Ode to the Marleys (and Other Sounds)
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Gather Round! Gather Round! On this week's World Music Show (1/19), we'll dedicate hour one to exploring and honoring (at least a little bit) all the musical treats the family Marley has given us. From the revered senior Marley, down to a few of his sons (if we had more time and more CDs of the entire family, then we could dedicate a two-hour show to this immense outpouring of music). However, this won't be a "greatest hits" collection culled from simply one or two CDs. No Sir or Ma'am. Instead we'll concentrate our ears on hearing a few rarities and not-often played tunes. In fact, we'll try to start from earlier works and move forward to more recent works.
To get the ball rolling, we'll begin with a few selections from a CD by Bob Marley when he visited a San Francisco radio station to record an interview--it was Marley and Wailers first American tour back in 1973. From the CD "Talkin' Blues," we'll hear the songs "Kinky Reggae" and "Bend Down Low." And then from a little later in his career, we'll hear the songs "Concrete Jungle," and "Baby We've Got a Date." Thrown into this mix, too, will be a cover of "Concrete Jungle," done Brazilian style by the singer Ceu (I wonder how many versions there actually are of this song out there?).
We'll plow forward with a couple of songs of a CD called "Natty Dread," namely the songs "Lively Up Yourself," and "Natty Dread." In this set, we'll then transition into some early tracks from a few of his siblings, who were of course Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. Off one of their early CDs, "One Bright Day," we'll hear the songs "One Bright Day," and "Who'll be There?" I love this CD, because not only did I have a copy of it on cassette tape, but I got to see them in concert at the Hollywood Palladium. It was a great show--and I think I still have the cassette tape, too.
At this point, the hour is more than half way over, so we'll complete the transition from Bob and concentrate more on Ziggy. Off the CD "Jahmekya," we'll hear the songs "Raw Riddim," and "Problem with my Woman," sung by Stephen Marley. Speaking of Stephen, we'll also hear a new song off his latest CD, called "Revelation." The song is called "Can't Keep I Down." And, to continue the solo effort, and to end the Marley hour (becuase it goes so quick), we'll hear the song "It," off of Ziggy Marley's latest CD called "Wild and Free." That track features the late rapper Heavy D.
Listen: I know that there are a few of you out there who don't jump for joy at having a whole hour of reggae music--you may acquaint it with the horrors of dorm living. I accept that--it's ok. So, in hour two, we'll flex the world music muscle and hear a variety of tunes that will hopefully excite you.
We'll start off the hour with some Sofrito music, which is heavy tropcial dancefloor sounds from Africa, the Caribbean and South America. But if you think that this genre started in Latin countries, you'd have to think again. The Sofrito sound actually began in the clubs of East London back in 2005. These were basically rave parties that floated between vacant warehouses, old shops and undeveloped lofts that all had the underlying theme of a passion for African and Latin records dug up and explored for danceability. Off this compilation we'll hear the song "Je Ne Bois Pas Beaucoup," by Les Ya Toupas Du Zaire.
To keep the beats going, we'll hear a couple of songs by a bunch of Ex-Brazilians who now live in New York, known as Forro in the Dark. Found in a club by fellow New Yorker, David Byrne, Forro has a nice blend of Brazilian and New York sound. Also in this set will be an instrumental track featuring the great guitarist Marc Ribot, off his CD "Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos."
Other danceable beats to listen for in hour two will be songs from Beat Pharmacy, Babatundi Olantunji and Gyedu Blay Ambolley and His Creations (who play some cool music out of Ghana). Also featured are tracks from Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, as well from the Jolly Boys (who do a great Mento style cover of the The Clash song "I Fought the Law.").
As always, there's more to hour two and the entire show than what's listed here. If you can make the time, it'll be worth your while to tune in to this week's World Music Show, heard every Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. on 88.9FM or online via this website. You can also tweet me, @wcveworldmusic.