant-garde jazz drummer Sunny Murray was a major player in the experimental jazz community throughout the 1960s. After three years as a member of Albert Ayler's band (1964-1967), Murray traveled to France where, after releasing two LPs on the BYG label, he recorded An Even Break, (recorded on November 22, 1969) for Affinity. Although his first release for the Affinity label, this was Murray's third release of the year! Featuring Byard Lancaster, Malachi Favors and Kenneth Terroade.
SUNNY MURRAY- SUNSHINE LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 48st volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. "This album was recorded in Paris on August 15, 1969 with Lester Bowie, Dave Burrell, Roscoe Mitchell, Archie Shepp, Alan Silva, Malachi Favors, Arthur Jones and Kenneth Terroade. Sunny Murray is 'rightly regarded as jazz's first free drummer. His belief in the drum as an extension of the human soul's vibration allowed him to create a sonic firebed for tonal instruments to dance across. He spent the '60s developing his propulsive, brain-poking style with Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and his own groups. The wild sextet Mr. Murray led for this session heralds our entry into the rough and blaring world of high energy." --Thurston Moore and Byron Coley.
ARCHIE SHEPP- YASMINA, A BLACK WOMAN LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Fourth volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. A great recording session for the French BYG Actuel label dated August 12, 1969. Tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp met up with members of the Chicago avant-garde school including Art Ensemble Of Chicago members Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors. Featuring also Dave Burrell, Sunny Murray, Philly Joe Jones, Art Taylor, Clifford Thornton, Earl Freeman among the others.
ARCHIE SHEPP- BLASÉ LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 18th volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. Originally recorded at Studio Davout in Paris on August 16th, 1969. An intense and sublime album by Archie Shepp with Lester Bowie and Malachi Flavors (from the Art Ensemble of Chicago) plus Dave Burrell, Philly Joe Jones and Jeanne Lee. Five tracks. Gatefold sleeve.
ARCHIE SHEPP AND THE FULL MOON ENSEMBLE- LIVE IN ANTIBES: VOL. 1 LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 38th volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. Super live recordings (dated July 18 and July 20, 1970) captured in France at the Antibes-Juan Le Pen Jazz Festival. Archie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble (including Allen Shorter, Clifford Thornton, Joseph DeJean, Beb Guerin and Claude Delcloo) playing four long and really intense tracks.
ARCHIE SHEPP AND THE FULL MOON ENSEMBLE- LIVE IN ANTIBES: VOL. 2 LP (byg/scorpio, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 39th volume in the BYG Actuel series; gatefold sleeve, 180 gram vinyl. "Super live recordings (dated July 18 and July 20, 1970) captured in France at the Antibes-Juan Le Pen Jazz Festival. Archie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble (including Allen Shorter, Clifford Thornton, Joseph DeJean, Beb Guerin and Claude Delcloo) playing four long and really intense tracks.
ALICE COLTRANE- HUNTINGTON ASHRAM MONASTERY LP (impulse, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 180 gram exact repro reissue, gatefold sleeve. Officially licensed through Verve/Universal. Recorded in New York, May 14, 1969; Alice Coltrane (piano and harp), Ron Carter (bass) and Rashied Ali (drums and percussion). "The composition 'Huntington Ashram Monastery' was first recorded as a piece for solo harp. However, the selection used in this album is played by the trio. With the band, there is expansion and enhancing of sound, together with collective contributions of the musicians. Ashram means 'hermitage.' It is sometimes spelled 'ashrama.' Of the many humanly-constructed ashrams and monasteries throughout the world, I feel that the real 'ashrama' is in your heart." -- Alice Coltrane
ALICE COLTRANE- JOURNEY IN SATCHIDANANDA LP (impulse, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Exact repro. 180 gram virgin vinyl. Originally issued in 1971. Recorded at the Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York on November 8, 1970. Alice Coltrane (harp, piano); Pharoah Sanders (soprano saxophone, perc); Charlie Haden (bass); Rashied Ali (drums); Cecil McBee (bass); Vishnu Wood (oud); Tulsi (tamboura); Majid Shabazz (bells, tambourine). "Swamiji is the first example I have seen in recent years of Universal Love or God in action. He expresses an impersonal love, which encompasses thousands of people. Anyone listening to this selection should try to envision himself floating on an ocean of Satchidanandaji's love, which is literally carrying countless devotees across the vicissitudes and stormy blasts of life to the other shore. 'Satchidananda' means knowledge, existence, bliss." --Alice Coltrane
ARCHIE SHEPP- ATTICA BLUES LP (impulse, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 180 gram exact repro reissue, gatefold sleeve. Originally released in 1972 on Impulse!. Officially licensed through Verve/Universal. "Never one to be close-lipped about his anger at U.S. society or its actions, Archie Shepp delivered Attica Blues on the heels of the Attica Prison massacre. Every time Shepp's breath hits the reeds he creates an emotional vibe which all of his records have displayed. Attica Blues has all his in your face sound even though he isn't ripping jagged shards as he had in the past. The record still displays emotional angst that is every bit as powerful and distraught as Davis's celluloid images. The tracks have the deep soul of all of Shepp's finest such as On This Night and Four By Trane. The difference is Archie utilizes the arrangements as the forefront while his horn simmers in the background like an angry voice needing to be heard." -- All About Jazz
ARCHIE SHEPP- LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO LP (impulse, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… 180 gram exact repro reissue in a gatefold sleeve, originally released on Impulse! in 1966. Featuring Archie Shepp (tenor sax and piano), Donald Garrett (bass), Beaver Harris (drums), Roswell Rudd (trombone) and Lewis Worrell (bass). "This Impulse recording features the fiery tenor Archie Shepp with his regularly working group of the period, a quintet also featuring trombonist Roswell Rudd, drummer Beaver Harris and both Donald Garrett and Lewis Worrell on basses. Although two pieces (Shepp's workout on piano on the ballad 'Sylvia' and his recitation on 'The Wedding') are departures, the quintet sounds particularly strong on Herbie Nichols' 'The Lady Sings the Blues' and 'Wherever June Bugs Go' while Shepp's ballad statement on 'In a Sentimental Mood' is both reverential and eccentric." -- All Music Guide
ARCHIE SHEPP- MAMA TOO TIGHT LP (impulse, usa)
*Gatefold 180 gram exact repro reissue, originally released on Impulse! in 1966. Officially licensed through Verve/Universal. Features one of Shepp's finest moments, the intricate, 18+ minute epic three-part suite "A Portrait Of Robert Thompson (as a young man)." Features: Tommy Turrentine, Roswell Rudd, Grachan Moncus III, Perry Robinson, Charlie Haden, Howard Johnson, Beaver Harris. "It was my intention to couple, in this album, the poignancy of the blues and the jubilant irreverence of a marching band returning from a funeral. It is my interpretation of a slave and neo-slave experience; rather like the feeling of being subjected to a 'haunt.' But the victims have their ghosts too. Where my own dreams sufficed, I disregarded the western musical tradition all together. After all, the 'forms' we are working with are relatively new (I challenge the thesis that they are substantially new)." -- Archie Shepp
DJANGO REINHARDT- THE 1938 LONDON DEBUT AND PARIS SESSIONS LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… While 1937 came to a close on the notes of the virtuoso 'Tea For Two,' 1938 began with the first appearance of the Quintette du Hot Club de France in England, an even greater sell-out event than Duke Ellington. The London recording sessions for Decca took place a few days after that event. Django played his own compositions, some jazz hits, and accompanied solos, the sound being now improved and more mature. The British episode was short but intense, and three more titles were recorded later, in August. In-between Django also recorded three sides with Benny Carter, who had widely played around Europe beginning in 1935. Packaged in 78 rpm style deluxe plain cardboard sleeve.
DJANGO REINHARDT- THE LAST YEARS OF PEACE: 1936-1937 LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… The British Decca company, who had distributed the early Ultraphone sides in England, was attracted by the sudden success of the band and decided to start, in the autumn of 1935, with new recording sessions, now at the enhanced Polydor studios in Paris. Although dealing with such musicians was often quite challenging for the German Polydor technical engineers, some of the results were musically remarkable, despite some low figure sales. Even during his Polydor-Decca phase Django recorded for other companies, including French Gramophone, and in November 1935 he met modern pianist Garnet Clark and US trumpeter Bill Coleman. Packaged in 78 rpm style deluxe plain cardboard sleeve.
DJANGO REINHARDT- FROM THE ULTRAPHONE SHELVES LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… From December 1934 to late September 1935, the Quintette du Hot Club de France, founded by gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and French violinist Stéphane Grappelli, cut nearly 20 titles for the Parisian based branch of the German Ultraphone label. During the nine months they spent under contract with Ultraphone, their repertoire included some original compositions by members of the band, as well as classic jazz gems. The selections proposed here offer a sample of Django's early genius, who showed the jazz community that the 'American way' of playing jazz was not the only one. Packaged in 78 rpm style deluxe plain cardboard sleeve.
V/A- RAG & STOMP: A RETROSPECTIVE ON 1930S WESTERN SWING LP (monk, italy)
*shop favorite restocked… During the 1930s in the vast region of the American Southwest, particularly in Texas and Oklahoma, a younger generation gave birth to a new form of popular dance music. In the hard years of the depression, both rural enthusiasts who played by ear, and others who had basic notions of written music joined together and participated in the development of the so-called 'western swing'. The elements which flow into this music are easily detectable on recordings by western swing groups, melting white and black swing across the country (Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, etc.), together with blues, fiddle music and ragtime, which was particularly strong in the regional heritage of Texas. Packaged in 78 rpm style deluxe plain cardboard sleeve.
FRANCO & LE TPOK JAZZ- FRANCOPHONIC: AFRICA'S GREATEST: A RETROSPECTIVE VOL. 1 1953-1980 2CD (sterns africa, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… typically nice sterns package, 2CDs in slipcase, with 48 page book. Francophonic finally gives Franco his due. Vol. 1: 1953-1980 comes out on the 70th anniversary of the artist's birth. Vol. 2: 1980-1989 will be released next year, the 20th anniversary of his death. Each volume is a boxed set containing 2 CDs and a 48-page book. From Sterns -- 'one of the world's finest disseminators of African music,' according to The New York Times -- both albums are researched, compiled, annotated, illustrated and designed by the same people that produced last year's Voice of Lightness, a retrospective of Franco's rival, Tabu Ley Rochereau, which garnered high praise from National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Pitchfork. This first Francophonic volume is the album that will confirm Franco's international reputation as Africa's greatest.
RAIL BAND- BELLE EPOQUE VOLUME 1: SOUNDIATA CD (sterns africa, uk)
*Mali's legendary Rail Band, so named because they were initially sponsored by one of Mali's largest railroad lines, were one of the finest West African pop combos of the 1970s. Unlike their peers in countries like Nigeria and Ghana, the Rail Band eschewed the frenetic rhythms of American soul and funk to concentrate on pioneering an electrified version of traditional Malian manding music. Their sound is dominated by the relaxed, tremolo-laden guitar work of Djelimady Tounkara, who embarks on masterful guitar excursions over the flawless grooves of the Rail Band's gently propulsive rhythm section. This two-disc retrospective contains the entirety of The Rail Band's 1975 masterpiece, Soundiata, and includes a host of other stellar Rail Band tracks from that era. Full-colour, 20-page booklet with notes detailing the history of the band and full-page reproductions of original album covers.
RAIL BAND- BELLE EPOQUE VOLUME 2: MANSA CD (sterns africa, uk)
*The second volume in Stern's three-volume Rail Band retrospective, Belle Epoque Volume 2: Mansa contains a number of rare recordings made by the Rail Band in the early '70s, featuring the talents of the Malian songwriting prodigy Salif Kieta, as well as a host of other selections featuring Malian singers like Sekou Kante and Magan Ganessy. Though these compilations provide an admirably thorough overview of the Rail Band's discography, they are not arranged chronologically. On this volume, early '70s cuts featuring the golden-voiced Kieta often sit somewhat uneasily beside equally stellar, but stylistically distinct, offerings from later in the Rail Band's career. Despite its potentially confusing sequencing, Stern's Belle Epoque series offers the listener unparalleled access to the Rail Band's sprawling and influential body of work. Full-colour, 20-page booklet with notes detailing the history of the band and full-page reproductions of original album covers.
RAIL BAND- BELLE EPOQUE VOLUME 3: DIOBA CD (sterns africa, uk)
*With Belle Epoque Vol. 3 - Dioba, the estimable Sterns Africa label has completed another definitive archive project documenting West Africa's post-colonial 'belle epoque' of the 1960s and 1970s. The three two-disc volumes in the series present the hits, highlights and lesser known treasures made by the Rail Band, the era's pre-eminent Malian modern-roots band -- which featured world music stars-to-be Salif Keita and Mory Kante, both winningly represented -- in a collection that is both as scholarly and as vibrant as the label's The Syliphone Years series, showcasing the contemporaneous bands of neighbouring Guinea. Dioba showcases the Rail Band in all its splendid moods and colours: from Keita's spiritualised and virtuosic 'Maki' and 'Soyomba,' through Ganessy's fierce going on feral 'Kadia Kandian' and 'Djamban,' the re-Africanised Stax-Volt soul of Kante's 'Mariba Yassa' and his mesmeric take on Afrobeat, 'Sinsimba,' spacier and nimbler than originator Fela Kuti's style, on to the rumba-infused 'Foliba' and 'Talassa.' Two 1982 tracks, 'Diby' and 'Diabate,' feature the psychedelicised keyboards of Alfred Coulibaly, a late but valuable addition to the line-up, inhabiting adjacent territory to that being explored by the American keyboard player Marco Benevento on Me Not Me (The Royal Potato Family, 2009), two and a half decades later. 3rd and final volume in the critically-acclaimed Belle Epoque series that tells a 13-year story -- from 1970 to 1983 -- of Mali's legendary group. Full-colour, 20-page booklet with notes detailing the history of the band and full-page reproductions of original album covers.
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