1001 Albums: Kenya

#13

album_13_original

Artist: Machito

Album:Kenya

Year: 1958

Length: 35:38

 

 

“buppitybupbup” (percussion)

Jazz, you’ve done it, just when I thought you would annoy me because I was met with yet another instrumental album of your kind, you turned around and made me have a new favourite album so far. Remember when I said The Wildest was my favourite? Well, it’s already happened, a new album as come in and taken it’s crown, this one.

I had no idea what to expect going into it. Based on the album cover and title I honestly thought I was going to get some sort of African type music. Yes, I realise it says Afro-Cuban Jazz right on the side of the cover, but I didn’t notice until afterwards and I honestly wasn’t paying attention, distracted by all the masks. Fucking masks. But I was more than pleasantly surprised. It’s hyper, It’s energized, it’s exciting and it’s a ton of fun. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a jazz album has finally come together to create the perfect jazz album (for my personal tastes obviously, what can I say? I like upbeat, hyper music with a good horn section… maybe that’s why I like Ska-Punk so much).

When the album started I was loving the vibe. It was as if a Horn section met an African tribe. Like if Xi, the tribe leader from the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy (DUH!!! Everyone knows that…) had a trumpet fall onto his tribe from the sky rather than a coke bottle. I’m sure if he picked it up he would play the shit out of that trumpet, showing off his pure trumpet talents. It would happen immediately, I’m sure.

As the album went on I realised that my initial thoughts were wrong… so very wrong. Is it racist of me to immediately have thought African tribe just based on the cover? probably, I mean I am a white man and we all know the white man is full of racism.

It’s not crazy of me to have immediately thought that but I quickly realised the album was less Horn section meets African tribe and more Miles Davis meets Sabu Martinez. Basically, our last two albums sort of melded into one, but coked up on… coke, just a tiny bit. A little bit. The Cuban part of Afro-Cuban jazz should have been a big hint, but like I said I was distracted by the pretty masks.

I have to say, this felt more Hollywoodish than cultural though, which I don’t feel is a bad thing, but that’s possibly also why I liked it so much, because it was an over-glamorized version of Cuban Jazz rather than a solid one. Despite the percussion, the horns do scream Hollywood film rather than jungles of Africa (or Cuba… or wherever). I regret saying that… because if it’s a Hollywood type thing… does that mean I should hate it? I usually hate extreme Hollywood style things, especially films because they forget what makes a good story and only care about figures… but then again, this was the 50s, Hollywood was very different in those days… Now I’m just conflicted….

Fuck it, I love this album and I will listen to it again if I want and heck I will even dance my pants off to it all night long. You better fucking believe it. I don’t care if it’s more formulaic and melodic than it should be, it was fun as all hell and I will soak it up and enjoy it!!! There’s nothing you can do about it!!!

STOP LOOKING AT ME!!!!!

I’m getting out of hand here but then again, Jazz seems to have that power over me… Dear lord… Jazz… what have you done to me?? God dammit I love you more than ever now, but I don’t want you breaking my heart or anything… It’s just I don’t see how it could egt any better than this… I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts Jazz.

Song of Choice: Frenzy

-Bosco

Photoshop Credit: Julian Branco

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