Katanga Ahbe Casabe: Exotic Blues & Rhythm / Var
Katanga! Ahbe Casabe: Exotic Blues & Rhythm Vol. 1 & 2 combines the first two volumes from the Exotic Blues & Rhythm compilation series named Katanga! (2013) and Ahbe Casabe! (2013) with two additional bonus tracks (CD only). This album is a colorful garden of delights consisting of R'n'B and rock'n'roll based songs from the 1940s to the early 1960s that all have this slightly exotic, dark and mystical feeling from the melody structures and instrumentation. Eddie Cole & Three Peppers with their hypnotizing groover "Police" for example present a Caribbean mento with a mambo and rhythm'n'blues feel. This piece finds it's roots in the late 1940s and demonstrates how far even the predecessors of rock music already got in their development. It is only one out of 26 rare gems. The collection starts with the recognizable, gloomy bluesy tune named "Green Onions" played the Claus Ogermann Orchestra. The Ahbe Casabe portion is where the strange and quirky charm of exotica music captures souls even more. The title track for example is a song from the late '50s written by proto hippie Ehden Ahbez and combines a Latin groove with a vocal melody speaking of dark backstreets in oriental cities. The backing vocal effects here are more than strange somewhere between a deep gnarling and chipmunk-style squeaking while the lead vocals on the other hand are soulful and striking as expected. Kip Tyler's "Shadow Street" leaves the listener somewhere in between the jungle and a haunted oriental café in a town near the desert plains of Egypt. Next to master Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm with his exotic surf instrumental "Katanga" from the first part, good old rock 'n' roll pioneer Bill Haley And His Comets should be the most famous contributor to this musical treasure chest. A nice little oddity bonus track is "The Riddle Of The Papawhos" by Danny Staton, based on old spirituals and gospels with a 1950s pop music base. The other bonus track by Elena Madera named "Pu-Chun-Ga", is another outstanding mad Latin tune with wild female vocals. Also features: Artie Barsamin & Orchestra, Prince Conley, Joe Valino, Chance Halladay, The Chiefs, Jimmy Rushing, Sonny Til And The Orioles, Emmet Davis, Classie Ballou, Jack La Forge, Marti Barris, Steve Arlen, Bruce Cloud, Dickie Thompson, Rene Hall And His Band, Machito And His Orchestra, Mamie Perry, Lord Kitchener and Jamie Coe.