Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Barbaros del Ritmo - Palo de Mayo (1971)
Palo de Mayo is Nicaragua's contribution to this musical diversity, and this was the first recorded Palo de Mayo album. Sung in English and mískito, the dominant indigenous language on Nicaragua's coast, this folkloric style is like mento on steroids. Most of the songs are Caribbean standards, but you will be surprised at the rendering. This is straight out party music, developed to celebrate May 1, harkening back to English celebrations from centuries ago.
Barbaros del Ritmo were the primary band of Bluefields, Nicaragua's small port, during the 60s and early 70s. This record was produced by Charlie Robb, the country's leading musician of the day, and his cosmopolitan experience added significantly to the horn arrangements. His trombone and sax contributions are essential. Despite its origin in one of the smallest of places, this music smokes. Try to be still, while listening to it. I predict you will be moving.