Monday, December 22, 2008
Maureen DuValier, the "Calypso Mama" from Nassau, said that Trinidadian Lord Kitchener was her favorite calypsonian. DuValier performed in hotels throughout the Bahamas, on cruise ships, and in Cuba and New York. If I am not mistaken I think she died recently.
This album has my man Lad Richards playing the hell out of his alto saxophone. I mentioned him on one of my earlier posts.
Sorry old fans and new fans, I know I haven't posted anything since October 12 but I have been busy. Since I'm a teacher and I coach sports after school when I get home I am tired and don't get around/feel like looking for something too post. But, I'm home for 2 weeks on Christmas vacation, so I got you guys again with some new posts....
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I was downloading "Top Calypsoians" from Schadenfreudian Therapy (http://baikinange.blogspot.com/2008/09/top-calypsonians.html), and in her post she mentioned this CD. I forgot I had it so I decided to post it and share it with the world. This is volume 1, and as far as I know there never was a volume 2, so we got HOODWINKED!!!
Ice Records was putting out good calypso comps back in the day WTF happened???
Songs about British royalty, American movie stars and singers, of local politics, sporting events and disasters all vie for attention in the calypso song. Enormously popular during the 1930s, today these songs are a window on a specific place and time, mirroring contemporary attitudes towards international events. But more than that, these songs are charming, clever, philosophical and funny, possessing a sophisticated (and often biting) wit. Several of the songs heard here were revived in the '70s by such artists as Ry Cooder, Van Dyke Parks and others. With Wilmoth Houdini, Lionel Belasco & His Orchestra, Atilla (Atilla the Hun), Tiger, Lord Beginner, King Radio, Lion, Caresser, Executor, Growler, Black Prince.
This album features insouciant, trenchant, and politically incorrect commentary on the war of the sexes, clothed in jaunty rhythms and with tongue firmly in cheek.
The lyrics are placed in the few melodies used by all performers in the 1935-41 period covered by the CD. The great names of the "golden age" of Trinidadian calypso are represented - Tiger, Attila, Lion, King Radio, Growler and others. The accompaniment features piano, horns, violin, bass, and trap set, contributing jazzy instrumental interpolations on the generous 23 selections included here.
- Stacy Phillips
This collection of treasures from the Smithsonian, other archives, and commercial studios transformed a series of tracks by the set's producers into a heady taste of carnival through the decades. Calypso Calaloo is actually the aural accompaniment to Donald R. Hill's written volume Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad, a fascinating account of that island's music pioneers, its world-famous annual carnival, and the culture that spawned it.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
This is an expanded version of the lp "Where was Butler" posted at (http://listentoyourears.blogspot.com/). My man YO YO posted the lp version which has 16 tracks, but I am posting the CD version which has 24.
This socially-conscious collection draws upon the first few generations of calypsonians, with a special emphasis on seminal figures like Atilla The Hun, The Tiger and Lord Executor (who reportedly made his debut in 1897, and remained on the scene for another six decades). Their concerns are local ("Shop Closing Ordinance"), international ("The Gold in Africa,") specific ("The Rats," which describes the practices of local prostitutes) and sweeping ("Money Is King," which takes social inequality for its subject). A great many concern a 1937 strike by workers in Trinidad's oil fields, which created a viable labor movement, and resulted (eventually) in the end of colonial rule. The jazz-inflected arrangements are dated, but still delightful ("Down the Road" is almost an anthem). The lyrics have lost none of their bite.