Monday, August 15, 2011


Machito - Kenya (1957)

This intoxicating blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and Duke Ellington style Big Band Jazz is like the soundtrack to some great, lost epic film about the Batista regime in pre-revolutionary Cuba, back when it was the most bananas of all the many Banana Republics in Uncle Sam's filthy, rancid back pocket. Maybe Francis Ford Coppola could have directed it. Maybe Oliver Stone still can. Anyway, every cut on this album throbs like a Havana nightclub in 1944, with Ernest Hemingway holding court up in a corner balcony - as far away from the band as possible so the lovely 15-year-old brown girl squirming in his lap can hear what he's shouting in her ear - puffing on a Cohiba, slurping down one Mohito after another, back in those steamy days before everything came crashing down and the only way out so far as he could see was by dancing the Shotgun Waltz. Once again, I have to say this is absolutely essential listening for any would-be drummers or percussionists out there.

Had I heard it before? No.
Do I like it? Kind of, but I resist it.
Why? Because it wants me to DANCE, goddamnit!
If I had to sum it up in a single word? "Afrocubalicious!"
Am I keeping it? Only the Standout Tracks.
Standout Tracks? "Kenya", "Wild Jungle", "Frenzy", "Oyeme", "Conversation", "Minor Rama"

No comments:

Post a Comment