Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The Gangbé Brass Band's "Whendo" from World Village is like listening to Ladysmith Black Mambazo (when its members sing, which they do well), the Jazz Messengers (these guys can blow with Lee Morgan, et al) and a good Tito Puente, Ray Barretto or Pancho Sanchez session (in the percussion underpinnings and the often Latin feeling). In between, there's a lot of kickin' jazz, as in sections of "Remember Fela" or "Gbedji," for example. They even whip up a little kind of Latin jazz polka in "Glessi."

I ended up with this CD because my buddy Carl Abernathy caught the group, which comes from Benin in West Africa, recently in Indiana and raved about it. He rated Gangbé with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, whom we saw give a great performance at the Austin City Limits festival in September and whose disk "Funeral for a Friend" from Rope a Dope was one of my favorites last year (and still is).

Now Carl is a little like me and eating where concerts are concerned. They say my best meal ever was the last one I had. Nonetheless, when he says something rocks, he's usually right. Right again. If you like Dirty Dozen, or Mo'Fone, another horn- and percussion-oriented group I think is cool (see "Surf's Up" from Evander Music), you should dig this.

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