Robson Banda & The New Black Eagles —
Soweto ... LP Nyami Nyami (France), 1986. New Copy (reissue)...
A classic set from Robson Banda & The New Black Eagles – a group who were shining bright on the scene in Zimbabwe in the 80s, and work here with an upbeat groove that's not unlike some of the best South African work of the time! Rhythms are usually uptempo, but never too fast – and the guitar lines riff alongside the bass with all these sharp melodic currents and sparkles at the edges – which Robson and the band harmonize on lyrics that have as much personal power as political message! Titles include the hit "Soweto" – plus "Masvingo Netara", "Fariarai Mwana Auya", "Emmah", "Maria", and "Rambai Makashinga". LP, Vinyl record album
Edward Vesala, Antero Honkanen, & Others —
Ode To Marilyn ... CD Svart (Finland), 1973. New Copy ...
A tribute to Marilyn Monroe, but one that's way different than you might expect – as the music here is highly electronic, and often quite dark – served up in a mix of experimental and jazz-based modes by a very unusual Finnish group from the early 70s! The quintet features drummer Edward Vesala on percussion – with Antero Honkanen on electronics and more percussion, Teppo Hauta-aho on bass, Mikael Helasvuo on flute, and Jarmo Sermila on trumpet and organ – all instruments used in very unconventional ways, on songs that might well have sent the original Marilyn screaming from the room! Things are outside, but also quite thoughtful too – a nice mix of electric and acoustic elements used to evoke very moody, modern moments – on titles that include "Painajaisia/Nightmares", "Nuku Itku/A Doll's Cry", "Heraaminen/Awakening", "Lohdutus/Consolation", "Keskiyo/Midnight", and "Myytti Itkee Jalleen/The Myth Is Weeping Again". CD
Warm sounds for the Holiday season – a double-length set of Christmas tunes, sung by the great Eddy Arnold! Eddy recorded most of these numbers at a time when he was at the height of his countrypolitan talents – able to croon a tune with a smooth, mellow approach that almost made him the Perry Como of the country world – although set up with more of a Nasvhille vibe, thanks to producer Chet Atkins! The match of Atkins and Arnold is one of the all-time greats in mid-century pop – and the duo seem to push themselves even more strongly on this seasonal material. The CD features the full 1961 Christmas album recorded by Eddie, plus loads more Holiday singles – most of which have never been collected before. 26 titles in all – with tracks that include "Christmas Can't Be Far Away", "White Christmas", "Up On The Housetop", "Will Santa Come To Shanty Town", "Jingle Bell Rock", "Christmas", "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day", "Silent Night", "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas", "Winter Wonderland", "The Angel & The Stranger", and "New Year's Greeting". CD