The Ska-Talites : Forest Flower
taken from the album “Celebration Time” on Studio One (196?)
Sweet Charles : Soul Man
taken from the album “For Sweet People From Sweet Charles” on People (1974)
Bembeya Jazz : Armee Guineenne
taken from the album “Guinee An X” on Syliphone (1970)
After living in New York City for almost 7 years, I finally became a real New Yorker. The transformation was far from pleasant: I’ve got skinned knees, a yellowish-blue jaw and it still hurts when I blow my nose. But somehow, being jumped by three men in broad daylight on a groggy-headed Friday morning has made me more at home here. I guess it’s partly that, knowing what it is to get mugged (that quintessential NYC hazing ritual), I also know that after the blood dries on the pavement and the last siren fades into the distance, I’m quite alright. A bit shaken, sure, but isn’t a slight neuroticism natural here? So I’ll be a bit more paranoid for a while; my eyes will dart with animal quickness; I’ll place more of my weight on the balls of my feet… any nature channel aficionado would immediately recognize these characteristics as the healthy behaviour traits of Homosapien Nuyoricanus. That’s me.
Today I’m posting some random (and most highly excellent) songs I’ve had sitting on my hard drive for a while that have helped me come to terms with the new New Yorker I’ve finally blossomed into. No lyrical theme, no real musical connection, just good songs.
Jamaican music pioneers The Skatalites are still performing (with altenate members, but still). Just a few of the folks in the band include: Tommy McCook, Rolando Alphonso, Don Drummond, and Jackie Mittoo. Check out the life and times of Sweet Charles, a man who played on more James Brown (and affiliated family) records than I even knew existed. And if you like what you here from some of Guinea’s greatest (who are also still putting out albums and doing shows), then pick up some more Bembeya Jazz on CD.