Friday, August 17, 2007

Classic recordings from the shores of Liberia

cd coverSongs of the African Coast: Cafe Music of Liberia

A collection of unique popular music recorded in 1948 in Liberia by ethnomusicologist Arthur Alberts. The music is a mix of genres echoing Calypso and early jazz (and includes songs made famous during the folk scare of the 60s like "Chicken is Nice," "Gbanawa," "Woman Sweeter Than Man" and "Hold Me Tight"), played by small ensembles (usually piano, guitar and bass, occasionally some hot horn work, too), and sung in English. Includes detailed notes and interesting photos. The 18 recordings, along with the accompanying commentary, showed the intricate connections between African and American music.

This audio piece is a song covered, by among others, the Kingston Trio, but here it is sweet and hot, and features that aforementioned horn solo. Listen to Gbanawa

Audio samples and CD available from cdRoots