This a Serbian folk tune which is probably a traditional and has no one author, but through time has changed and evolved as generations of musicians have played it and sang it millions of times. “Nas Dva Brata” in the Serbian language is “Us Two Brothers” in English. Two piece vocal duo, guitar and accordion for accompaniment. I would call this a rustic, Balkan toe-tapper, and a great drinking song; and I just love the Italianesque, but very Balkan as well, guitar string work and dense, quick harmonies coming off the accordion against the vocals. Released on Chicago’s PERUN label in the late 1940s, I’m guessing.

 

Nas Dva Brata - Torbica & Velimirovic (PERUN) 78 rpm

This is from Hampton’s “New Movements in Be-Bop” album (1947) which is a real treasure of the initial be-bop storm that was happening in New York in the 40s. Featuring a young, hungry Charles Mingus on bass playing his own composition, the futuristic “Mingus Fingers”, Hamp’s orchestra is as spirited, and tight, as ever.

 

Lionel Hampton - Mingus Fingers

Such a great great jumpy blues, a hopper and a skipper for them alive ones; tappin’ away on repeat at home, too. Crudup outdoes Elvis by some 10 years. Made in Chicago.

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, voice  & guitar

Melvin Draper, drums

December, 1944

Arthur %22Big Boy%22 Crudup - Who's Been Foolin You 78rpm

 

 

This is a Greek Decca, #4056. “O riQProE” is my English alphabet translation of the Greek title. I have no clue about any of the information on this label, unfortunately.

But the tune is a wonderful Greek folk-dance number, almost like a very sophisticated waltz; with harmonized vocals, compound rhythms and perfect string interplay.

Greek Decca 4056 - %22O riqproe%22 78rpm

Not much information to be found on Pickard’s Chinese Syncopators. They were an active string band on the Vaudeville circuit in the 1920s & 30s, and seemed to be an all Filipino combo: probably easier, and catchier, at the time to say Chinese instead. This is a cool and quirky rumba called “Ali Baba”.

This is on an English-made His Master’s Voice. Enjoy with a singapore sling!

Pickard's Chinese Syncopators AliBaba

 

Florencia Morales Ramos, “Ramito”, is one of the kings of Puerto Rican Jibaro music. Born in 1915, in Caguas, PR, he was considered a really good singer by the age of thirteen; and by the late 1930s he was a renowned star. He had a long career, even playing for JFK at the White House in 1961 in a huge showcase of Puerto Rican talent.

“Una Mujer en Mi Vida” is a bolero son, and totally infectious. It is full of those famous conga rhythms, horn lines, and vocal harmonies which really make so much of Puerto Rican music so sexy and hip-swerving.  And of course, Ramito’s beautiful tenor just soars.

Recorded in New York, NY, on the rare BMC label.

Ramito - Una Mujer en Mi Vida

 

 

Mr. Charles COULD certainly play a mambo if he felt like it; and lord was he a brilliant piano player who could SWING-it when he felt like that, thank the LORD.

From 1956, when he was 26yo.

mary ann selda

 

mary ann ray charles

 

 

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