Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Sometimes music can be played (and taken) too seriously. There are exceptions, though, like this cut by Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava.

Clip: Art Deco

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007


I love Afro-Peruvian music, though my taste runs toward the "roots" style favored by singers like Lucila Campos. Listen to her version of Tio Goyo and you'll understand why.


It's difficult to describe the charm of palm wine music in words, so I won't try. Here's one of the styles' greats, S.E. Rogie, singing My Lovely Elizabeth

Thursday, February 22, 2007

zoot suit

The Zoot Suit Riots. Los Pachucos. La Raza swings.

Cut: Pachuco Boogie, by Don Tosti's Pachuco Boogie Boys

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


From Kenya, the Nairobi Shoeshine Boys - Mtoto Analia Mama Yuko Wapi?

* Photo by Michel de Nijs

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


You know, anybody can play a composition and use far-out chords and make it sound wrong. It’s making it sound right that’s not easy. - Thelonious Monk, 1961

Clip: Pannonica

Monday, February 19, 2007

eastern swing

Godwin Kabaka Opara's Oriental Brothers International produced some of the most driving, danceable highlife in Nigeria - even after the beginning of the disastrous Biafran war.

Today's cut - Oh Dear Jesus

Sunday, February 18, 2007

dans le bal musette

Accordion master Tony Murena's original composition, Caprice musette

(More info. here)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

la ilusión de tu vida

Cuban trova seems (to my mind) to be one of the most resonant and enduring genres of music ever created. The combination of melancholy and lush romanticism is a big part of the appeal - and the music of Maria Teresa Vera shows why.

Song: Veinte Años

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

coco de roda

Where would I rather be today? That's easy - dancing the coco on a beach in Brazil! And who better to lead the dance than Dona Selma do Coco?

Song: Coco para Barreiros

* Photo by Manu Galindo

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

for ray

Last February we lost one of Latin jazz's best - and most beloved - bandleaders, Ray Barretto. Murmullo, from his next-to-last album, says more about his work than words ever could.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Tinariwen - Chet Boghassa (Women of Boghassa)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

trombón melancolico

The trombone is one of my favorite instruments, though for some inexplicable reason it's largely absent from Anglo pop music. So I go to my Cuban and Brazilian collection for fixes, like this one - from Cachao's Dos.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007


Bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Adam Rogers play Nana, by Manuel de Falla

Sunday, February 04, 2007

no count

The Kansas City Six (sans Lester Young) - Good Mornin' Blues. (More here.)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

more dollars

More highlife, featuring Eric Akaeze and his Azagas

Friday, February 02, 2007

danzón cubano

Bassist Cachao and pianist Enrique Chia play a Cuban classic - Isora Club

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The O'Jays hit Love Train, performed by The Holmes Brothers. (From Speaking in Tongues.)