amparito (part 1)


Here is a song I love for many reasons.

Amparito by La Superbanda


Foreigner goes to Barranquilla, falls in love with a beautiful woman on the dance floor, she disappears, and now he’s looking for her all over Colombia to marry her.

There’s a funny version of this song by Don Medardo y sus Player’s where she whispers in his ear: “you ecuadorians have some game in your hips!” I have to wonder, are you in on the joke, Medardo? I have nothing but love for you guys, but I have to break it to you: a barranquillera who says that is messing with you.

“Sama”, Ensemble Instrumentale National du Mali


This 1977 recording brought together many of Mali’s finest singers and musicians, at a time when the country had not yet celebrated twenty-years of independence. Groups like this one were part of a larger project of nation-building, creating a Malian musical identity out of many different ethnic traditions: Griot, Malenke, Wassolu, and others. Though the Ensemble used traditional instruments, it was doing something very bold: making music for a new country to call its own. It featured vocalists Hawa Drame, Mande Kouyate, and Cumba Sidibe (who passed away a little over a year ago in New York City); and musicians like Djelimbadj Sisoko, probably better known as a member of Bamako’s famous Rail Band.

Sama by Ensemble Instrumental National Du Mali


In the course of my “research” (not sure if you can really call it that…), I came across a Dutch blog called World Service, which I recommend.




“El tornillo,” Orq. Show Sinfonica Sunicancha Huarochiri


A few months ago, I posted this track, “Consuelo mio” by Orquesta Show Sinfonica Sunicancha Huarochiri. It’s still one of my favorite Pelanga songs, one I always try to sneak into rotation at a party. In Lima, I went in search of anything else by this group, and came across this: Los Ases de Huarochiri.

This album is a bit different from the other one, Cumbias, Mambos, y Salsas al estio de mi tierra (can’t say the first one, since I don’t really know which came first…), more Andean, less tropical. Musically, it’s all over the map: polkas, huaynos, cumbias, tracks (like this one) that feature a lot of guitar, and even a few with an acoustic guitar, accordion and very little in the way of horns. Here’s a sample from side b.

An added (non-musical) bonus: the third guy form the right looks exactly like my brother-in-law PJ. Maybe I’ll ask him which album came first, and why the band can’t decide on a style.

El Tornillo by Orquesta Show Sinfonica Sunicancha Huarochiri

El Tornillo