Vodou, also spelled Voodoo, Voudou, Vodun, or FrenchVaudou, it’s an official religion of Haiti, together with Roman Catholicism. Vodou is a creolized religion forged by descendants of Dahomean, Kongo, Yoruba, and other African ethnic groups who had been enslaved and brought to colonial Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The word Vodou means spirit or deity in the Fon language of the African kingdom of Dahomey (Benin). European mysticism, Freemasonry, is also in the practice. With an encompassing philosophy, medicine, justice, and religion, its fundamental principle is that everything is a spirit, humans are spirits who inhabit the visible world.
The unseen world is populated by lwa (spirits), mystè (mysteries), anvizib (the invisibles), zanj (angels), and the spirits of ancestors and the recently deceased. All these spirits are believed to live in a mythic land called Ginen, a cosmic Africa. (!)
The primary goal and activity of Vodou are to sevilwa (serve the spirits), to offer prayers and perform various devotional rites directed at God and particular spirits in return for health, protection, and favor. Spirit possession also plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions.
During religious rites, believers sometimes enter a trancelike state in which the devotee may eat and drink, perform stylized dances, give supernaturally inspired advice to people, or perform medical cures or special physical feats; these acts exhibit the incarnate presence of the lwa within the entranced devotee.
Vodou ritual activity is aimed at refining and restoring balance and energy in relationships between people and between people and spirits of the unseen world!
Nevertheless, Vodou has often been associated in popular culture with Satanism, Zombies and Voodoo Dolls (sic). Zombie creation has been referenced within rural Haitian culture but is not a part of Vodou. Such manifestations fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer, rather than the priest of the Loa.
The practice of sticking pins in voodoo dolls has a history in folk magic. Voodoo dolls are often associated with New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo as well the magical devices of the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa.
Let’s go to our artist:
The today’s entry is made with a little doubt, although some sources say that (mighty)Davy Jones and Janko Nilovic are the responsible behind this single, we see no indication on the stamps, unlike other releases from Ju Ju Recordslabel. This one is a bit different (and better) from these releases and we believe that the real credit should be given to another famous arranger and composer: Roland Vincent.
Roland Vincent is a pianist, conductor, composer, musical arranger known French, among others, for his compositions and arrangements made for Michel Delpech in the years 1960-1970. He is also a composer of musicals Athon, with texts by Jean-Pierre Lang and morethan 100films, TV movies and plays!
Here he supposed to sign under the pseudonym Reynaldo Pultek! (?)
Let’s go to our album:
‘His works have gained international recognition for their beauty, lyrical scope, and imagination. I am sure that whatever he endeavors in the music industry, he will handle his field with unusual success’ / Quincy Jones. L.A. 1981
Another obscure lo-fi rip, but take further on this exploitationafro-psych party!
At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians were considered the upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor (!). Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended school, and most of them being boys. Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser led Egypt through a victorious revolution in 1952. He was a proponent of cultural nationalism as a means of political independence.
Land reform and distribution, the dramatic growth in university education, and government support to national industries greatly improved social mobility and flattened the social curve. From 1953-54 through 1965-66, overall public school enrolments more than doubled. Millions of previously poor Egyptians, through education and jobs in the public sector, joined the middle class.
Doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, journalists, constituted the bulk of the swelling middle class in Egypt under Nasser.
Famous realist director, Kamal Al Sheikhbecame known for making compelling thrillers such as House Number 13 (1952), a film noir about a psychologist who tries to use his friend to commit a murder; Life or Death (1955), which unusually for the 50’s was shot on location in Cairo, and The Last Night which was nominated for the Golden Palme at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964!
The ’50s and ’60s saw the appearance of accomplished realist films from Youssef Chahine, most notably The Blazing Sky (1954) nominated for the Grand Prix at the Cannes. It’s the second film, Son of the Nile (1951) showed an early work of Social Realism, that started his international fame. The film focused on relations between traditional classes and elites, depicting the hard lives of peasant classes. Previous representations of peasants had used them largely as romanticized symbols of national identity.
Let’s go to our album:
Born Salah Eldin Ahmed Ragab(25/07/1935 – 03/07/2008) in Cairo. A Major in the Egyptian Army through the ’60s, and an avid jazz fan and drummer, Ragab first attempted to form a jazz band in 1964, with American saxophonist Mac X. Spears. The group didn’t get very far, then, on December 1966, Ragab met Hartmut Geerken and Eduard Vizvari at a reception following a Randy Weston Sextet show. The three hit it off and decided to form the Cairo Jazz Band (القاهرة الفرقة موسيقى الجاز).
The year that he became the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department, in 1968, The Cairo Jazz Band began to take-off. They were Egypt’s first big band, mixing American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation with indigenous melodies/instruments, like the Nay (flute) and the Baza (ramadan drum).
Such musical cross-fertilization was not unusual in itself; American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef had long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, incorporating both the instruments and musical forms into their work. But Salah Ragab’s music presents a view from the other side of the musical equation of West meets the Middle East. Aligning himself with the compelling currents of American jazz music, to later be revered as the Godfather and pioneer of Egyptian jazz music!
Let’s go to the pinnacle of Egyptian instrumental music, beyond the barriers of jazz and folk, the refinement and creativity here is frightening! Enjoy this superb voyage, with luxuriant arrangements and also 5 (unmissable) bonus tracks present on the 2006 CD edition, without further ado the great master Salah Ragab.
The ‘IM’ highlights are Egypt Strut and The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt.
Unfortunately, today’s record does not presently have any information about their singer, apparently, she released this single and disappeared!
We will leave to talk about the famous Nouvelle Chanson, its composers, lyricists and main artists in future posts. Here we already see the collaboration of the great Etienne Roda-Gil in these hallucinated lyrics and the legendary Hubert Rostaing in exquisite arrangements! With haunted female voices, exotic grooves, organ, tabla and a dark psychedelic scenario that drives this amazing 7”. ボン·ヴォヤージュ!
A Angel of Sin (Chloe Walters, E. Roda-Gil)
B Fleurs de Pavots Bleus (H. Rostaing, E. Roda-Gil)
Orchestra, Conductor – Hubert Rostaing
Les Industries Musicales Et Electriques Pathé Marconi
Pathé – 2C 006-10609 M / Nov 1969
Fleurs de Pavots Bleus
Fleurs de pavots bleus, au cœur de nos villes
Fleurs de pavots bleus, au cœur de nos villes
Chardons venimeux, au sein des principes
Chardons vénéneux, dans nos républiques,
Voyages monstrueux, dans la nuit des songes, de nos songes
Voyages monstrueux, dans la mer des songes
Sous les pavots bleus, sous les pavots bleus
Coulent les villes, nos villes, nos villes, nos villes.
Peru. The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, about 200 km (120 mi) to 700 km (430 mi) wide, and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated by intermediate depressions. The Andes is the location of several high plateaux – some of which host major cities such as Quito, Bogotá, Arequipa, Medellín, Sucre, and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the world’s second-highest following the Tibetan plateau.
Many years before Les Baxter set off his brilliant career as a composer and arranger with the cornerstone exotica album Ritual of the Savage, formerly Martin Denny establish commercially the genre in 1957 peaking a #1 position on the Billboard charts two years later, or even afore Hawaii emancipate itself as the 50th state in the U.S. along with the tiki culture fever, deep in the Peruvian Amazon forest, there was a girl supposed to be an heiress from the ancient Incas, who molded his voice within the jungle fauna. This unrealistic story could be a lie, but it is not.
A supernatural coloratura that showed to the world the original indigenous traditions, its music, customs, and beauty. Thanks to this Peruvian songbird post-war America enjoyed as never the musical impressions from distant regions and unknown places, later sold as mythical Shangri-las or stereotype South-Americanjungles.
The girl, was Yma Sumac certainly the grandiose female voice of the twentieth century, owner of a vocal range of 4 and a half octaves! Today’s post will begin the search for that which has already been heralded as the revelation of all time, admired by Sinatra, Dietrich, Elizabeth II, and many others, the diva throughout its career has gone from folklore chants for the opera, mambo, jazz and even rock.
She also starred in two Paramount films, Secret of the Incas (54) and Omar Khayyam (57), worked on Broadway, even got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and literally toured across the world in more than 500 shows over 20 years of hight activity. On Capitol Records, she sold more than 4 million albums through the 50s and early 60s! These achievements should never be forgotten, Yma’s strong personality and endowed voice will always remain. (RIP)
Let’s go to our history:
Born in the high mountains of Ichocan, Peru, Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo (13 September 1922 – 1 November 2008), had dreams of being a great singer since his childhood. However, such a dream was deemed almost impossible in Peru and especially for a proper lady. But the girl was unstoppable, around the age of 9 she could often be seen high atop a mountain in the High Andes singing ancient Peruvian folkloric songs, to a group of rocks, which she pretended was her audience. Entranced by the beautiful birds that sang nearby, she began to imitate them, by incorporating their high pitched sounds into her repertoire. (!)
Her voice matured by age 13, a year before Yma’s arrival in Lima, Moisés Vivanco, musician, composer, and director of the Peruvian National Board of Broadcasting had formed the Compañia Peruana de Arte, a group of Indian dancers, singers and musicians. On hearing the young girl sing, he invited her to join his company, but her mother would not consent. Yma, however, was interested, on the pretext of attending night classes, she rehearsed regularly with the Compañia and with them made her radio debut early in 1942, appearing there in over Radio Belgrano, Argentina.
Vivanco and Miss Sumac were married on June 6, 1942, in a civil ceremony in the city of Arequipa, at the foot of El Misti, famed Andean peak. After the wedding, the troupe played in theatres, night clubs, concert halls, and over radio networks in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City. Soon enough South America was quite enchanted with this amazing voice, in 1943, she would record around 16 songs in Argentina. Seeking bigger dreams they arrived in New York on January 1946, the company reduced to three members, Moisés, Yma, and her cousin Cholita Rivero, and sought engagements as the Inca Taky Trio.
From 1946 to 1949 they played in many clubs, but Americans were not prepared or particularly interested in the music, finding it a bit bizarre, but many were enchanted with Yma’s lovely face and voice. One night in a small New York club, a talent scout from Capitol Records was present. The man apparently saw great potential in this young lady, he immediately signed them to Capitol, a major American record label.
However, changes would have to be made. Imma Sumack would be changed once again, to Yma Sumac a more glamorous spelling. The focus would be on Yma, and Vivanco would be the man behind the Diva. The simple twangy traditional Peruvian accompaniment would have to be incorporated into large and lush orchestral versions if it were to take on Universal appeal. Now in her mid 20’s Sumac’s voice had reached its unparalleled peak, and her beauty intoxicating. Voice of the Xtabay was recorded in 1950 and sold over 100,000 copies without major publicity. (!)
After a massively successful concert at the Hollywood Bowl that same year, Yma Sumac would become world-famous, traveling the globe and being a vocal phenomenon. She toured and recorded 7 albums for the entire decade of the ’50s, had worldwide fan clubs and was eventually declared the 8th wonder of the world! In 1961 she went to make two weeks of concerts in Russia, there, the demand for her was so great that she stayed in staggering for 6 months. By tours end, she and husband Moises Vivanco were more than ready for (their second and final) divorce.
In the early 1970s with the encouragement of a few fans, Yma Sumac recorded a complete album of psychedelic music, titled Miracles. Her now-infamous temperament dominated the entire project and the album was quickly pulled from record stores everywhere, once complications arose. The original story from this fabulous Lp will be held here soon. The millennium brought a handful of surprise personal appearances, which resulted in Yma Sumac being awarded the Orden Del Sol of Peru in May of 2006, she traveled to accept the honor in person and stayed two weeks.
Let’s go to our album:
I’m very proud to introduce this kind of music, besides all rock, the folklore and world traditions will always be welcomed here! Our today’s album is Yma Sumac’s first and most popular release, and also one of her least hokey or pop-oriented. The spectacular cinematic arrangements composed, arranged and conducted by Les Baxter leads us to many different colorful landscapes, always accompanied by Yma’s frightful performance; the fuzz about his vocal range is ample but I’m not an aficionado in high notes, his technique in lower regions are incredible even for a contralto singer.
Our history with an artist like her is just starting, I’m sure everyone will enjoy the many releases of the Inca empress. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Virgin of the Sun God (Taita Inty), probably the greatest arrangement from the album, a slow-paced percussion invites to the wonders of some faraway place, with lush strings and Yma’s vocal outbursts, an instant classic. And Tumpa (Earthquake),this folklore chant has a short clip in-film on Secret of The Incas, Yma’s shrieks are really incredible, be welcomed to this ancient Latin American treasury and ಉತ್ತಮ ಪ್ರವಾಸ!
A1 Virgin of the Sun God (Taita Inty)
A2 Lure of the Unknown Love (Xtabay)
B1 High Andes! (Ataypura!)
B2 Monkeys (Monos)
C1 Chant of the Chosen Maidens (Accla Taqui)
C2 Dance of the Winds (Wayra)
D1 Earthquake! (Tumpa!)
D2 Dance of the Moon Festival (Choladas)
78 rpm album
Capitol Records, Monophonic – 1950 United States
Capitol (1950 and 1952 releases), track position may vary.
All songs by Moises Vivanco, except:
A2John Rose / Leslie Baxter and C1Moises Vivanco / Leslie Baxter
Conductor, Arranged by, Composed by (Additional Music): Leslie Baxter