A Consumer Guide to the Trailing Edge: October, 2008

Recycled Goods (#58)

by Tom Hull

Well, don't say I didn't warn you. When I restarted Recycled Goods back in April, I said that I'd only post whatever I happened to get to in any given month. I've averaged about 10 records per month since then (maybe a bit more). But October, for reasons I've explained in the blog, has been a total washout, at least as far as music reviewing goes. I suspected as much, and held back a couple items from September. Good thing I did, because with this paltry sample, the cupboard is bare. To make matters worse, the top two are already well known from Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide reviews, and I don't have much to add -- only minor quibbles to detract.

Briefly Noted

Tabu Ley Rochereau: The Voice of Lightness: Congo Classics (1961-77 [2007], Sterns Africa, 2CD): Zaire's greatest rumba singer, in a comprehensive collection that fills in his early years with African Jazz, African Fiesta, Afrisa International, and others; irresistible grooves, tremendously uplifting. A

The Rough Guide to Congo Gold (1949-93 [2008], World Music Network): Panning gold from the Congo is easier than any of history's famed rushes: Henry Bowane, Grand Kalle, Dr. Nico, Franco, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Sam Mangwana, Papa Noel -- you can duplicate that formula over dozens of discs and never tire of it. A

The Rough Guide to West African Gold (1950s-1970s [2006], World Music Network): Compiling West Africa is trickier than compiling Congo because it's so much more diverse, and the rhythms are so much more improbable; from Ghana's genteel E.T. Mensah to Senegal's afro-salsa Orchestra Baobab, with jumps to lush Nigeria and Guinea and arid Mali, another random sample of unlimited bounty. A-

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Copyright 2008 Tom Hull.