The Cat, Hit The Road, Jack

20 or so years ago, I picked up a CD that collected Thai bands playing western-inspired music back in the 1960s and 70s called Thai Beat-a-Go-Go Volume 1. One track that really stuck with me all these years is The Cat, a band that clearly knew how to play Thai music, covering Ray Charles' "Hit The Road, Jack".

Link to The Cat, Hit The Road, Jack

Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2024

T.P. O.K. Jazz, En Entre OK, En Sort KO

In the 1930s, western record companies didn't record much music in Africa. But they sold a lot, and what they sold a lot of was Cuban music. So by the mid 1950s when T.P. O.K. Jazz started up in Congo (later Zaire, then back to Congo), Cuban music had become part of the vocabulary of the local musicians. You can hear it in one of their early songs, "En Entre OK, En Sort KO", kind of their statement of intent, where when you come in to hear them you're okay, but by the time they're done, you're knocked out. But you also hear the beginnings of that guitar sound that came to rule the continent. A true classic.

Link to T.P. O.K. Jazz, En Entre OK, En Sort KO

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2024

Kirsty Maccoll, Us Amazonians

Kirsty Maccoll's album Tropical Brainstorm was something of a departure for her. She had fallen in love with Cuban music, and started to meld aspects of it with her own pop music. This song, however, added a third element; the guitar work here in a song about Amazonians (presumably Brazilian), has guitar work straight out of Congo. Congolese music was one of the most popular genres across Africa for decades; the style is unmistakeable.

Link to Kirsty Maccoll, Us Amazonians

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2024

Sto zvířat - Nikdy nic nebylo

Some years back, the first album by Czech ska band Sto zvířat was released here in the US. I really enjoyed it. Sadly, none of their other albums were released here, but I kept up with them by ordering CDs from Czechia. One of their later albums had this charming videogame-themed video.

Link to Sto zvířat - Nikdy nic nebylo

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2024

Meute, LoCKeDoWN2

Meet Meute. German techno marching band. If that's not a collision that belongs on Chocolate Tuba, nothing is.

Link to Meute, LoCKeDoWN2

Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024