Category Archives: Latin America

Happy Anniversary Part 6: Jazz and Related Sounds


And so we now come to a tri-partite celebration of jazz sounds as part of the ongoing commemoration of the Washerman’s Dog achieving the milestone of 700 posts (way back a couple of months ago). Thank you again to all visitors, regulars and encouragers along the way, its been a blast and I don’t’ see any reason to cease and desist any time soon.


Volume one is entitled Blue Vindaloo. Straight ahead jazz mixed with a fair number of Asian and Asian-inspired tracks by jazz artists from Afghanistan to Japan. Check out the Afghan Jazz Unit’s tremendous Spinboldak Saxophony.

Title track from the Pakistani-American uber guitarist Rez Abbasi.


Volume two is titled Afro Jazz and indeed here you will find much jazz from the Continent, as well as soukous, pop and other African delights.  Highlights this time are from Angola!  Title track comes via the mighty Madilu of DRC.


Volume three, Blow Baby, Blow is dedicated to outstanding brass, woodwind and brass band jazz. Sax, trumpet, tuba and trombone. Greats and unknowns.  Hope you enjoy.

blue vindaloo

Track Listing (Vol. 1):

01 Time Is Right Dr. L Subramaniam]

02 Beauty Of The Flower [Christoph Stiefel and Lissette Spinnler]

03 Elveen [Wynton Marsalis]

04 Spinboldak Saxophony [Afghan Jazz Unit]

05 Ranglypso [Ernest Ranglin]

06 Painted Paradise [Jiro Inagaki and Soul Media]

07 Fat Mouth [Weldon Irvine]

08 Yes, Sir That’s My Baby [Nat King Cole]

09 Abbaji (For Alla Rakha) [John McLaughlin]

10 Hub-Tones [Freddie Hubbard]

11 Eastern Dawn [Amancio D’Souza]

12 Sueño de Amor (Chachachá) [feat. Cachao] [Bonus Track] Generoso Jimenez]

13 Fried Pies (Take 1) [Wes Montgomery]

14 Tempo De Amor [Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes]

15 What a Little Moonlight Can Do [Billie Holiday]

16 Harlem On Saturday Night [Lil Hardin Armstrong and Her Orchestra]

17 Benson’s Rider [George Benson]

18 The Best Is Yet To Come [Mr. President]

19 Nuit sur les Champs-Elysees(1) [Miles Davis]

20 Awaara Hoon [Sunny Jain Collective]

21 Sina Nari [Hüsnü Şenlendirici]

22 Tanzania [Sadao Watanabe]

23 Summertime [Ahmed Abdul Malik]

24 Garuda [Raga Bop Trio]

25 The Look Of Love [Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66]

26 Quaze Caindo [Ricardo Herz Trio]

27 The Lewinsky March. [Rabih Abou-Khalil]

28 Ma’am A’rif Leh (Gingele) [Salma]

29 Blu Vindaloo [Rez Abbasi]

30 Raga Piloo [Joe Harriot & John Mayer]


beau souvenir

Track Listing (Vol. 2)

01 Johannesburg Hi-Lite Jive [Hugh Masakela]

02 Margret Odero [D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz]

03 Muasi Oweli Bela [bolero] [Vicky et l’OK Jazz]

04 Bolingo Ekomisi Ngai Liboma [L’orchestre Zembe Zembe]

05 Kulekule [Konono No.1 De Mingiedi]

06 La Bycicletta [Keletigui et Ses Tambourines]

07 Avante Juventude [Os Anjos]

08 Whiskey et Coca-Cola [Amadou Balake]

09 Black Egypt -Intro [Bukky Leo and Black Egypt]

10 Soweto Blues [Mariam Makeba]

11 Awa Awa [Wes]

12 Koki (Hot Koki) [Andre Marie Tala]

13 Tweta [Mombasa Party and Zuhura Swaleh]

14 Injuria [Jose ‘Zeca’ Neves]

15 Hymn for the War Orphans [Zimology]

16 Na boyi danbinzi [Orchestre Mando Negro]

17 Onyame [Ashanti Afrika Jah]

18 Sogodounou [Nahawa Doumbia]

19 1er Gaou (Ivory Coast) [Magic System]

20 Kyrie eleison [Orcestre Hi Fives]

21 Ting’ Badi Malo [Gidigidi Majimaji]

22 Din Ya Sugri [Christy Azuma & Uppers International]

23 Gidelam [Baaba Maal]

24 Tollon Tollon [Afro National]

25 Ichibanda [Oliya Band]

26 Revolution [Sonny Okosun]

27 Mosquito [Flaming Souls]

28 Beau Souvenir [Madilu System]

29 Black Woman Experience [Geraldo Pino]

30 Despedida [Dimba Diangola]


Blow Baby Blow

Track Listing: (Vol. 3)

01 Blue Light [Ben Webster]

02 Black Man’s Cry [Fela Kuti with Afrika 70 and Ginger Baker]

03 Zomaye [Gigi]

04 Minnie the Moocher [Big Bad Voodoo Daddy]

05 Skalloween [Skatalites]

06 From Boogie to Funk part 1_ The Blues [Bill Coleman]

07 Don’t Take Your Love From Me [Frank Rosolino Quintet]

08 See-F [Ceasar Frazier]

09 Instant Groove [King Curtis]

10 Time Is Running Out Fast [James Brown]

11 Satan’s Blues [Don Bryon]

12 i want a little girl [Big Joe Turner]

13 John McLaughlin [Miles Davis]

14 Misterioso [Sonny Rollins]

15 Sida Gangbe Brass Band]

16 The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro) [Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass]

17 Balkan Reggae [Mahala Rai Banda]

18 Qonqoza [Dudu Phukwana]

19 Got No Money [Dusko Gojkovic]

20 Crazy Mixed Up World [Little Walter]

21 Ad Lib Blues [Lester Young]

22 Need You (right now) [Trumpet Thing]

23 Kuenda Namwendo [The Umtali Chipisa Band]

24 Blues for Harvey [Johnny Griffin]

25 Celestial Bliss [Rahsaan Roland Kirk]

26 Frantic Activity [Rhythm Funk Masters]

27 Struttin’ With Some Barbecue [Louis Armstrong]

28 Asaw Fofor [Melody Aces]

29 African Battle Manu Dibango]

30 How Deep Is the Ocean [John Coltrane]


Viva Colombia: Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto





Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto were born in San Jacinto in the Colombian Department of Bolívar in the 1940s. The gaiteros meaning those who play the gaita flute. Miguel Antonio Hernández Vásquez also known as “Toño” Fernández, assembled a group of San Jacinto musicians including Juan and José Lara, Pedro Nolasco Mejía and Manuel de Jesus “Mañe” Serpa who formed the group’s official line-up.


From the 1950s onwards, they began touring Colombia, managed by writer and researcher Manuel Zapata Olivella. As decades passed, the group began incorporating a second generation of musicians, among whom can be found some of the sons of the original line-up.


En 1982, due to Toño Fernández’s health problems, Joaquín Nicolás Hernández Pacheco, Fernández’s nephew, took the role of director of the band.


Currently, the group is headed by four of the original members, Nico, Toño, Juancho and Rafa Rodríguez, who perform with a new generation of gaiteros: Gabriel Torregrosa (son), Fredys Arrieta, Dionisio Yepes, Gualber Rodríguez and other young musicians who occasionally play with the group. (Wikipedia)


This music is refreshing in its simplicity and very alluring. It is not quite like anything I’ve heard recently, which doesn’t mean it is ‘out there’. Just a sudden and unexpected zephyr from Latin America.   Here is a recent interview with the group. Read it while you enjoy this pure and rustic music from across the oceans!


Asi tocan los indios


Track Listing:


01 El ñeque


02 Campo Alegre


03 El pondito


04 La cumbia de Arnulfa Helena


05 Rogelio


06 Asi tocan los indios


07 Viene amaneciendo


08 Candelilla Brava


09 Mi recorrida


10 Mi testamento


11 El nacimiento de Felipe


12 Rosita


13 Pobre chindo, pobre Mañe


14 Canto de zafra Eliécer Mejía y Juan Chuchita


15 Las tres barrigonas


16 Dolores Kumba








Get rid of the Chill: Suriname Music



Friday night. Cold and rainy. The wettest start to winter we’ve had in 22 years. The cold cuts to the bone.  So to help exorcise that demon I share a fantastic bit of upbeat sunshine music from Suriname.


The Dutch, English, Javanese, Indian culture of this small South American country has produced a ton of infectious music unknown to all but a small clique of aficionados. This rather uninspiring titled collection Songs from Suriname: Vol. 4, is proof that you should not judge a book (or CD) by its cover.


The music herein is bubbly, jazzy, brassy, dancy and fun.  A mix of calypso (with some of that naughtiness in the lyrics), island improv jazz and steel drumming this is utterly enjoyable stuff.  You want to dance and drink sugar cane wine (known as rum, in most countries) all night long.  Sung in the mix of English and Creole by artists with cool names like The Twinkel Stars and The Happy Boys, these songs from Suriname are guaranteed to drive all coldness from the bones.


Shake shake shake!







Track Listing:

01 Ai, mi wani si din [Stan Lokhin Band]

02 Anitri beri [Alberto Gemerts]

03 Disi na smoesi [George Scheermaker]

04 Honeymoonin’ Couple [Caribbean Harmonites Steelband]

05 If joe fas me [Twinkel Stars]

06 Joe nom bemoei [The Happy Boys]

07 Kokoroko [The Happy Boys]

08 Lene Miene Mutte [Max Nijman]

09 Meri go na Brazil [George Scheermaker]

10 Mooi miessie [Johnny Miranda]

11 Oema koto [Twinkel Stars]

12 Papa Jack [Somora Paramerera]

13 Pum pum [Trafassi]

14 Sweet skrantjie pokoe [Somora Paramerera]

15 Ting [Max Nijman]

16 Wasmasjien [Traffasi]


Bosses of Bossa Nova: The Ipamenas


Though Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 were mainstream pop stars, or pretty close to it, when I was growing up I have not been a huge bossa nova fan. Sure, The Girl from Ipanema is catchily iconic and all that. But on the whole the genre has always struck me as being full of clichés and not very adventurous.   Yet, slowly, in recently times my attitudes are changing to this most famoso Brazilian music.

The Ipamenas are a kind of blending of Toto, Cream, Elvis Presley and the Buena Vista Social Club in that they are supergroup, marcante session players, founding fathers of a revolutionary style of musicality and senior citizens!  And though the individual ingredients I have identified may leave you scratching your head and turning off, I urge you not to. Wilson Des Neves (vocals/percussion) and Neco (acoustic guitar/vocals) are two of Brazil’s legendary musicians, each highly successful as solo artists and masters of their instruments.  In the 1950s both men were regular studio session men at CBS in Brazil where they developed bossa nova, reworking the new sounds of boleros, rumbas and American jazz into traditional samba .  They played alongside heroes of the Brazilian music scene including Baden Powell, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chico Buarque and João Gilberto.

So good were the duo that in the early 60s they were given the chance to make a record on their own under their chosen name of The Ipamenas.  Though well received they were not given the money to make a follow up album and so Wilson and Neco returned to playing solo or in other people’s bands.  Nearly 30 years later in a tale similar to Ry Cooder’s journey to Cuba, an American producer named Joe Davis, re-discovered them while on a trip to Brazil.  Several albums came out including this their 3rd (or 4th depending on when you start counting), Samba is Our Gift.

Samba is indeed Brazil’s gift to the world.  Much more than a mere musical genre, it is a lifestyle, an expression of cultural and national identity, an attitude, a way of dressing, a culinary form and a ‘greater good’. Every year, the 2nd of December is marked as National Samba Day!

As a musical form its roots are deeply embedded in the soil of West Africa from which so many modern day Brasileiros’ ancestors came in slave ships. The modern samba that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century is predominately in a 2/4 tempo varied with the conscious use of a sung chorus to a batucada rhythm, with various stanzas of declaratory verses. Traditionally, the samba is played by strings (cavaquinho and various types of guitar) and various percussion instruments such as tamborim. Influenced by American orchestras in vogue since the Second World War and the cultural impact of US music post-war, samba began to use trombones, trumpets, choros, flutes, and clarinets.

This is a very cool record. I listen to it a lot and commend it to you one and all. Especially those who are slightly suspicious of bossa nova.

 Samba is Our Gift

Track Listing:

01 Imperial

02 Malandro Quando Vaza

03 Mangue

04 Samba Pra Mim Mesmo

05 Taioba

06 San Roque

07 Valsamba

08 Folia No Samba

09 Samba D

10 Treze, Trinta E Nove

11 O Samba É O Meu Dom