Funerary Music of Carriacou Presented here are the magnificent Big Drum songs from Carriacou, Grenada, a font of African and European musical traditions. This is music for the ancestors, or “Old Parents,” performed at Tombstone Feasts held years after death and burial, when the body is finally entombed and the spirit of the departed may at last rest in peace. Caribbean Voyage Released for the first time, Alan Lomax’s legendary 1962 recordings of the rich and many-stranded musical traditions of the Lesser Antilles and eastern Caribbean: work songs, pass-play and story songs, calypso, East Indian chaupai, and steel band music, reflecting the Central and West African, French, English, Celtic, Spanish and East Indian contributions to Caribbean culture. The Alan Lomax Collection The Alan Lomax Collection gathers together the American, European and Caribbean field recordings, world music compilations, and ballad operas of writer, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax.
South African expatriate Jonathan Butler isn't really a jazz artist, but his laid-back, slightly jazz-tinged approach to R&B/pop has earned the singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer a lot of supporters in the urban contemporary, adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz/NAC markets. Butler has enjoyed a following since the late '70s, although he reached his commercial peak in the late '80s, and he continues to tour and record in the 21st century. Born in Cape Town, South Africa in October 1961, Butler was only a child when he started singing and playing acoustic guitar. Butler, who was the youngest of about 12 children, absorbed a variety of music when he was a kid. He was an admirer of South African stars like singer Miriam Makeba, but he was also hip to the American soul and jazz artists who lived thousands of miles away in the United States. Stevie Wonder became a major influence, and so did former-hard bop-guitarist-turned-R&B/pop-singer George Benson.
Alan Parsons delivered a detailed blueprint for his Project on their 1975 debut, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, but it was on its 1977 follow-up, I Robot, that the outfit reached its true potential. Borrowing not just its title but concept from Isaac Asimov's classic sci-fi Robot trilogy, this album explores many of the philosophies regarding artificial intelligence - will it overtake man, what does it mean to be man, what responsibilities do mechanical beings have to their creators, and so on and so forth - with enough knotty intelligence to make it a seminal text of late-'70s geeks, and while it is also true that appreciating I Robot does require a love of either sci-fi or art rock, it is also true that sci-fi art rock never came any better than this…
The Alan Parsons Project is a "project" of acclaimed English producer Alan Parsons, best known for his works as an engineer with with names such as the Beatles (Abbey Road, the Get Back roofttop concert) and Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon, Atom Heart Mother). Along with songwriter Eric Woolfson, Parsons created a series of 10 (and counting) albums of progressive rock, employing a rotating cast of session musicians to do most of the performing (Parsons does play keyboard and sings on some tracks.). He creates the concept, writes some of the music and hires the artists, while Woolfson writes the lyrics, some of the music and sings on many tracks.
36 tracks are collected on this expansive compilation album from these prog rockers, which is a neat way to review their impressive career.