Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#25: Machito - Kenya (1957)

So far all of the albums that I've reviewed have one thing in common. It's my opinion on the album considering I'm sat down and have nothing to do but listen to the album. Sure, jazz is more enjoyable when you're doing other things and listening to it. I've always been a big fan of listening to music such as this while I'm doing other things - in fact sometimes the lack of a human voice can make it ideal. That being said, this album is much more enjoyable than my past jazz reviews have fared even considering I'm doing nothing but listening to it.

To a certain degree, it's ironic. In my past two jazz reviews, I didn't give favorable reviews to Miles Davis or to Sabu. Sabu featured African drumming and Miles Davis quick paced horns. However, this track primarily features both of those and I enjoyed it immensely. The quick percussion in the background almost leaves a mist of continuous noise that all the parts can play over. The quick stabs of the horns provide plenty of ear candy and even the solos have enough flair to them to keep it all interesting.

It's like if two latinos talked to each other only using horns and they were really excited, yet calm about it. A really relaxed, yet upbeat vibe fills the song. One thing I really enjoyed throughout this track is the bass line, it's such a simple part that really fits as the glue to hold it all together. I really enjoyed the horn stabs as well, even if the lead got a little crazy at times.

If you were going to send a musical postcard from a Latin country back home, this would be the track you'd select to go along with a picture of you on a beach. Latin percussion fills out the song, but it's not full of notes like previous tracks - it has a much more beach vibe. The supplementary horn parts fill out the song nicely under the soloist so that the track doesn't lose it's feel. Probably my favorite track on the album, even if it's a little cliche'.

All in all, it's a good album to listen to while you're working. It doesn't hold my attention enough on it's own, but I've listened to it at work a few times since my initial listen and I really, really enjoy it. It's hard to believe that the album is 55 years old, how uplifting some of the music is makes it feel so much younger.

This album was chosen from the book '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' 13/1001

Tomorrow's Album: Gotye's Making Mirrors.

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