Saturday, March 15, 2014


You know, you make mixes of random music, right? Maybe you at least occasionally set your listening gizmo on shuffle? Hopefully you get what I mean when I say that even music of different genres can be lumped together in a mix that creates a certain feel. Maybe not. Regardless, I heard a song at Diddy Wah that just slayed me and sent me digging. "Arabian Blues" by Jimmy Beck and his Orchestra isn't blues really at all. It's as exotic as the name sounds, but not entirely in an Arabian sort of way (as if I know what Arabian blues would sound like). It's hard to describe, but the sax in it is what kills me. I'm sure it has something to do with the scale it's playing, or some other musician mumbo jumbo, but I dig it and I don't really care why. Mix meat it was, and off I was, trying to find suitable music to sandwich it between.

"Arabian Blues" reminded me of Mulatu Astatke, aka the big shot of Ethio-jazz, for whatever the reason, again, maybe just the feel. So a couple of his songs were thrown in for good measure. Then there was Brazil's Os Incrivels' "Nao Resta Nem Ilusao" which, when I first heard it about a year ago, also reminded me of Astatke. That was a good start. Alas, the next selections may have to wait. A Haitian mix posted by Sofrito isn't downloadable, but completely awesome nonetheless, and that type of stuff would totally fit. Good enough that I'm taking a gamble and ordering Haiti Direct, a recent compilation from Strut that, if it isn't the same music that's in the Sofrito mix, is different enough (judging by the samples at Strut) to grab my attention. Stop the presses: I'm buying something.

Jimmy Beck and his Orchestra - Arabian Blues mp3 at Diddy Wah
Mulatu Astatke - Yekermo Sew mp3 at Oh Color Me In
Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle Tezeta mp3 at Antinomian
Os Incriveis – Nao Resta Nem Ilusao at Melting Pot
Haiti Direct Selection - 44 minute mix (streaming) at Sofrito

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