It’s a been a while since I’ve shared any recent additions to the collection. Considering, I thought we’d get back to the basics with the simple, sunny tune – Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La Si, Do – by Haitian bandleader Raoul Guillaume et Son Groupe. I don’t remember learning the musical scale back in school being so groovy!
Have you heard that we’re starting a monthly Pelanga party in La Mision at the Brick & Mortar?
That’s right! We’re kicking things off Friday July 31st with West Coast-bred Boogaloo Assassins. These twelve latin soul brothers have steeped their rich Los Angeles roots with the often emulated sounds of New York’s Spanish Harlem to make Old Love Dies Hard (2013) – a six song EP on the Sicario/Fania labels, that’s guaranteed to bring your whole family to the dance floor. Old Love Dies Hard combines three of the group’s original recordings with covers of several perennial tracks, including a seamless, montuno-drenched version of Dawn Penn’s dancehall classic, You Don’t Love Me (No No No).
Boogaloo Assassins — No No No
For the long time lover of latin soul, Boogaloo Assassins will take you on a walk through the familiar musical landscape of East Harlem in the 60’s and 70’s. Think of boogaloo, salsa, and soul classics on storied labels like Allegre, Fania, and Tico – but with a sunny infusion of laid back California swing. For the uninitiated, simply ask yourself the question – do you wanna dance? If the answer is yes, then we’ll see you at the show! Or if you’re on the fence about it, reconsider as Boogaloo Assassins reframe the question with their original composition and instant party starter – Do You Wanna Dance.
So, now what’s your answer?
In case you were wondering who was peeking through the 45 hole in my last post, I decided to share another breath-taking pachanga from that very person – Guinean master guitarist Kante Manfla. Manfla is one of those prolific artists, who due to varied and sometimes ambiguous associations confuses the inquisitor. Just check out World Vision’s investigative post from back in 2009 and you’ll see what I mean. Without any answers to the many questions about Kante Manfla, I’ll simply leave you with this call to the dancefloor – Keleya. Make no mistake, this song is exceptionally potent with Manfla’s Son-africano flavor and gets played on repeat at my place. Just listen to the way the drums, guitar, flute, and horns take turns telling their own tale of Keleya while you work up a sweat.
Keleya – Kante Manfla
It’s 2:00pm on a Saturday afternoon and I’m contemplating whether or not I should crack open a beer. It’s a beautiful weekend and I don’t have to work tomorrow, so I guess I can afford to indulge so early in the day. On the other hand, I did make an especially long to-do list for the day and don’t want to sidetrack myself with any drunken tangents. I decide to throw on a record as I deliberate this familiar predicament. Top on the recent arrivals stack is Gendarme Si We – a highlife-inspired pachanga tune by Benin’s hard working Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.
A recent trade with Taran over at Fat Headphones, Gendarme Si We and the afro-beat flipside Ahou Gan Mi An is a perfect example of the legendary band’s versatility (often featuring 2 distinctly different genres on their 45s) not to mention a perfect compliment to this gorgeous day. About a minute into the song I’ve made up my mind – it’s a perfect time for a cold beer! Please join me as I enjoy this delicious pairing. And afterward, if you want another helping check out Fat Headphone’s recent Poly-Rythmo afro-beat/rock 45 feature.
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Gendarme Si We
The other night us Pelangueros got together at my families place to catch up from recent travels and a hiatus from Pelanga’s newly redesigned site (let us know what you think!). As we were talking Papicultor’s eyes fell on my copy of The 60’s Sounds of S.E. Rogie. With a distance gaze, he asked if this album had “that” song. He told me that years ago he heard an incredible song by Rogie on a local radio show that haunted him for 2 years and hasn’t heard it since. Sheepishly I admitted that I had only given the record minor attention and only remembered one simple, but beautiful melody. I put on the one song I knew and Fede and myself smiled, each of us celebrating our own reunions with the memorable recording – Please Go Easy With Me.
This palm wine guitar classic is prominently featured as the lead in track of this 60’s compilation of the legendary Sierra Leoenan guitarist. This particular album is released on the Rogiphone label, a project of Rogie during his stay in Northern California during the 70s and 80s. Interestingly enough, the graphic layout and production is done by Mr. Emory Douglas, original Black Panther and also the person responsible for the parties iconic political posters and print media.
According to Gary Stewart’s liner notes Please Go Easy With Me is based on a conversation overheard between two lovers at a dance and was recorded in 1960 at Rogie’s makeshift home studio. Here you go Fede – now you can listen to this any time you want!
S.E. Rogie – Please Go Easy With Me (1960)
I couldn’t help sending this live performance as well…so so good!
Some records are just near impossible to find in good condition. They are usually the ones with universal appeal that cameo’d at house parties on the regular and were repeatedly played until needle burned. They include the likes of Bob Marley, Jimmie Hendrix, and Tito Puente and need no introduction or courtship. The Beginning Of The End, a family island soul and funk band from Nassau may not have the same appeal as the above mentioned legends, but you’ll definitely have a tough time finding any of their material in even decent condition.
It is with bittersweetness that I announce that after 10+ years I finally got my hands on playable original copy of this wish-list record (without playing inflated ebay prices). Every song is playable except for the title track and my favorite island funk bomb – Funky Nassau, which rests right on top of a prominent heat warp. Fortunately this billboard chart topper was a huge hit at home in the Bahamas, the UK, and in USA and was pressed on 45 and widely distributed so I have a pair to flip when necessary. So why was a record with such a hit and so groundbreaking for the region so difficult to find in album form? Your guess is as good as mine.
Even without the blockbuster Funky Nassau the album still holds it’s place as one of the most solid all-around island soul-funk albums to ever be recorded. I know I’m not alone in my thinking either. Just about every song on this album as been sampled by beatmakers, covered by bands, and played by DJs all over the globe.
Please join me as I listen to The Beginning Of The End for the fifth time today!
When She Made Me Promise