Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CD Review: Calypso From...Africa?

Various Artists
Marvellous Boy: Calypso From West Africa
Honest Jon's Records

Many of us familiar with calypso music can conjure up images of a lively carnival band amid white sandy beaches, sky-blue ocean waters, and swaying palm trees on an island anywhere in the Caribbean. We would be right, but calypso music extends far east of the Caribbean to the shores of West Africa. Marvellous Boy... is an album that presents us with 1950's calypso music from that region. The musical styles of highlife, jazz, and band music also overlap with the characteristic calypso groove. The calypso tunes on this recording come from the countries of Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. Some exciting artists, such as Famous Scrubbs, Bobby Benson, Roy Chicago, E.T. Mensah, and others, represent major fixtures in the calypso scene of the 50's. The accessibility of calypso music from Africa should appeal to Caribbean and Latin music fans. Anyone looking for a high-quality, nostalgic release of traditional music will dance a happy beat for the 'marvellous' Marvellous Boy... ~ Matthew Forss

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