February 23, 2021

Charts February 16-22, 2021


WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ADMAS | Sons Of Ethiopia | Frederiksberg
2 DOM LA NENA | Tempo | Six Degrees
3 ELIDA ALMEIDA | Gerasonobu | Lusafrica
4 FREE RADICALS | White Power Outage, Vol. 1 | self-released
5 NKUMBA SYSTEM | Bailao Duro! | Prado
6 FLORENCE ADOONI | "Mam Pe'ela Su'ure" [Single] | Philophon
7 BUYEPONGO VS. QUITAPENAS | "Cantarito/Inspiracion" [Single] | Peace & Rhythm
8 FEMI KUTI | Stop The Hate | Partisan
9 JOAO SELVA | Navegar | Underdog
10 ANANSY CISSE | Anoura | Riverboat

February 21, 2021

El Gran Pacheco

The musician, bandleader and entrepreneur Johnny Pacheco died on February 15 at age 85.  In my opinion, Pacheco is one of the seminal figures in American popular music, in the same category with people like Sam Phillips and Berry Gordy.
 
Fania, the record label he founded and artistically directed, is responsible for a style of music that has spread around the world: salsa.  This music reflects the point of view of young Spanish-speaking Caribbeans (Latinos) in New York City in the 1960s and 70s who grew up in an all-new urban multicultural environment.  Such an environment was unusual then -- today it's mainstream culture.

Pacheco did it all at Fania: he co-started and co-owned the label; he produced many of the recordings; he was the A&R man signing and developing artists like Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades and Celia Cruz; he sold the albums out of the trunk of his car; he wrote songs; led and conducted bands; played flute and congas and even sang coros (background vocals).

This week on Global A Go-Go (Monday February 22, 3:00-5:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) the whole show focuses on Johnny Pacheco, Fania Records and the invention of salsa.

February 16, 2021

Charts February 9-15, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 FEMI KUTI | Stop The Hate | Partisan
2 BUYEPONGO VS. QUITAPENAS | "Cantarito/Inspiracion" [Single] | Peace & Rhythm
3 MADE KUTI | For(e)ward | Partisan
4 NKUMBA SYSTEM | Bailao Duro! | Prado
5 VOILAAA | Voiciii | Favorite
6 JOAO SELVA | Navegar | Underdog
7 STELLA CHIWESHE | Ambuya! | Piranha
8 VENEZONIX | La Que Es [EP] | Nacional
9 GLOBAL RIDDIMS, VOL. 4 | various artists | NYP
10 CHRISTINE SALEM | Mersi | Blue Fanal

February 14, 2021

Kuti legacy

On February 5, Partisan Records released Stop The Hate, the tenth solo album by Femi Kuti, eldest son of Fela Kuti and in his own right one of the most important Afrobeat artists.  On the same day the label also issued For(e)ward, the debut album of Femi's son and Fela's grandson Made Kuti.  They're also marketing the two as a 2-disc package called Legacy +.
 
This week on Global A Go-Go, the whole second hour is devoted to the Kuti musical legacy with tracks from Fela, Femi, Made and Fela's other musician son Seun who now fronts his father's old band, Egypt 80.

Also this week (Monday February 15, 3:00-5:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): women of the mbira, the best new Latin material that's come across my desk this year, and the sounds of Trinidad's carnival -- you know, the one that's not happening this year.

February 9, 2021

Charts February 2-8, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BOMBA ESTEREO | Deja [Advance Tracks] | Sony Latin
2 JOAO SELVA | Navegar | Underdog
3 ANANSY CISSE | Anoura | Riverboat
4 BOSQ | Y Su Descarga Internacional | Bacalao
5 WARSAW AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | Antibody | Peace & Rhythm
6 BUDOS BAND, THE | Long In The Tooth | Daptone
7 GOOD ONES, THE | "Soccer (Summer 1988)" [Single] | Anti-
8 TP ORCHESTRE POLY RYTHMO DE COTONOU BENIN | Volume 4: Yehoussei Leopold Batteur | Acid Jazz
9 FAT FREDDY'S DROP | Lock-In | The Drop
10 BROOKLYN RAGA MASSIVE | In D | self-released

February 7, 2021

Poly Rythmo

T.P. Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou Benin is, in my opinion, one of the premier bands from the era of West African independence, right up there with the better-known Rail Band of Mali, Orchestra Baobab of Senegal and Bembeya Jazz of Guinee Conakry.
 
I've been a fan of Poly Rythmo since I heard the first reissues of their material back in 2003.  I own about 10 of those reissues and, to be honest, I assumed I had already heard the band's best.
 
I was wrong.  The British label Acid Jazz is now reissuing a slate of Poly Rythmo titles under an exclusive licensing arrangement with Albarika Store, the band's original label in Benin.  The first three of those titles are now available, and there's material on there that I think is even better than the best of what has previously been reissued.
 
I played two tracks from the new reissues in the last two weeks, and I'm playing another one this week.  If you're a fan of African music, do yourself a favor and check out this Poly Rythmo music that few listeners have had the opportunity to hear until now.
 
Also this week (Monday February 8, 3:00-5:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): women in Afrobeat, 50 years of samba-soul, reggae that veers off in an unexpected direction, and two sets of Latin electronica: one for the chill room and one for the dance floor.

February 3, 2021

Charts Jan 26 - Feb 1, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 DUB PISTOLS V DUBMATIX | "Blue Monday" [Single] | Cyclone
2 EL DUSTY | "Sax Riddim (feat Chucho Ponce & Los Daddys and Mariano Herrera)" [Single] | Americano
3 LA CUMBIA MODERNA DE SOLEDAD/MACHUCA CUMBIA | "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy/Stayin' Alive" [Single] | Vampisoul
4 ABELARDO CARBOBO Y SU CONJUNTO | Guana Tangula | Vampisoul
5 ALFREDO LINARES | Lo Que Tengo | Vampisoul
6 TOMMY GUERRERO | Sunshine Radio | Too Good
7 KHRUANGBIN | Late Night Tales | Night Time Stories
8 SONGHOY BLUES | Optimisme | Fat Possum
9 KELEKETLA | Keleketla! | Ahead Of Our Time
10 NKUMBA SYSTEM | Bailao Duro | Prado