Welcome top quality Superfly reissue of the most elusive Strata East LP that even the most accomplished collectors do not have, superb funky modal Jazz all the way.

* High class late 1970s electric free jazz
* Unique album, progressive, yet traditional style, freak outs meet funky brass sections
* For fans of a wide range of jazzmusic from bebop to free jazz
* Electrified Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Red Garland, Cannonball Adderly, John McLaughlin could work as comparisons
* John Gordon played as sidekick of Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Nancie Banks and Ernie Wilkins among others
* Excellent sound and performance by high class professional musicians
* Excellent vinyl reissue of this sacred 1970s gem
* Fully licensed
* Remastered audio
* LP housed in a superheavy 430g art carton cover
* Ultimate collectors item for fans of modernized and electrified modal jazz and free jazz

'From 1978 trombonist John Gordon’s ‘Erotica Suite’ is one of the more obscure LPs on Strata East. The first track on this ultra rare LP is a four-part suite that culminates in the brilliant Spiritual Jazz of ‘Consequences’. The beautiful ‘Neleh’ is a gem with Gordon in fine form as is flautist James Spaulding. ‘Blue Na’ starts in a ponderous, bluesy vein but develops and sporadically breaks into moments of groove laced inprov while ‘Desire’ is an upbeat, pacey piano and horn foot tapper. Grab this whilst you can as once this pressing is gone, it will be impossible to find with originals scarce and hard to find.'

'Trombonist John Gordon’s second outing for the label as a bandleader is something of a white whale, even by Strata standards - only a small handful of deep jazz heads have ever even seen it with their own eyes. The main event, a 4-part suite, is a journey into the human carnal spirit that is at times ecstatic (Frank Derrick’s outstanding drumming on “2nd Movement”) and deeply meditative (“3rd Movement”). Gordon & co. are in top form on the B side as well, with Waymond Reed and James Spaulding’s dueling brass on “Ora Lee Tingle” and Gordon’s own horn acrobatics on “Blue Na” deserving special mention. Also worth noting is that Erotica Suite is one of a few Strata joints to feature synthesizer textures in the mix, definitely a rarity in modal jazz and never not bugging us out. Black vinyl pressing comes housed in high-gloss replica pic sleeve with printed inner sleeve, recommended.'

A1 1st Movement - Desire 6:50
A2 2nd Movement - Fulfillment 6:10
A3 3rd Movement - Aftermath 1:31
A4 4th Movement - Consequences 7:59
B1 Ora Lee Tingle 4:25
B2 Neleh 6:29
B3 Blue Na 8:10

SRLP026, limited to 1000 copies with obi. alternate Japanese sleeve issue, last copies.


'60th Anniversary reissue of a classic number from the important Smithsonian Folkways Recordings archive, spanning rum ballads and observational sing-song by a legendary calypsonian.'

'The original recording, released in 1959 featured master calypsonian Lord Invader before his death in 1961. Lord Invader’s calypso had a sharp sting, an art form originated from violent street battles and a conduit to speak truth to power.'

'Calypso developed in the 19th century as a fusion of the various styles of Carnival music in Trinidad. By the 1920s, calypso had evolved from ribald and stick-fighting songs into more political and social commentary. Lord Invader (born Rupert Westmore Grant) was one of the singers who emerged during this time and took on warrior-like names. Calypso Travels is just one of the albums he recorded for Moses Asch while in New York in the 1950s. Liner notes include sheet music and song lyrics.'

'Lord Invader was one of the most iconic and well-regarded calypso musicians of the mid-20th century. Coming from humble beginnings in the musical hotbed of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Invader gained notoriety for his unique voice and lyrical prowess. Calypso Travels, his final album released just before his death, was produced in New York in 1960 by Folkways founder Moses Asch. The album showcases Lord Invader’s talent for biting lyrics that reference contemporary happenings, such as the rise of Fidel Castro, his experience at the 1956 World Fair in Belgium, the arrival of the Little Rock Nine in 1957 desegregating the public schools in the United States, and his touring experiences in Europe in the 1950s. An icon of Caribbean music, and one of the major forces exporting it to the world, Lord Invader epitomizes the spirit of calypso – boisterous, acerbic, and joyful.'

'The last album ever recorded by Trinidad calypso legend Lord Invader – and a set that really sums up all the genius he brought to his too-short career. At a time when the music was really entering the mainstream in commercial ways, Invader keeps things very spare, stark, and basic here – reminding us that at the core, calypso was not only a really revolutionary musical style in the Caribbean – but also a way for under-represented cultures to really get a chance to speak out. Lord Invader does plenty of that here – mixing social commentary with a fair bit of wit, all while the percussion is going crazy at the core. (Beautiful reissue – with all the heft of a classic Folkways pressing!)' -Dusty Groove

Classic calypso from Lord Invader brings us incisive historical commentary with a new reissue of 1960's Calypso Travels.

'The history of 20th century calypso music is one strikingly well-recorded and analyzed, owing much to both its explicit sociopolitical nature and its global popularity. Calypsonian Lord Invader embodies both of these qualities. Coming from a rural background and therefore seen as less sophisticated than many of his contemporary, his lyrics nevertheless pull no punches, cutting and incisive even today. Smithsonian Folkways' new vinyl reissue of his 1960 album Calypso Travels reminds us of that clearly.

Lord Invader (né Rupert Westmore Grant) has plenty to say on Calypso Travels, commenting on colonialism in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, local Trinidadian culture and cultural shifts, global politics, and his travels in Europe. While his point of view doesn't always age well, he certainly makes himself clear. His gender politics, in particular, are a little difficult to listen to here in 2020. "My Experience on the Reeperbahn" relays the story of a night spent with a person Lord Invader describes as a feminine-presenting man, and while it's played off as a harmless comic encounter, the language used is more than a little dehumanizing. Later, he balks at his wife's sense of independence -- as well as that of Queen Elizabeth - in "Women Trying to Rule".

"As Long As It Born in My House (Lieutenant Joe)", on the other hand, is refreshingly opposed to any shame linked to children born out of wedlock, with each verse telling a different story of a man who graciously accepts paternity of a child that's not his. Inspired by the events surrounding the Little Rock Nine, "Crisis in Arkansas" takes a stand against racial segregation in the American education system. "Cat-O-Nine Tails" and "Steel Band War" are bold statements on crime and war. It's an impressive assortment of subjects. The tracklist is filled out with Lord Invader's experiences at the World's Fair ("Beautiful Belgic" and "Auf Wiedersehen") and songs touting his skill, status, and calypso traditions in general ("Me One Alone", "Carnival", "Te We", and "Beway").

Unlike the other albums coming out in this round of the Smithsonian Folkways Vinyl Reissue series (Tuareg Music of the Southern Sahara and Gambian Griot Kora Duets), the liner notes here are not ethnographic descriptions of setting and context, nor even of the artist himself. That is fitting enough; Calypso Travels is a popular music album rather than one of Folkways' field recordings. Given that this is such a topical reissue, though, an addendum to the original liner notes would have been particularly helpful. Lord Invader's perspective on current events of his time is so strong and so integral to his music that to neglect its context even half a century later does him a disservice.

With that said, his messages are not exactly coded, and that's what makes Lord Invader and his calypsonian contemporaries so important. There's no centrism here, and, at a time when black voices were finally beginning to gain ground amid ferocious oppression, particularly in the Americas, calypso was a form of social commentary that was not only direct but easy on the ears for all audiences. It was a way to spread important messages accompanied by a memorable groove. Few calypsonians then or now have managed to make waves quite as monumentally as Lord Invader. Calypso Travels serves as a testament to his no-holds-barred politics.' -Adriane Pontecorvo

1. Me One Alone 4:39
2. As Long as it Born in My House (Lieutenant Joe) 2:52
3. Beautiful Belgic 2:52
4. My Experience on the Reeperbahn 3:10
5. Auf Wiedersehen 2:30
6. Crisis in Arkansas 3:13
7. Fidel Castro 4:38
8. Carnival 4:14
9. Te We 3:06
10. Beway 4:36
11. Cat-O-Nine Tails 3:06
12. Steel Band War 3:28
13. Women Trying to Rule 2:50

Incl. Pdf


All the way from 1957, unfeasibly rare recording made for use in mental hospitals and institutions to aid rest. Played on an Ondioline. Translates as "Prelude to sleep", so goodnight my pretty ones... (Jonny Trunk)

'This album, released in 1957 by Jean-Jacques Perrey, is known as one of the first electronic albums ever. It was played with an Ondioline, and was made to be sleep-inducing, hence the name "Prelude to Sleep." It features two recordings of the same piece.'

'Jean-Jacques Perrey was one of the earliest innovators in electronic music, creating a body of work spanning decades that has influenced everyone from Brian Eno to The Beastie Boys. One of the pioneers of musique concrète and electronic tape manipulation, Prélude Au Sommeil ("Prelude to Sleep") is Perrey's debut recording but shows a composer already at maturity. Originally released at the end of the fifties, as a private press under the fake institutional name "Institut Dormiphone", Prélude Au Sommeil consists of two side-long tracks played on the Ondioline (George Jenny's 1941 vacuum-tube based, spring-loaded electronic instrument). The music contained in this mysterious vinyl is like something between dreamy church organ hymns and the keyboard-based minimalism that Philip Glass and Terry Riley developed a decade later. The music of Prélude Au Sommeil was intended as sleep-inducing and tranquilizing for use in mental hospitals. It is unclear if the copies pressed actually had been distributed to mental hospitals or if the whole story was just a fantastical joke on the part of Mr. Perrey. This album is known as a precursor of what would later became known as "ambient music", 20 years before Brian Eno, the Kosmic Courier and the American minimalists. Something vaguely similar to Prélude Su Sommeil came about five years after its release, when in 1962 Epic Records produced the three volumes of Soothing Sounds For Baby from Raymond Scott. A droning/bubbling work of early electronic, Prélude Au Sommeil vacillates between playful and serious, light and dark, a truly beautiful piece from an icon of electronic music. Essential.'

1. Prelude au sommeil: Face A 25:39
2. Prelude au sommeil: Face A 25:29


Features a previously unreleased recording of a solo harp improvisation by Alice Coltrane, known also by her sanskrit name Turiyasangitananda.

'Moochin' About's Record Store Day 2017 offering is something of a treat for jazz fans: a tasty 10" featuring an unreleased Alice Coltrane improvisation, recorded in Poland in 1987, on one side, and a delightful etching of a lotus flower on the other. Musically, the A-side sees Coltrane in harpist mode, delivering a spontaneous workout the rapidly jumps between strummed chords, plucked notes and frequent bursts of twinkling melody. At some points, it's blissful and becalmed, at others fizzes with the same kind of excitement you'd expect from freestyle jazz. At nearly 12 minutes in length it's something of an epic, but will hold your attention throughout.'

'On the 23rd of October 1987 in Warsaw, Poland at the Jazz Jamboree festival, Alice Coltrane played a improvised harp solo that lasted over 9 minutes.

The harp belonged to harpist Anna Faber. It was made in Russia she had acquired it in a most unusual barter;bags of white potatoes in exchange for a Russian pedal harp. Anna, said the harp had a great tone but was mechanically very hard to play, because it was not in very good shape but it was a pedal harp. Which during the time Poland was under the communist system, was very hard to find.

Anna’s harp was taken to the venue as the only available and more playable harp in Warsaw. She was asked to lend it to Alice Coltrane by her friend the late jazz pianist Slawomir Kulpowicz. Slawomir was a ardent fan of Alice Coltrane’s music and very instrumental in securing the invitation for her to play at the Jazz Jamboree Festival.

The actual harp, as one can note from the video recording took a lot of effort on the part of Ms. Coltrane to play. She was constantly readjusting the tuning mostly through the pedals seeking the most consistent sound that it could make.

As Alice Coltrane’s fingers deftly traveled over the strings creating sparkling notes of music that seem other worldly and ethereal, her signature sounds on harp could be heard emerging with each adjustment. She always said that “music is an expression”. Alice Coltrane’s harp expression/cadenza was improvised, invented and shared with the audience at the Festival. The public is fortunate that it was recorded and now 30 years later it is being made available as a single, historical, rare harp performance.' -Moochin' About

A. Improvisation (Harp Solo) 11:50

Format: limited hand-numbered 1-sided etched 10"


Pure GOLD! From Africa's Mayaula Mayoni: Rhythm guitarist, composer, singer, football player and university graduate.

'Freddy Mayaoula Mayoni (ou Mayaula Mayoni) (1945-2010) est un ancien footballeur très connu au Congo RDC qui s’était reconverti  dans la musique à la fin de sa carrière sportive. Il s’est distingué dans le «T. P. O.K. Jazz» avec Franco, qui avait été son président sportif (A. S. V. Club), et pour lequel il a composé. On lui doit des titres de légende comme «Chérie Bondowé», «Nabali Misere», «Bombanda Compliqué», «Doudou», «Ousmane Bakayoko»… On le retrouve un temps au sein de l’orchestre African All Stars («Veya»). Mayaula a aussi composé pour d’autres artistes. Il est notamment l’auteur «Ndaya», célèbre chanson chantée par M’Pongo Love.'

About Mayaula Mayoni

Mayaula Mayoni (1945 - 2010) was a soukous recording artist, composer and vocalist, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was once a member of the soukous band TPOK Jazz, led by François Luambo Makiadi, which dominated the Congolese music scene from the 1950s through the 1980s. One of the best compositions of the late Mayaula Mayoni was Cherie Bondowe.

Born in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) on the sixth of November 1946, Mayaula passes effortlessly through primary school. In 1962 he completed secondary education at the College of Kisantu. The young Mayaula appears to be a passionate and good football player. Between 1968 and 1971 he plays at a high level as a left winger in the first team of 'AS Vita Club' in Kinshasa. In this period he is also selected for the national team of Zaire.

When his father is stationed as a diplomat in Dar es Salam, Mayaula follows his father to Tanzania and plays some time with 'Yanga Sports'. Then he leaves for Charleroi in Belgium where he follows a course in data processing. In Belgium his talent is also noticed and he plays professional soccer with 'Racing Club de Charleroi' and 'Racing Club de Jette'in Brussels. He also plays for some time in Switzerland with 'FC. Fribourg'. In this period he gets acquainted with the guitar through a study friend. Also musically he shows himself a talented student and soon he joins the Congolese student orchestra 'Africana' as rhythm guitarist.

When he returns to Kinshasa, Mayaula makes a career switch from professional soccer player to professional composer and musician. Back home he immediately draws the attention of his former football president and band leader Franco, who asks Mayaula to join his band and adds his song 'Cherie Bonduwe' to the repertoire of his TPOK Jazz.

The melodic and thematically rich song receives much attention, not in the least because the National Censorship Commission prohibits the song. Cherie Bondowe presented the life of a prostitute from her point of view and is considered by the authorities as a defense of prostitution. The song was first released in Brussels, and rapidly found its way back to Kinshasa, despite the ban by the government.

Although Franco requested him to join TPOK Jazz, Mayaula Mayoni has never been an official band member of the TPOK Jazz. "He was something of an independent oddity in the music business" writes Gary Stewart in 'Rumba on the river'. "He prefered to compose his songs and then offer them to whichever artist he felt they fit. Many of his memorable efforts like 'Nabali misère' and 'Momi' found their way to OK Jazz".

In 1977 it was female singer Mpongo Love who scored with Mayaula's composition 'Nadaya' a song that tells the story of a woman happy in her marriage and confident of keeping her husband, despite the overtures of other women.

Many people mistakenly think that Mayaula was not only a gifted guitarist and composer, but a good singer as well. Although he sometimes acted as background vocalist during recordings and live performances, he has never presented himself as a lead singer. Probably this misconception is caused by a picture on the cover of the album 'Veniuza', on which we find Mayaula behind the microphone.

In 1981 Mayaula leaves Zaire together with some musicians from female singer Abeti's band Les Redoutables, to try his luck in West-Africa. In the period between 1981 and 1984 he records several solo LP's in Lomé (Togo) for the record label Disc-Oriënt'. In 1984 he returns to Zaire where he releases the album 'Fiona fiona' in 1986. In the same year female singer Tshala Muana gains success with 'Nasi nabali', a composition written by Mayaula Mayoni. He records his next album 'Mizélé' with the help of musicians of TPOK Jazz and singers Carlito Lassa and Malage de Lugendo

In 1993 he hits the charts again with the album 'L'amour au kilo'. It then lasts until 2000, before he comes with a new album 'Bikini'. Not long after the release of this album, Mayaula settles again in Dar es Salam, where he accepts a job at the diplomatic service. In the years that followed he began to suffer increasingly the consequences of hemiplegia, a disease that may result in loss of speech and paralysis of linmbs. In 2005 he returns to his place of birth Makadi. As his condition continues to deteriorate his family decides in cooperation with the authorities to bring Mayaula to Brussels for medical treatment. After a long illness of several month's he dies in Brussels on May 26, 2010 at the age of 64 years. During his impressive career, Mayaula Mayoni was repeatedly voted 'composer of the year'in Zaire. In 1978 for the song 'Bonduwe II', in 1979 for 'Nabali misère' and in 1993 for the song 'Ousmane Bakayoko'.

Nabali Misere by Mayaula Mayoni
by musica

This is a great hit.
Bolingo ebeti ngai fimbo oh mama, nazangi molongani oh Yahwe............ngai nawei eee,,, ngai moko nakati ya ndaki nabali souci ,,,,,,,,,,,, nabali misere oh ngai nawe (Love has lashed me with a whip{mapenzi yamenipiga kiboko} oh mama I lack a partner oh God, I cry, I am lonely in the house because I married misery) ohh I am dying........

The song Nabali Misère translates to “I married misery”. It was composed by Mayaula Mayoni. The lead vocal is soulfully delivered by Djo Mpoyi Kaninda. The chorus line features Lukoki Diatho, Lola Checain and Wuta Mayi.

The song is about a wife who bitterly regrets being abandoned by her husband at the beginning of the marriage. She thinks its is because of a curse. But upon further reflection, she realizes that it is rumours that are the basis of the misunderstanding between she and her husband.

She regrets that her husband believes all the information without checking. Friends of husband seem to be at the origin of their conflict. But since she is unable to redress the Situation, she laments with the hope of seeing her husband come back home.

The song earned Mayaula Mayoni Zairean composer of the year honours in 1979. It was also a huge hit all over East Central Africa. The phrase “Kobala Misere” earned its way into Zairean lexicon. It became an expression which was used to mean marrying a poor husband or marrying a husband who makes you miserable.

1. Chéri Bondowe 7:04
2. Nabali Mizere 16:24
3. Bombanda Complique 8:59
4. Nalangwa (Silawula) 10:11
5. Massivi 9:48
6. Pongi Na Zua Te 8:57
7. Mosese 10:14

Norman, Oklahoma

Rare as hell funk from Uptown Syndicate - a group consisted of a powerful horn section, two strong vocalists, and a serious rhythm section that would have matched JBs! Reissued on Athens of the North affiliate, AOE!

Uptown Syndicate Band was formed in Norman,Oklahoma May 1971. The band spanned nine years and had nearly 50 members. Uptown were renowned for high energy performances of Funk, Rhythm and Blues with soulful ballads mixed in Uptown was born out of the fraternity and sorority parties at Oklahoma University, especially the Alpha-Phi-Alpha and as their popularity grew, encompassing campuses all over. Considered locally as the top show bands rivaling the Gap Band of Tulsa, yet still only managed to record 2 solitary singles, probably due to a hard touring regime. The group consisted of a powerful horn section, two strong vocalists, and a serious rhythm section that would have matched JBs, The fact they never recorded a few Lps is a crying shame, but here we have their 4 recordings in their delightful and varied glory "Fast Moving, High Stepping, Moving and Grooving to the beat of the Uptown Syndicate Show." -AOTN

1. Uptown 3:14
2. You're A Woman 4:18
3. Bloated 2:41
4. Just Be Yourself 2:44


Super classic soukous and afro pop recorded in Abidjan

'In 1984 the biggest selling single in Kenya was 'Amour Cherche Amour’ by Manana Antoine, a record with a French title and Lingala lyrics sung by a Zairean working in Cote D'Ivoire. It sold 30,000 and got universal radio airplay while the biggest vernacular record got heard only on its local district radio and sold 8,000. . ." Antoine, known as "Papa Disco," was a well-known musician in Côte d'Ivoire for a time, with his own record label, but he seems to have dropped from view in the years since.'

'Amour Cherche Amour'
''The guitarist touches the sky with other instrumentalists queuing for space. You repeat playing the song only to repeat it again and again and again. There cannot be real Rhumba without Antoine Manana counting the numbers.'' -Evans Machera

''Manana got this one just right, where is he currently by the way ? Just love the way the song just takes a different trajectory at 2:31 and literally flies away, so danceable from there on, goes and never looks back, that Amour Chercher amour for you.....I wonder if Mayaula Mayoni had a hand in the arrangement of this song, it's so like him....'' -J Oluoch

1. Amour Cherche Amour 8:36
2. Trouboule 8:02
3. Cimetiere Du Mariage 9:02
4. Ndeke Louga 8:28


Very rare instrumental roots album from 1980 produced by Winston Edwards and Blackbeard. Eight top horns led instrumental cuts with an uptempo roots feel.

'Rare dub / instrumental album produced by Winston Edwards in 1980, warm and easy UK vibes with lots of horns, sounds like the Well Pack Band may be Matumbi or members thereof in another guise. The theme being the workers socialist struggle against the tyranny of the bosses was probably hot at the time, though the music is more mellow than militant.' -Dub Vendor

The Workers Speak To Their Slave Masters With Strike
Reissue, LP, 199x
Originally released on Studio 16, UK, WE0011, 1980
Produced by Winston Edwards
Style: Reggae, Dub
Vinyl rip by NOiR

A1 New Approach To Workers 3:53
A2 More Power To The Workers 3:49
A3 Bad Management 3:30
A4 Management Attitude To Workers 3:20
B1 Better Working Conditions For Workers 4:26
B2 Union And Management 4:53
B3 More Opportunity For Worker's Children 3:49
B4 Stop Victimisation 3:48


100% stone-cold classic Studio One killers!

'At this point if you're at all interested in this sort of thing you've likely heard a substantial portion of what's here but let's be honest, there's no such thing as a bad reason to listen to "Skylarking" or "Armagideon Time." No one's ever going to complain about having to hear these tracks a second time. This is an amazing compilation.' -stereobread

'There are some absolutely killer tunes on this 2-CD set of recordings from the legendary Studio One in Jamaica. The music on here is virtually the equal of the stuff that the Trojan label was putting out in the 60s and 70s. In other words; classic reggae music that lifts your soul and makes your body parts wiggle. Truly fine stuff. This compilation offers classic reggae from the likes of Burning Spear, the Heptones, and Horace Andy, some Lover's Rock, some dancehall numbers, and few very cool pop covers (Alton and Hortense Ellis doing "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" is wonderful). The biggest negative for me was the absence of recording dates for these tracks. The thin booklet that comes with this CD set tells you which Heartbeat label albums that these tracks were culled from, plus the names of the songwriters, but no other recording details at all. The whole package seems designed more to sell the Heartbeat catalog than to please reggae music collectors. Nevertheless, you can't fault the music on here, and that's what counts most. Lively up yourself!' -Donald E. Gilliland

Compact Disc One - Volume 1
1. Intro: Sound of Young Jamaica Radio Show. Broadcast Saturday July 18th, 1970. MC Winston "The Whip" Williams 0:49
2. The Heptones - Pretty Looks Isn't All 2:32
3. General Smiley & Papa Michigan - Nice Up the Dance 2:32
4. Marcia Griffiths - Melody Life 2:53
5. Brentford All Stars - Throw Me Corn 3:04
6. Slim Smith - I'll Never Let You Go 3:12
7. Delroy Wilson - Run Run 6:47
8. Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever 3:52
9. Dennis Alcapone - Forever Version 3:44
10. Jackie Mittoo - Wire Higher 2:36
11. The Cables - What Kind of World 5:02
12. Larry Marshall - Nanny Goat 2:24
13. Burning Spear - Fire Down Below 3:30
14. The Termites - Have Mercy Mr. Percy 3:32
15. Freddie McKay - Picture on the Wall 3:31
16. Horace Andy - Skylarking 3:05
17. Sugar Minott - Vanity 5:33

Compact Disc Two - Volume 2
1. Alton Ellis & Hortense Ellis - Breaking Up Is Hard to Do 3:28
2. Sound Dimension - Psychedelic Rock (Rockfort Rock) 2:37
3. Ken Boothe - Moving Away 3:09
4. Lee Perry - Don't Blame the Baldhead 3:12
5. Freddie McGregor - Bobby Bobylon 2:27
6. The Viceroys - Yaho 2:12
7. Johnny Osbourne - Sing Jay Style 2:52
8. Willie Williams - Armagideon Time 5:07
9. Lone Ranger - Natty Dread on the Go 2:40
10. John Holt - Strange Things 2:51
Ska Tracks
11. Roland Alphonso & The Skatalites - Timothy 2:43
12. The Wailers - Simmer Down 2:48
13. Ken Boothe & Stranger Cole - Artibella 2:36
14. The Skatalites - I Should Have Known Better 4:05
15. Lee Perry - Chicken Scratch 2:53
16. Don Drummond And Roland Alphonso - Heaven and Earth (Roll on Sweet Don) 3:28

Includes 10 page booklet


Great reggae from the best reggae label of all time !

'Coxsonne Dodd's Kingston, Jamaica, recording studio may have lacked the latest equipment, but it was the laboratory where such legends as guitarist Ernie Ranglin experimented and made their greatest riddimic [cq] discoveries, and where young singers like Sugar Minott, the Wailing Souls, and The Heptones refined their vocal chops. During the time period covered in this first volume of Heartbeat's Studio One series (ca. late 1960s to early '70s), Ranglin and other stellar musicians like The Skatalites were the house band, composing tracks on the spot but usually uncredited on the innumerable vinyl classics that the studio churned out. Diehard reggaeites will recognize virtually every track but still thrill to hear The Cables' "Baby Why" elide into The Termites' "My Last Love," and a very young Dennis Brown's "Impossible" giving way to "The Heptone's "Party Time." Nonreggae-heads will wonder what they've been listening to these past 30 or so years.' --Elena Oumano

'Clement "Coxsone" Dodd ran Studio One, one of the best and most influential Jamaican recording studios in the 1960s and 1970s. From its production booth he essentially presided over the transition from rock steady to reggae, and artists as famous as Bob Marley, Burning Spear, and Dennis Brown recorded some of their earliest work under his supervision. This excellent collection of singles makes a solid case for Dodd's primacy among reggae producers of the period: "Melody Life" by Marcia Griffiths and "Party Time" by the Heptones remain two of the reggae's most loved standards; other highlights on this album include Larry Marshall's immortal "Throw Me Corn," "Row Fisherman Row" by the Wailing Souls (presented here in an extended version), and Dennis Brown's excellent version of "Impossible." Best of all may be the Termites' slightly eerie take on the aching "My Last Love."' -AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

Trio of compilations-- two new, one a reissue-- mine the vaults of Coxsone Dodd's incomparable Studio One label.

Clement "Coxsone" Dodd might be the most important figure in Jamaican music, even if he's not the first name that springs to mind when people think of reggae, dub, ska, rocksteady, dancehall, or any other Jamaican idiom. From his days running one of Kingston's most successful sound systems through the founding of the Studio One label and studio to his relocation to New York in the mid-1980s, Dodd was at or near the forefront of Jamaican music, weathering and helping shape each new trend. Nearly every major name in the island's music scene recorded for him at least once, and such luminaries as Prince Buster, Lee Perry, Dennis Brown, and Peter Tosh (Bob Marley came to Dodd with Tosh & the Wailers after recording just four tracks for Leslie Kong) began their careers working with or for him.

Dodd was also one of the original innovators of the signature Jamaican off-beat rhythm. His production of Theophilus Beckford's instrumental "Easy Snappin'" is, along with early productions by Edward Seaga and Prince Buster, among the first recordings to hint at the transformation of straight-ahead Jamaican r&b; into ska. Naturally, over the course of three decades, Dodd compiled an imposing back catalog, and approaching it as a newcomer to reggae is daunting, to put it mildly. Given that a collection of "the best of Studio One" could easily be a 12-disc box set, it stands to reason that the folks at Heartbeat didn't have much trouble finding 32 killer tracks to spread across The Best of Studio One (this release is a remastered and expanded version of a 1985 compilation with informative, if somewhat partisan, liner notes) and its companion volume, Full Up.

Both volumes are excellent and serve nicely as a starting point to Studio One, but they're also likely to appeal to people who've already done a little exploring, as each includes a mixture of big and small names. Bringing together material spanning from rocksteady to the early dancehall years, these discs aren't exactly focused, but even as styles shifted and the studio setup expanded, the Studio One sound remained pretty consistent, with simple, in-the-pocket drumming, phenomenal basslines, great horn arrangements, and plenty of amazing vocal harmonies.

The Best of Studio One features three of Jamaica's greatest soul vocalists, John Holt, Alton Ellis, and Ken Boothe, each in superb form. Ellis's "Can I Change My Mind" skanks so easy it feels weightless, and Boothe's "Just Another Girl" features some backing harmonies for his supple voice to play off. A handful of great rocksteady harmony groups present reggae's sweet side, lead by the Heptones' drifting three-part vocal arrangement on "Party Time". Slim Smith's "Born to Love" sound like the Impressions in Jamaica, while the Lyrics, later to become famous for the Marcus Garvey tribute "Black Star Liner", sound deceptively sugary on the obliquely topical "Music Like Dirt". Dancehall star Johnny Osborne's honey voice mingles beautifully with roots harmonies on the transcendent "Jah Promise", one of several pointedly Rastafarian songs. The Rasta angle is taken further by the Abyssinians, who get overtly political on 1969's "Declaration of Rights", singing "Get up and fight for your rights, my brothers/ Get up and fight for your rights, my sisters" in something of a warm-up for the following year's epochal "Satta Massa Gana", one of reggae's defining militant tracks.

Full Up features a similar balance of the sweet and the heavy, opening with the lilting rocksteady of "Love Me Forever", by Carlton & the Shoes and sprinkling soul tracks like Bob Evans and the Paragons' horn-fueled "Danger in Your Eyes" and the Royals' harmony-soaked "Pick Up the Pieces" around Babylon call-outs from roots icons Burning Spear and Culture. Culture's "Behold the Land" is a particularly stunning affirmation of black pride set against the history of slavery. Willie Williams tackles modern iniquity on "Armagideon Time", singing "A lot of people won't get no justice tonight/ So a lot of people going to have to stand up and fight" over the Sound Dimension's classic "Real Rock" riddim.

Which brings us to a third Studio One release: Downbeat the Ruler collects instrumentals from the late 60s and early 70s, focusing primarily on the rocksteady era, when the Sound Dimension (originally known as the Soul Vendors) ruled as Studio One's house band. Featuring ex-Skatalites Tommy McCook and Jackie Mittoo, the Sound Dimension backed dozens of singers on a slew of hits in the late 60s, but they made just as great an impact with their instrumentals, most of which have been versioned and copied many times over.

The Sound Dimension's importance to the sound of Studio One from 1967 onward is evidenced by the fact that seven of the 18 tracks on the disc are theirs, with an additional three from the Soul Vendors, and solo tracks from Tommy McCook and Jackie Mittoo. Mittoo's "Freak Out" is a deep groover, grounded by his subtle Hammond organ and a massive bassline, with a great, easy-flowing horn arrangement on top. The Sound Dimension's "Real Rock" is a defining track for its stabbing organ hook, immense groove, and drawn-out trombone melody. Dub Specialist's "Banana Walk" and the Soul Vendors' 10-minute "Death in the Arena" showcase Studio One's early embrace of dub, though Dodd's dub output was always overshadowed by that of Lee Perry, Augustus Pablo, and King Tubby.

These three discs offer a look at just a tiny slice of the incredible body of work Dodd oversaw during his lifetime, but it's a good slice, below the radar for most Americans but not so obscure or arcane that newcomers will have trouble getting behind the offbeat. I'd recommend The Best of Studio One and Full Up-- solid introductions to Dodd's inestimable legend-- to just about anybody, while Downbeat the Ruler is a better bet for those already committed to exploring Jamaican music in its various guises. -Joe Tangari

1. John Holt - A Love I Can Feel 2:35
2. The Lyrics - Music Like Dirt 2:22
3. The Cables - Baby Why 2:49
4. Alton Ellis - Can I Change My Mind 2:59
5. Ken Boothe - Just Another Girl 3:18
6. Lone Ranger - The Answer 3:06
7. Sugar Minott - Oh Mr. D.C. 2:16
8. Johnny Osbourne - Jah Promise 3:51
9. The Abyssinians - Declaration Of Rights 3:20
10. The Gladiators - Roots Natty 2:55
11. Michigan And Smiley - Rub A Dub Style 3:11
12. The Heptones - Party Time 2:44
13. Larry Marshall - Throw Me Corn 2:23
14. Marcia Griffiths - Melody Life 2:55
15. Slim Smith - Born To Love 2:45
16. The Termites - My Last Love 3:05
17. Judah Tafari Eskender - Rastafari Tell You 2:24
18. Wailing Souls - Row Fisherman Row (Extended Mix) 8:53

Incl. booklet

Four CD set in cardboard slipcase, containing:
--The Best Of Studio One: Heartbeat 11661-7801-2
--Full Up: The Best Of Studio One, Volume Two: 11661-7802-2
--Downbeat The Ruler: Killer Instrumentals From Studio One: Heartbeat 11661-7803-2
--Bonus CD: Rebel Discomixes: Heartbeat 11661-7827-2


Absolute masterpiece of a record from Frimpong & company. A Highlife classic. Featuring the mighty Sammy Cropper of Vis-à-Vis fame. Bonus points for the beautiful sleeve.

'Hot Casa present a reissue of K. Fimpong & Super Complex Sounds' Ahyewa Special, originally released in 1975. Essential highlife and Afro funk from Ghana! The legendary K. Fimpong's fantastic rare second album recorded in 1975 at Ghana Films Studios. K. Frimpong was born on July 22nd, 1939 at Ofoase in the Ashanti-Akim district and entered music right after elementary school by joining Star de Republic. Later he was in Oko's band after which he went to K. Gyasy's band where he worked for more than six years. As a prolific songwriter and singer, here's the reissue of his second album, a modern fusion of highlife and the traditional beat called "Ahyewa". The excellent background is given by the Super Complex Sounds band which makes the Ahyewa beat abundantly, danceable, and colorful. Originally produced on the Ofo Bros label led by the Ofori brothers in Kumasi, these two side-long recordings were divided into six themes per side on the original release, each delivering a deep, 16-minute long hi-life trance. A must have vinyl of percussive Afro funk and modern highlife for all the music connoisseurs. Fully licensed by the Alhadji Kwame Frimpong Family. Remastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery Pressed on Replika format.'

1. Ahyewa Special (Part 1) 15.54
2. Ahyewa Special (Part 2) 15.34


It is no rumba, it is no soukous, cavacha with its swift soft drums is a delightful style. Subtle guitar work and quiet vocals, the Hi-Fives give us a good taste of the stuff. On the great Pathé Marconi label. Do not miss it..  -Moos

'Initially known as Bana Kibushi Batano, the band was formed in Lubumbashi, DRC, by Vicky Numbi.
In 1965, the band moved to Kigoma, Tanzania. It was there that the band received their new name – Hi-Fives – from an American Catholic priest.
Two years later, they came Kenya to join fellow Congolese musician Pascal Onema, and Zambians Nashil Pitchen and Peter Tsotsi, who were with The Equator Sound Band in Nairobi.'

'The Orchestra “LES Hl-FlVES” was found-ed in I965 in LIKASI (Zaire) by 5 young musicians who are, up to this day, still together. Of the 5 members 4 are singers while playing their respective instru-ments and during the years together they have grown to be such an outfit that their vocal and instrumental harmonies are something special indeed.

The first 2 years of the Orchestra were spent in Zaire, then trips to East Africa and Zambia. In Tanzania and Kenya they are regarded as one of the most popular ensembles, partly as a result of their compositions but mainly for that special rythm of theirs “the KIBU-SHI”, which so excites everyone.

At the moment the “Hi-Fives” are once again in Kenya for some time and have recommenced recording resulting in, amongst others, this long play record which will tremendously please their fans as well as those who are not yet converted to the “KlBUSHl”.’

LES Hl-FIVES wish you lots of pleasure with this album whether used only for listening or for dancing. KlBUSHl HOYEEEE' -PeterK

Label: Pathé ‎– 2C 006-15.094
Format: Vinyl, 7", Single
Country: France
Released: ?
Style: African, Cavacha

1. Mokili Ya Makmbo 6:45
2. Moyi Sambo Mpe Butu Sambo 5:55

the Hi-Fives – Mpete Wa Mpete
the Hi-Fives – “Spécial Cavacha”


Every tune a classic if you have volume one you should get volume two with great photos and liner notes. PRODUCED BY: CS Dodd

'...Full Up features a similar balance of the sweet and the heavy, opening with the lilting rocksteady of "Love Me Forever", by Carlton & the Shoes and sprinkling soul tracks like Bob Evans and the Paragons' horn-fueled "Danger in Your Eyes" and the Royals' harmony-soaked "Pick Up the Pieces" around Babylon call-outs from roots icons Burning Spear and Culture. Culture's "Behold the Land" is a particularly stunning affirmation of black pride set against the history of slavery. Willie Williams tackles modern iniquity on "Armagideon Time", singing "A lot of people won't get no justice tonight/ So a lot of people going to have to stand up and fight" over the Sound Dimension's classic "Real Rock" riddim.'

'As opposed to the original edition that had a mere 12 tracks and clocked in at under 40 minutes, this reissue with greatly improved sound quality certainly is Full Up. This is the second volume of classic cuts from Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One label and includes pocket bios of each of the artists, though infuriatingly few release dates. The majority of the tracks date from the rocksteady era well into the roots age, although a couple bookend these periods, and the set bounces across the years and genres. Skanking nimbly between established legends and a number of now mostly forgotten stars, hits, and rarities, every inclusion is a delight. The original version of Willie Williams' "Armagideon Time" (which the Clash later made their own), a pre-Culture Joseph Hill with his debut single, and the Sound Dimension's instrumental title track (versioned by the Mighty Diamonds and then covered by Musical Youth for their U.K. hit "Pass the Dutchie") are all of particular note. Carlton & His Shoes' exquisite "Love Me Forever," a pairing of Delroy Wilson and Slim Smith for a fabulous ska duet, and the appearance of DJ Lone Ranger versioning Smith's "Rougher Yet" are also welcome. The rest of the album, including the six bonus cuts added to this edition, is no less extraordinary. Hopefully, Heartbeat will continue releasing more material of this caliber.' -AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene

1. Carlton And The Shoes - Love Me Forever 3:50
2. Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths - Always Together 2:42
3. The Cables - What Kind Of World 5:04
4. Winston Francis - Mister Fixit 2:13
5. Don Evans And The Paragons - Danger In Your Eyes 2:53
6. Slim Smith - Rougher Yet 3:12
7. Lone Ranger - Love Bump 3:11
8. Willie Williams - Armagideon Time 2:29
9. Sound Dimension - Full Up 3:09
10. Culture - Behold The Land 2:50
11. Norma Frazer - First Cut Is The Deepest 3:13
12. Delroy Wilson & Slim Smith - Look Who Is Back Again 2:40
13. The Ethiopian - Open The Gate 2:44
14. Burning Spear - Fire Down Below 3:27
15. The Royals - Pick Up The Pieces 3:09
16. Bob Andy - Desperate Lover 2:16
17. John Holt - I Don't Want To See You Cry 2:50
18. The Bassies - Big Mistake 3:24

Incl. 20-page booklet

Four CD set in cardboard slipcase, containing:
--The Best Of Studio One: Heartbeat 11661-7801-2
--Full Up: The Best Of Studio One, Volume Two: 11661-7802-2
--Downbeat The Ruler: Killer Instrumentals From Studio One: Heartbeat 11661-7803-2
--Bonus CD: Rebel Discomixes: Heartbeat 11661-7827-2

South Africa

Jive Motella! - Nick Lotay digs deep

'The songs that appear in this special compilation were all originally recorded and released between 1964 and 1969 on Mavuthela’s “Motella”, “Gumba Gumba” and “Smanje Manje” labels, and come from my personal collection of records. However, an enormous thank you must go to Siemon Allen at flatinternational, who very generously contributed tracks 1, 3, 5, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 30 from his vast assortment of 78 rpm records. Check out the numerous interesting projects he is working on by visiting

Some of you may remember an earlier guest post I did for Matsuli about my ongoing discography and retrospective project on the Mahotella Queens last year (“Africa’s Greatest Jive”). This Mavuthela compilation, with any luck, provides a musical counterpart to the project, and hopefully quenches the thirst of those who have been searching for this music for a very long time. So much of it is now extremely hard to find and you’ll often see original 78 rpms, 45 rpms and LPs going for massive amounts of money on eBay. It is such a shame that most of the material in this compilation has been kept under lock and key in the Gallo Archives in Johannesburg – in fact, only a meagre seven tracks from this collection of thirty songs are from rereleased CDs, the rest are from records. One only hopes someone from Gallo stumbles across this post and is able to influence the big guys at the top into reissuing at least some of this music… but for now, let’s just enjoy what’s there to enjoy. Load this playlist onto your iTunes or your iPod and submerge yourself in the sound of the sixties – and if you know how to do jive Motella or jive Mgqashiyo, get jigging!' -Nick Lotay

More Info
Jive Motella! - Nick Lotay digs deep

Compiled by Nick Lotay


*courtesy of Siemon Allen at flatinternational


L'icône Ley.

Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu (13 November 1937 or 1940 – 30 November 2013), better known as Tabu Ley Rochereau, was a leading African rumba singer-songwriter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was the leader of Orchestre Afrisa International, as well as one of Africa's most influential vocalists and prolific songwriters. Along with guitarist Dr Nico Kasanda, Tabu Ley pioneered soukous (African rumba) and internationalised his music by fusing elements of Congolese folk music with Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American rumba. He has been described as "the Congolese personality who, along with Mobutu, marked Africa's 20th century history." He was dubbed "the African Elvis" by the Los Angeles Times. After the fall of the Mobutu regime, Tabu Ley also pursued a political career. His musical career ran parallel to the other great Congolese rhumba bandleader and rival Franco Luambo Makiadi who ran the band TPOK Jazz throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 80s. During his career, Tabu Ley composed up to 3,000 songs and produced 250 albums.

Tabu Ley Rochereau
Par Don Ricco, Jeudi 2 février 2012

Tabu Ley Rochereau also known as "Le Seigneur" is one of the nestors of African music in general and of Congolese music in particular. He started his career in Joseph "Grand Kalle" Kabasele's African Jazz in 1959. Four years later, an important defection took place, and Tabu Ley left to create l'African Fiesta together with guitar hero Docteur Nico and Dechaud. Tabu and Nico didn't work together for long, and Tabu continued with African Fiesta National (Dr. Nico went along with his African Fiesta Sukisa faction). By the mid-1960s, the Congolese music scene was at its most prolific, and numerous spin-off bands from either the modern 'international' African jazz clan or the rootsier OK Jazz clan appeared (cf. Ewens 1994).

Tabu Ley constantly innovated through introducing elements from salsa, soul and disco, but also makossa and zouk to the Congolese rumba and he sung sometimes in French or English, unlike his rival and contemporary Franco Luambo Makiadi. He also toured extensively on the African continent outside Congo and after renaming his band in Afrisa International in 1970 he travelled to Paris to perform in the prestigious Olympia venue. This international success reflected on his popularity back home where he was feted as a national hero (cf. Graham, 1989).

In the 1970s, Tabu Ley continued to tour, he recruted the brilliant Sam Mangwana and increased the size of the Afrisa band. He added les Rocherettes, a group of female dancers and singers. One of them, M'bilia Bel would become a solo singer within Afrisa later on. Another highlight of that decade was the FESTAC 1977 performance, resulting in a double album. In the 1980s, Tabu Ley established his own production company and label Genidia, and several albums were released, some in duet with Mbilia Bel, with whom he was married until 1988. In that year, Tabu Ley introduced a young female singer, Faya Tess. Kiesse Diambu joined the band at the beginning of the decade, but left in 1983 for OK Jazz joining his brother Ntesa Dalienst.

In the 1990s, international success was achieved with albums such as « Babeti Soukous », « Muzina », and « Exil Ley ». Still backed by vocalists Faya Tess, Bonane Wawali, Munoko Dodo Gisalu, Beyou Ciel, Lukombo Djeffard Mayemba and guitarist Nseka Huit Kilos, Afrisa has lost some of its outstanding members but they benefited from the World Music vague. Tabu Ley has lived abroad for several years (USA, Brussels, Paris), because he was not on good terms with President Mobutu. Since the ending of the Mobutu era in Congo, Tabu Ley returned to his country, and entered politics and he occasionally toured. Some of his band members (such as Nseka Huit Kilos, Dodo Munoko, Wawali Bonane) stayed in the United States. In 2008, he suffered a stroke, from which he is recovering slowly.

Born: 13 November 1940, as Pascal Sinamoyi (Tabu and Ley were his parents' names, he adopted them during the Authenticité campaign), in Bagata, Bandundu province

Style: rumba, odemba, soukous, African jazz.

Sources: Ewens, Graeme (1994) Congo Colossus, Buku Press.
Graham, Ronnie (1989), Stern's Guide to Contemporary African Music. Pluto Press.

Rest In Peace Le seigneur!

1. Adeito 5:30
2. Likambo ya mokanda, pts. 1 & 2 9:40
3. Nalali mpongi, pts. 1 & 2 8:11
4. Sala lokola ngai 7:31
5. Tosa mpia 5:26
6. Umangi 5:34
7. Lisaso 9:05
8. Mundi 5:06
9. Silikani 5:27
10. Seli-ja 5:31
11. Samba 6:00


THE GOLD STANDARD of Jamaican Instrumental Music

'Here is the true sound of 1967-1971 from Studio One, producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at the helm giving us timeless classics like Real Rock, Love Again, Swing Easy, Return of the Scorcher with players from the Sound Dimension, Jackie and the Invaders and Soul Vendors. Looking at the liner notes most of these bands shared their musicians and players. Enjoy this must own 18 song selection CD.' -Mark Saalbach

'Press Release: Nearly every major Reggae artist in Jamaica first recorded for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd. While most Reggae fans are familiar with Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Dennis Brown, few know the person instrumental in discovering and nurturing these artists. This was Mr. C.S. Dodd - "Coxsone" - and nearly every Jamaican artist of note got his or her start in Coxsone's Studio One stable. First released over twenty years ago, these albums are newly remastered from the best source material with twenty-one additional tracks added for your listening pleasure. A bonus disc, 'Rebel Discomixes,' is including in this box set. It adds six extended remixes previously available only with the two disc vinyl editions of 'Best of Studio One,' 'Full Up: More Hits from Studio One,' and 'Downbeat the Ruler: Killer Instrumentals from Studio One.' More respect to Studio One!'

'This is not only a killer disc, but is arguably the greatest "various artist" collection of instrumental Jamaican music available. Ask the connoisseurs, and they will most likely place "Downbeat The Ruler" firmly at the top of the heap (Soul Jazz's "Studio One Scorcher" being the only disc which could threaten to tie). Not only does "Downbeat The Ruler" feature truly phenominal music; the actual sonic quality of the set is nothing short of miraculous. These tunes, recorded from 1967-1971 at Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's famed Studio One, are full of delicious beats, deep tropical grooves, brilliant horn lines, skanking guitar, swirling organ, percolating percussion, and all-around inspired musicianship. The tunes fuse a transcendant mixture of jazz, funk, and soul with the timelessly fresh skanking rhythms of ska, rocksteady, and early reggae. Aside from offering one of the greatest marvels of sound remastering in classic Jamaican music, Heartbeat has also added a whole mess of extra killer tunes to expand this release from the original edition. You will not believe how vibrant, fresh, and colorful these recordings sound...this music is timelessly hip.

Be it a deep, slow-grooving skank or a jumping uptempo hop, every track delivers an undeniable intensity of passion, feeling and GROOVE. Like that joyful intoxication at the beginning of summer, this music will make you want to jump into your car and drive to the beach, have a barbecue, get up and skank, or indulge in some blissful relaxation.

Featuring the absolute creme de la creme of Jamaican musicians, including the great Jackie Mittoo, Vin Gordon, and Tommy McCook, this can't help but be anything other than 100% killer. I cannot stress how very, very highly I recommend this disc. "Downbeat The Ruler" is a classic for the ages. Prepare to be amazed.' -Jillian

'The third volume in the Heartbeat label's trawl through Studio One's back catalogue, this time focusing exclusively on instrumentals. Again, it's a tightfisted collection with a mere 12 tracks, and while the sleeve notes wax eloquently on how wonderful these songs are, they never get around to saying what they are, or when they were recorded. Admittedly, the very nature of Jamaica's recording industry makes instrumentals a minefield. Some really were true instrumentals, composed solely for instruments. Others were instrumental versions of a vocal cut, the inevitable flip side of a single, and while some of these were unique takes on the song, others were merely the A-sides with the vocals stripped off. Then there were dub plates, acetates created specifically for the sound systems, the prototype for dub, and then there's dub itself. The fact that a song's rhythm can be recycled endlessly over the years just adds to the confusion. Downbeat the Ruler, titled after Coxsone Dodd's own sound system, contains examples of most instrumental sub-types. "Man in the Street" perfectly illustrates the first -- a true instrumental and a seminal song to boot. Dating from 1965, it's the earliest track here; the vast majority of the rest date from the reggae era into the roots age, with an exclusive remix of "Throw Me Corn" bringing it back up to date. That song's earlier 10" version, also featured, is obviously a dub plate aimed at the sound systems and leaving plenty of space for the DJ. "Banana Walk," in contrast, is pure dub, while "Real Rock" is a take on "Armagideon Time" and shows just how older rhythms can be revived. With the rise of dancehall everything was elevated (or reduced, depending on one's point of view) to the level of a rhythm. And certainly many of these instrumentals were ripe for recycling -- and they were repeatedly. "Heavy Rock," "Baby Face," and "Rockford Rock" would all find new life in the '80s, while many of the rest were equally influential. Interestingly, regardless of the proliferation of groups and artists credited, they're all aliases, and every track here is actually performed by Studio One's house band. Even those credited to solo artists merely showcased a particular sessionman, normally the one who composed the song. But don't feel cheated, these musicians were some of the best, and were the powerhouse behind Dodd's success. It's only right that they should be glorified with their own album.' -AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene

1. Sound Dimension - Rockfort Rock 2:26
2. Sound Dimension - Real Rock 2:28
3. The Soul Vendors - Swing Easy 2:57
4. Sound Dimension - Mojo Rock Steady 2:43
5. Sound Dimension - Heavy Rock 2:47
6. Jackie Mittoo - Freak Out 2:13
7. Tommy McCook - Tunnel One 2:03
8. Brentford Road All Stars - Moon Ride 2:10
9. Brentford Road All Stars - Race Track 2:13
10. Brentford Road All Stars - Throw Me Corn 3:13
11. Sound Dimension - Baby Face 2:56
12. Jackie And The Invaders - Love Again 2:34
13. The Soul Vendors - Darker Shade Of Black 3:26
14. Dub Specialist - Banana Walk 3:53
15. Sound Dimension - Heavy Beat 2:56
16. Sound Dimension - Return Of The Scorcher 2:35
17. Soul Agent And The Soul Defenders - Popcorn Reggae 4:00
18. The Soul Vendors - Death In The Arena 10:00

Incl. scans

"Rockfort Rock" was originally released as "Psychedelic Rock" by the Soul Vendors.
"Real Rock" was originally released as by the Soul Vendors.

Four CD set in cardboard slipcase, containing:
--The Best Of Studio One: Heartbeat 11661-7801-2
--Full Up: The Best Of Studio One, Volume Two: 11661-7802-2
--Downbeat The Ruler: Killer Instrumentals From Studio One: Heartbeat 11661-7803-2
--Bonus CD: Rebel Discomixes: Heartbeat 11661-7827-2


Un Tesoro Recuperado!

'Pioneers of Palenque Psychedelia, the band founded in the 80s by Leonel Torres and Rosalio, Diogenes & Plinio Salgado, deliver their unique blend of african palenque and caribbean influences.'

'Los pioneros de la psicodelia palenquera, Las estrellas del caribe son un grupo fundado en san basilio de Palenque por Leonel torres, Rosalio plinio y diogenes salgado, entre otros. Desde los anos 80s hasta hoy es un grupo unico en Colombia.'

'Estrellas del Caribe is a musical institution in Palenque. Throughout the years, a lot of musicians have played with the group and the band has sparked new genres like champeta. Estrellas del Caribe is comprised of five iconic and psychedelic members: Leonel Torres, Rosalío Salgado, Juan Gañate, Franklin Hernández (Tambor) and Laureano Tejedor. Almost all of the musicians combine their countryside activities with their 'therapy' as they call their music Terapia criolla—a mixture of elements of rap, reggae, Caribbean music and bits and pieces of African soukous that came to Palenque thanks to the arrival of acetate records from Central Africa. Thanks to their manager Franklin Tejedor, a member of a prominent Palenquero musical family and a musician in his own right, the band recorded their first album in 2013 and they are now working on their second album to be released in 2020. It was because of this pioneering band that the sound of 'urban champeta' arose with artists like Viviano Torres and Charles King, who brought the music to Cartagena.'

Estrellas del Caribe/Cultura y Música

'Las Estrellas del Caribe son un grupo de San Basilio de Palenque, conformado desde la década de 1960 por Leonel Torres, se dieron a conocer en los inicios del movimiento de la terapia y la champeta en Cartagena y San Basilio de Palenque durante los años 70´s y los 80’s. Actualmente, se concentran de nuevo para volver a los escenarios y grabar su primer disco completo.

Tienen un estilo único ya que interpretan lo que se define como Champeta Criolla o “Roots”, mantienen un estilo tradicional afro-colombiano, interpretando en su gran mayoría champeta, chalupas, cumbias y bullerengues como se hacía antes de los fenómenos digitales que influyeron esta música en los años 90, en un formato tradicional de tambores.

Este género nace como una adaptación de ritmos africanos (soukous, highlife, mbquanga, juju) con vibraciones antillanas (rap-raggareggae, compás haitiano, zouk, soca y calipso) e influencias de la música descendiente de lo indígena y afrocolombiano (bullerengue, mapalé, zambapalo y chalupa). Esta fusión de ritmos se plasma en sus composiciones.'

Estrellas del Caribe: La champeta criolla de San Basilio de Palenque
Martes, 30 Agosto, 2016
Por Luis Daniel Vega. Director de Señal Cumbia

'De alguna manera los colombianos fueron conscientes de la existencia de Palenque de San Basilio por allá en 1972 cuando Antonio Cervantes “Kid Pambelé” derrotó al panameño Alfonso “Peppermint” Frazer. En boca de todo el mundo se encontraba el pueblo natal del “Pambe” pero poco o nada se sabía de una historia enrevesada que se remonta a 1713 cuando Benkos Bioho, un esclavo procedente de Guinea, se levantó ante el poder colonial español y se proclamó rey de San Basilio, primer pueblo de negros libres de América Latina.

A medio camino entre la realidad y la fantasía, Bioho se convirtió en un símbolo de la gesta libertaria cimarrona y su historia aún hoy sigue siendo revisada no solo en las letras de grupos como el Sexteto Tabalá, Son Palenque o Estrellas del Caribe sino en libros como La Ceiba de la memoria donde Roberto Burgos Cantor crea una metáfora monumental de Benkos, imagen nítida del esclavo silenciado.

No obstante en 2005 la Unesco proclamó a Palenque de San Basilio como Obra Maestra del Patrimonio Oral e Inmaterial de la Humanidad, aún somos muchos los que desconocemos que allí perviven complejos rituales fúnebres como el lumbalú, prácticas médicas centenarias, una de las tradiciones gastronómicas más ricas del país y se habla el palenquero, una lengua criolla de origen bantú, que tiene una estructura fonológica, morfológica y sintáctica con códigos específicos que la hacen única en el planeta. Y no solo desconocemos este vasto conglomerado de historia,  aún lo seguimos ignorando.

A pesar del olvido y el aislamiento social, San Basilio sigue allí, dibujado en uno de los valles de los Montes de María, y a tan solo 60 kilómetros de Cartagena. Agrupados en 435 familias, sus 3500 habitantes parecen vivir en una república independiente que, insurrecta, sigue cantando y bailando a ritmo de bullerengues sentados, chalupas, son de negros, chalusonga y son palenquero, entre otros géneros que conforman el complejo musical de ese pueblo donde a mediados de la década de los setenta nació la agrupación Las Estrellas del Caribe.

Un par de años después de coronarse campeón mundial, “Kid Pambelé” llevó la luz eléctrica a Palenque. Con la luz llegaron los picós y con ellos un arsenal de música africana y antillana: soukus congoleño, makossa y afrobeat nigerianos, highlife ghanés, reggae jamaiquino, compas haitiano, soca y calipso. Leonel Torres -el cantante original y fundador de la banda- era un picotero duro que disparaba toda esta música desde su monumental discoteca móvil. Inspirado por el maremágnum sonoro, Torres convidó a Laureano Tejedor, Rosalío Salgado y Diógenes Salgado -sus compinches del picó- para que armaran una banda. Así, Las Estrellas del Caribe crearon el primer vestigio de champeta criolla: una simbiosis explosiva entre música africana y antillana modernas con toda la tradición lingüística y musical palenquera.

A pesar de estar activos desde 1975, Estrellas del Caribe no había dejado un registro definitivo de su música, salvo un par de sencillos grabados en los años 80 con el sello Felito Records. Ese fue el motivo que impulsó a Franklin Tejedor “Lamparita” –uno de los integrantes más jóvenes de la agrupación e hijo de Laureano Tejedor, - para saldar esa cuenta pendiente. Así las cosas, Lamparita fue a vivir a Bogotá en 2011, se unió Mitú y se empeñó en grabar el anhelado disco. En 2013 logró llevar a sus compañeros a la Capital y los internó varios días en un estudio para conjurar una sesión registrada por el sello Changó Records. Dos años más tarde, luego de sortear dificultades de presupuesto, Tejedor llevó a feliz término su obsesión con la publicación de Estrellas del Caribe: champeta criolla desde San Basilio de Palenque, una placa donde se confirma por que la banda es considerada pionera indiscutible de la psicodelia afrocolombiana.

Estrellas del Caribe es un legado vivo de la música afrocolombiana por eso es nuestro Artista de la Semana en Señal Cumbia.'

1. Bacoco 3:29
2. Ana 3:08
3. El Yoyo 3:51
4. Kunchuzo 3:38
5. Sube Que Sube 3:30
6. Mariguané 2:51
7. Homenaje A Benkos 5:11
8. Sambingo 3:25


Amazing album of legendary Colombian Afro-Carribean band Son Palenque & brass player Michi Sarmiento. Filled with swinging champeta, bullerengue and hyperspeed percussive chalupa and lumbabu songs. Such tropical energy & power from these old masters! A must have album for any lover of Afro latino, Colombian or Caribbean music. wepaaaa

'Champeta resulted from the head-on collision of modern Congolese and Antillean pop music styles like soukous and zouk with the wellspring of Afro-Colombian music found along Colombia’s Caribbean coast and especially in the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla. Much of champeta is created by DJs mixing records of the various styles; Son Palenque’s approach is more organic. Natives of San Basilio de Palenque, home of the first free Africans in America, the band plays drum-driven music built on Afro-Colombian traditions like bullerengue, lumbalu and chalupa, then adds modern instruments on top. On their sixteenth album, veteran Discos Fuentes sax star Michi Sarmiento sits in with them on about half the tracks; there’s also tasty Congolese-style guitar by Franklyn Montano and occasional synthesizer squiggles from Frente Cumbiero’s Mario Galeano. The first four tracks are a master class in champeta: if you’re not moving to this music, better check your pulse to make sure you haven’t expired. The rest of the album is more folkloric, with the addition of electric bass adding funkiness to the proceedings, but just as propulsive. Simply sensational.'

Son Palenque: mejor disco del año en Latinoamérica en 2018
Por: Luisa Piñeros. Sábado, 19 Enero, 2019

En una esquina de Colombia existe el primer pueblo de América libre de la esclavitud, a tan solo una hora por carretera desde Cartagena (Bolívar) se erige un pueblo de vocación negra que se levanta con el golpe de los tambores y se acuesta con el canto de hombres y mujeres que en su ADN llevan una singular nostalgia que los conecta con África: San Basilio de Palenque.

Allí en 1980 nació la legendaria agrupación Son Palenque, bajo la batuta de Justo Valdés, un hombre nacido en 1951 e inmerso en la música desde los 13 años de edad, gracias a la influencia de su tío José Valdés Simancas.

La historia de su grupo es tan vital y particular como su propia vida. Fue vendedor de gafas en la playa, aprendió a leer y escribir hace tan solo 9 años y hace poco estrenó el disco número 16 en la carrera de esta legendaria agrupación oriunda de San Basilio de Palenque, una pequeña África en Colombia, declarada por la Unesco Patrimonio de la Humanidad.

“Kutu Prieta pa Saranguia´” (Cultura Negra para Bailar) tienen canciones escritas y cantadas en lengua palenquera, prueba de que la cultura sobrevive aún. El disco es un viaje a las profundidades del ritmo, de la percusión negra, de las voces graves, casi animales con las que expresan la identidad de su pueblo.

Es un disco ingenioso, caliente y muy expresivo en sus letras que cuentan sencillas vivencias de esa región costera de Colombia.

En 2018 fue elegido por la prestigiosa red de música del mundo, Transglobal World Music Chart, como el mejor álbum de Surámerica. No se equivocan porque Son Palenque es una tradición viva.

Aquí hay bullerengue, champeta, lumbalú, chalupa y una mágica mixtura de sonidos de influencia nigeriana, ritmos africanos como el soukus, highlife o afrobeat que se fusionan con la fuerza de los ritmos palenqueros.

Tambor alegre, maracas, marímbula, guitarra eléctrica, voces, bajo, vientos, ensamblan las 12 canciones del álbum que contó con la producción de Lucas Silva, y tuvo los arreglos del precursor de la salsa en Colombia, Michi Sarmiento, quien a sus 80 años de edad sigue vigente.

Este álbum es una joya patrimonial, es un bocado exquisito para bailar, una música que solo se escucha en ese rincón de África y que tiene un sello propio. Música frenética que incita a un ritual para el cuerpo en movimiento.

Son Palenque, “Fuerza negra para gozar”

Por: Guillermo Camacho | 13 Ago 2017

El legendario grupo Son Palenque, que el año pasado anunció su nuevo trabajo musical, lanzó esta semana por medios digitales un álbum producido por el sello Palenque Records y grabado en el estudio de Audiovisión, en Bogotá.

Un año tardó Justo Valdés, voz líder de la agrupación Son Palenque y heredero de la musicalidad de su padre Cecilio Valdés, más conocido como Ataole, para presentar Kutu Prieta pa Saranguia (Fuerza negra para gozar), un registro con doce canciones con distintos estilos, que van desde la champeta, hasta el bullerengue; y de la chalupa hasta el lumbalú.

El trabajo discográfico contó con la participación de destacados músicos invitados, entre ellos el maestro Michi Sarmiento, arreglista y saxofonista de la costa Caribe colombiana integrante de agrupaciones como Ondatrópica, aunque también figuró al lado de Joe Arroyo. Otros de los convidados fueron Mario Galeano, músico director de Ondratrópica; Pedro Ojeda, baterista; Franklin Tejedor, percusionista del dúo Mitú; y Franklin Montaño, guitarrista de bandas como Sidestepper y Bomba Estéreo.

“En este álbum el grupo Son Palenque sigue en su camino de modernizar la tradición para no dejarla morir, sin perder el sabor original y sin olvidar su propuesta musical, que es pionera de este género”, menciona Lucas Silva, productor y director del sello discográfico Palenque Records.

El inicio del grupo, como lo recuerda Justo Valdés, fue en el año 1979 cuando se encontró con sus compañeros en las playas de Cartagena cantando la canción Gele Gele, que nunca se grabó y de la que se desprende su seudónimo. Al comienzo, el grupo viajó a ciudades como Barranquilla, San Andrés y Bogotá, para después conquistar plazas foráneas como París y Montpellier. Los integrantes de Son Palenque también han estado en Ámsterdam, en Holanda y en Rabat, capital de Marruecos.

Son Palenque se presentó por primera vez de manera oficial en el Festival de Música del Caribe, que se realizaba en Cartagena a mediados de los años 80. El grupo interpretó el tema I tan pa loyo,  que se convirtió en la canción representativa del evento y su ritmo fue pionero de lo que hoy se conoce como terapia criolla. Justo Valdés se siente orgulloso de su herencia africana y por eso canta en lengua palenquera, defendiendo su esencia en cada rincón del mundo. 

Él conoce muy bien la historia de sus ancestros y es un defensor de la cultura tradicional. En su casa en el barrio Pablo Sexto II de Cartagena, su ímpetu se destaca y los vecinos saben muy bien que detrás de ese hombre de paso firme y voz serena se encuentra la magia de Son Palenque, que hasta Carlos Vives la ha mencionado en sus canciones.

A mediados del año pasado, Lucas Silva decidió con el apoyo de Tigo Music, grabar el disco Kutu Prieta pa Saranguia (Fuerza negra para gozar) de manera independiente. Personas como Leonardo Rodríguez, artista colombiano; y el mexicano Josué Granados colaboraron para que el grupo pudiera viajar a Bogotá y realizar el registro, cuyo diseño gráfico estuvo a cargo de Najle Silva.

A mí me encomendaron hacer la fotografía de portada. Por esos días me encontraba en la ciudad de Cartagena y nos reunimos en el Centro Histórico. A la cita llegaron casi todos, excepto Enrique Tejedor, así que con Justo Valdés decidimos que no queríamos la típica imagen postal de la Cartagena amurallada. Les propuse, entonces, ir al desaparecido Chambacú, inmortal y célebre en las historias de Manuel Zapata Olivella.

Chambacú representa las luchas y resistencias de un pueblo por no perder su cultura y su tradición. Por eso esta portada es un homenaje a las poblaciones que han sido olvidados, es un reconocimiento al pueblo cartagenero. La música de Son Palenque será eterna y este álbum es el número 16 para la larga lista de trabajos discográficas de la agrupación. Se trata de toda una joya para quienes amamos la música afrocolombiana.

Son Palenque está integrada por Justo Valdés, Pánfilo Valdés, Tomás Valdés, Enrique Tejedor, Luciano Torres, Cecilio Torres, Alfredo Olmos y Gustavo Álvarez.

Michi Sarmiento
New record by Son Palenque !! with Michi Sarmiento

this new record brings together Son Palenque, and the legendary Michi Sarmiento on sax. produced by Lucas Silva

The legendary group Son Palenque was founded in 1980 by Justo Valdez. They have recorded 15 albums, and this is number 16th, with 12 new songs that reflect the strong musical tradition of San Basilio de Palenque.

In this recordings you will hear rhythms that range from Champeta to Bullerengue, Chalupa to Lumbabu. For the making of this record Son Palenque invited many artists, one of them was the master from the caribean cost of Colombia, Michi Sarmiento, also known for his arrangement work for the song “La rebelión”( by Joe Arroyo y la Verdad), and his most recent collaboration with Ondatropica. Mario Galeano and Pedro Ojeda from Frente Cumbiero and Romperayo are also featured in the record.

In this record the group Son Palenque stays on the path of re-working the tradition, innovating with unexpected fusions. All of the songs retake the influence of different african rythms such as soukuos, aforbeat, highlife, etc, but Son Palenque fuses all these rythms with Palenquero rythms such as Bullerengue, Chalupa, or Cantos Lumbalu. The song Pacuapa has a strong influence from Nigeria. This is another record of the record label Palenque Records, pioneers of the Afrocolombian music, founded in 1996 by the producer Lucas Silva.


KUTU PRIETA PA SARANGUIA’ (Cultura negra para bailar, en lengua palenquera)

El legendario grupo Son Palenque, fundado en 1980 por Justo Valdez, presenta en esta ocasión su nuevo álbum discográfico (el numero 16), con 12 nuevos temas que muestran una vez mas la fuerte tradición musical de San Basilio de Palenque.

El disco tiene una variedad de estilos que van desde la champeta hasta el bullerengue, la chalupa y el lumbalú, y contó con la participación de varios músicos invitados, entre ellos el maestro Michi Sarmiento, arreglista y saxo de la costa caribe ( Ondatropica, Joe Arroyo). También como invitados especiales tenemos a Mario Galeano y Pedro Ojeda, del Frente Cumbiero y Romperayo.

En este álbum el grupo Son Palenque sigue en su camino de re-trabajar la tradición, innovando con nuevas fusiones inesperadas. El tema Pacuapa tiene una marcada influencia de Nigeria, mientras en otros temas se retoman influencias de ritmos de África ( soukous, afrobeat, Highlife) , fusionado con ritmos palenqueros como el bullerengue, la chalupa o los cantos de Lumbalú. Este es otro disco del sello disquero Palenque Records, pioneros de la música afrocolombiana, fundado en 1996 por el productor Lucas Silva.

1. Pacuapa feat. Michi Sarmiento 4:36
2. Minamapelo feat. Michi Sarmiento 4:10
3. Lucamini feat. Michi Sarmiento 3:58
4. Chanico feat. Michi Sarmiento 5:38
5. Taquito 4:41
6. Yo no puedo más 4:41
7. Damelo acá 2:32
8. Samitolo 7:17
9. Lamparita 7:37
10. Agua sala 3:42
11. Juan danda 3:20
12. Ane tacole 2:45

PALENQUE RECORDS is a label specialized in Afro-Colombian music, founded in 1996 by Lucas Silva Dj Champeta- Man.
Our artists : Son Palenque, Batata y su Rumba Palenquera, Colombiafrica, Abelardo Carbono, Sexteto Tabala, Faraon Bantu, Son Palenque and many more...from champeta to african music, Palenque Records puts together Africa & Afrocolombia.

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