Sunday, September 26, 2010

"One Tribe, Many Voices" Podcast Episode 88

Intro: Puerto Rico / Eddie Palmieri / Sentido

Set one:

  1. Viva Cepeda / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri / El Sonido Nuevo
  2. Ritmo Uni / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri /
  3. Condiciones Que Existen / Eddie Palmieri / Sentido

Set two:

  1. Adoracion / Eddie Palmieri / Sentido
  2.  Los Bandidos / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri
  3. El Sondio Nuevo / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri

Set three:

  1. Los Jibaros / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri
  2. Guajira en Azul / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri
  3. Fuji / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri
  4. Black Orchid / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri
  5. Picadillo / Cal Tjader-Eddie Palmieri

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"One Tribe, Many Voices" Podcast Episode 87

Mark "Markolino" Dimond

Fallen and forgotten, Markolino Dimond was one of Latin Music's most dynamic pianists. A child prodigy from New York City's East Harlem, he began his 3-year tenure with the legendary Willie Colon when he was a mere 15-years old. 

Growing up in the primarily Latino neighborhood of "El Barrio", Mark's musical abilities with Salsa garnered him attention in part because he had an 'Anglo' surname. It was said that his father was Cuban, nonetheless, when I met Markolino he seemed to be an American who grew up around Boricuas. Being an island boy, I was always tickled by guys like him, who took on affectations of our culture, but Markolino was the real deal. When he played a montuno on the piano, it didn't matter what his last name was, he was an incredibly swingin' dude! 

Funny thing about him was that when I played in a band with him, he never flaunted his career accomplishments. I never knew he had played with Willie Colon and Hector LaVoe and was held in such high regard by the Latin music community. 

The Mark Dimond I knew, from my vantage point, was a brilliant mercurial-minded musician who had endless ideas flowing from his mind but his fingers could reveal a losing battle with heroin. Sometimes he would be completely sober and his playing was fantastic. He had incredible rhythm and he loved classical music-styled embellishments. Other times, sadly, he was like so many flawed heroin-addicted musicians; sloppy, surly attitude and missing in action. 

New York City has always featured prominently in drug culture and back then, before the crack cocaine epidemic, heroin ruled the lives of many inner city kids. When I think of Mark Dimond, I think of how many non-musician, regular kids suffered the same fate in obscurity. Markolino had a gift that separates him still to this day. Even now, you can find music critics who remember him fondly for his brilliance and not his demise.

Intro: Che Che Cole /Willie Colon (featuring Hector LaVoe)

Set One:

1. El Quinto de Beethoven / Markolino Dimond
2. Sonido Bestial / Richie Ray / Homenaje a Jerry Masucci
3. Por Eso / Hector LaVoe / Fania All-Stars / 100% Descargas

Set Two:

1. El Todo Poderoso / Hector LaVoe / La Voz
2. Mi Irmita / Markolino Dimond / Brujeria
3. Yo Soy la Salsa / Richie Ray / Homenaje a Jerry Mascucci

Set Three:

1. The Hustler / Willie Colon / A Man & His Music
2. Paraiso de Dulzura / Hector LaVoe / La Voz
3. Aguardiente /Markolino Dimond / Brujeria
4. Mi Gente / Hector LaVoe / La Voz

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction...

An Egyptian bust that resembled Michael Jackson on display in Inside Ancient Egypt, which opened in 1988 at the Field Museum. This bust of an Egyptian woman is nearly 3,000 years old, yet the resemblance to the late King of Pop is uncanny. The bust has been a part of the Museum's collection since 1899 and was collected by Edward Ayer, who spearheaded the founding of the Museum. 

The bust was made during the New Kingdom Period (1550 BCE to 1050 BCE) which is the same time period as King Tut and Ramses. According to the curator, 95% of Egyptian statues and busts were defiled by early Christians and Muslims because the statues were looked at as idolatry. Taking the nose off made them 'non-human' and less offensive. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Artist Passing: Arrow (Alphonsus Cassell)

For many people who are not familiar with Calypso, Arrow may not be a recognizable name but for those of us who have danced and partied from Brooklyn to Port of Spain that is not the case.

Arrow brought a distinct flavor to Kaiso, it was the flavor of  Montserrat. Arrow put Montserrat and himself on the musical map in 1982 with his gigantic hit: "Hot, Hot, Hot". A song that would later be covered by a pop musician, Buster Pointdexter, and brought to international fame.

I can recall being drenched in sweat in Trinidad Carnival as Arrow sang "Bills", "Soca Rhumba" and "Rub Up". His was a different take on soca, it had the feel of merengue and it seemed to crossover into a more Pan-Caribbean vibe. The beat was hard and it reminded me of the French Caribbean and the Spanish Caribbean all at once. The horns were very prominent, in your face. My best friend; Ron Taylor added his blaring lead trumpet to many of Arrow's hits. The talented Leston Paul added superb arrangements. Take a listen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sadly, Another Passing: Varnette P. Honeywood

I met this talented artist when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1982 at a street faire. I bought some of her work because I thought it was so sweetly unique. Her work was unassuming and straight forward. Her use of color was so very African. She will be missed but like all great artist, her work will live forever and a day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A word about this week's podcast episode (86)

This week's podcast celebrates a wonderful compilation CD: "African Scream Contest". This is a project that sheds light on the beginnings of Afro-Funk in West Africa in the 1970's. I like to call this period "Africa:Post-James Brown". The Godfather of Soul had a profound effect on the entire continent, as he brought African-American polyrhythms back to their source. 

What seems to be lost on so many Americans is the fact that Africa was so hip and aware back then. Unfortunately, so much of this symbiotic cultural relationship was lost upon a pre-Internet generation that had to rely upon the dominant-culture media for African news.

Now in 2010, the African Diaspora is so much more connected. The lines of cultural communication are fortified by a satellite linked world. Creators like me benefit greatly from this brave new world.

"One Tribe, Many Voices" Podcast Episode 86

Lola Falana

Set One:

1. Djanfa Magni / Tidiane Kone & Orchestre Poly-Ritmo  / African Scream Contest
2. Thunder in the Jungle / Rasheed Ali & Rain People / Thunder in the Jungle
3. Na Oil / Seun Kuti & Eygpt 80 / Think Africa 

Set Two:

1.  Vinon So Minsou / Ouinsou Corneille & Black Santiago / African Scream Contest
2.  Se Na Min / El Rego & Ses Commandos / African Scream Contest 
3. Ayer y Hoy / Brownout / Aguilas and Cobras  

Set Three:

1. Che Che Cole Makossa / Antibalas / Daptone Gold
2. Oya Ka Jojo / Les Volcans de la Capital  
3. I Faram Gami I Faram / Mulatu Astatke / Mulatu Steps Ahead  
4. Sacred Waters / Rasheed Ali & Rain People / Thunder in the Jungle   



Sunday, September 05, 2010

Remembering A Great African Mind

Check out Runoko Rashidi's biography of Cheikh Anta Diop.

 If you are interested in African Diaspora Culture you can follow the links at the right side of this page to read up on African History and other interesting topics.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

"One Tribe, Many Voices" Podcast Episode 85

Photo: Betty Press

Intro: Cheikh Anta Diop / Doudou N'diaye Rose / Djabote

Set One:

1. Senegal-Brasil / Cheikh Lo / Lamp Fall 
2. Na Cidade Negra / Rasheed Ali & Rain People/ Tristeza e Beleza

Set Two:

1. Tristeza e Beleza / Rasheed Ali & Rain People/ Tristeza e Beleza
2. Umi Says / Mos Def / Black on Both Sides
3. Improvisation No.2 / Saikouba Badjie / Solo Drumming of Casamance

Set Three:

1. The Good Lord / Brother Ali / The Truth is Here
2. Kongo Magni / Boubacar Traore / Kongo Magni
3. Al Ghourba / Ali Hassan Kuban / Nubian Magic

Set Four:

1. Trembony / Ali Hassan Kuban / Nubian Magic
2. Helalisa / Hamza El-Din / Eclipse
3. Zikroulah / Cheikh Lo / Lamp Fall
4. Djonkana / Boubacar Traore / Kongo Magni