Friday, January 18, 2008

Putumayo Presents: Latin Reggae

There is a oneness in the world that is held together by musicians and poets. Last night a blustery winter entered south texas and has blended with my heating system in such a way as to make it ineffective on the material plane. No problem, I’ve been listening to my collections of 60’s bluesoul all day to keep warm. Then it came time for the eartaste party to start, and the spirit of knowledge of my needs made itself known. Oneness. The first envelope opened today was sort of cheating. Putumayo has a distinctive envelope, so I knew a party was enclosed.

I wasn’t wrong. This entire album moves my body and my soul. The very cool thing is it’s dance, but not sweat-inducing dance. With the cold air enveloping every square centimeter of my surroundings, the last thing I want to do is sweat. But move to a beat and feel the warmth of the spirit moving within and without, perfect. Absolutely. The editors have chosen some fabulous musicians, none of which I recognize as household names in the United States.

Muchachito Bomba Infierno opens with enough ska on Conversaciones Incompatibles to let me know this album means business. Macaco takes over with Mulata Descolorada and offers up some excellent jazz. Next up is Charito Va by Radio Malanga, willing me up from under a blanket covering my body to allow the messenger to warm my understanding of true warmth, along with extended jazz-tinged reggae spirits. And on it goes. The bands are from Barcelona, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and more, with musicians from Nigeria, Netherlands, Chile, Montreal, in short, true to Putumayo tradition, this is a taste of the world through the ears of reggae. Sweet.

Latin Reggae