On this week's World Music Show (4/19/14), the choice of tunes will be smooth, crisp, taut and on fire! And the brunt of them will have a Latin flare (hence this week's title). Spread over the two-hour journey, we'll hear genres ranging from Rumba, to Samba, to even some American Pop Standards redone in the vein of an upbeat dance number. So, buckle up, because it's time to lay down the fuse that will set this show off.
Kicking off the first hour will be a couple of songs--redone--by the legendary master of Brazilian rhythms, Sergio Mendes. Mendes, who partnered with the mastermind behind The Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am on two CDs, produced some really hot tracks on those. Off their CD, "Encanto," we'll hear Fergie covering Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," and we'll hear the singer Ledisi covering the Antonio Carlos Jobim song "Waters of March." Think about all the entertainment you're getting in just those two songs! And by the way--check out that classic picture of Mendes--is that cool or what? He'd totally fit in with that look today. Paired with those will be a couple of Brazilian/New York songs from the band Mosquitos, who in their brief time, were able to craft some really sweet, poppy and singable songs.
In the next chunk of music--and in keeping with this Latin-on-fire theme, we'll change the tempo to include some Samba music from the band Ja Lata as well as from Jairzinho Oliveira, who became a child star in Brazil and sold more than 10 million copies of his children's album. As he matured, he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, then returned to Brazil and eventually became one of Brazil's most popular Samba and Bossa Nova singers. Partnered with that Samba set will be some Mambo and Cha-Cha-Cha music from the band Tradicuba, who'll do the song "Potpourri de Cha Cha Cha," and the band Fruko y Sus Tesos, who do the song "Mambo #5." Fruko, by the way, are led by the Columbian band leader Ernesto "Fruko" Estrada. At the birth of his band, back in 1970s, his goal was to create a sound similar to New York's famed Fania All Stars.
Then, to keep the groove going, we'll tone down the beats and bring in some Latin Groove music (Yep, that's the name of the Putumayo CD) by the Columbian band Los Aterciopelados as well as the band El Conjunto Massalia-who are actually from the South of France--hence the name. They'll do a masterful cover of the Cuban song "Chan Chan," which was written by one of the veterans of the Buena Vista Social Club, Compay Segundo. This cover is both groovy and funky. Rounding out this set will be a Salsa track done with some Italian flair by the band Havana Mambo; and a Swing song done Zimbabwean style by The Cool Crooners of Bulawayo.
However, for some strange reason, when we close out the first hour, we'll take a left turn and hear a "World Pop" hit that features a couple of legends in any genre; and we'll hear a couple of Reggae tunes from one particular legend. To break that down, we'll hear the song "(You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back," that features both Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh; and we'll hear two tracks from Jimmy Cliff--one being his classic, "The Harder they Come," and the other off his new CD "Rebirth," called "The World Upside Down."
For hour two, the sounds will be just as explosive--well, at least a few of the sets will be. We'll start off with the singer/guitarist Eljuri, who is from Ecuador but now lives in New York. She's a well-regarded guitarist--having been compared to the likes of Carlos Santana, but she also has a mellow side. That mellow side is evident in the two songs we'll hear off two of her CD's, "En Paz," and "Fuerte." This mellow side could be due to the fact they partnered with the producers/musicians Sly & Robbie. Joining her in this first set will be a couple of songs from the folks at the Playing for Change Organization. PFC travel the globe and record local musicians covering popular songs (and some new ones). The deal is that they take all these musicians and splice them together into one song.
One of those songs from the PFC group was a cover of the Bob Marley song "Three Little Birds," which got me in the mood to hear some other Reggae music (as did the Jimmy Cliff in hour one). But, to throw a wrench into the mix--as I like to do--we'll hear some Reggae music from other parts other than Jamacia. We'll hear from the band Katchafire, who are from New Zealand and from the band Bedouin Soundclash who are from Canada. Then we'll make an easy transition into some music from the South Pacific, with the band Te Vaka.
Rounding out the show will be some Ska music from The English Beat, some Psychedelic 60s-inspired music from Pizzicato Five and some new music from the French trio We Are Enfant Terrible. So, sure, this show will be on fire at times, while at other times, it'll be a bit softer. But all in all, it'll be a great show to check out. And you can do that every Saturday night at 8pm on 88.9FM Richmond Public Radio or online via this website. You can get show updates on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.