Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Various Artists - Handful of Rhythms: Music from our Small World (2000)


Covers! This CD is a blast to listen to and a big hit at parties. Pop tunes from the 1950's-80's covered by global artists.

Tracks:
  • Theme from Shaft - Malik, originally by Isaac Hayes: A great start to the disc. While true to the original, just enough Middle Eastern edge is added to give it an entirely new flavor.
  • Tomorrow Never Knows - Monsoon featuring Sheila Chandra, originally by The Beatles: The Fab Four go to India. Not the best cover (probably because this is a difficult tune to cover), but Chandra has a nice voice.
  • Once In A Lifetime - Wasis Diop, originally by Talking Heads: Senegalese African pop. The song is almost unrecognizable, but in a good way.
  • Here, There and Everywhere - Francisco Aquabella, originally by The Beatles: I'm guessing Aquabella is a Cuban trumpet player. A nice, jazzy treatment of a wonderful McCartney tune.
  • Walking On The Moon - Merrie Amsterberg [sic], originally by The Police: using some foreign string instrument (bouzouki, maybe?), Amsterburg relaxes the tempo and turns this reggae-flavored tune into something that Tori Amos or Aimee Mann might have written.
  • Theme from The Pink Panther - Derick Sebastian & Pure Heart, originally by Henry Mancini: this classic has an island reggae beat with the melody on a ukelele. Wonderful.
  • Fly Like An Eagle - The Neville Brothers, originally by Steve Miller Band: If you're going to cover a song, you should do something new with it and make it your own. This straight ahead cover is the weakest track on the disc.
  • Wooly Bully - Michael Doucet & Cajun Brew, originally by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs: This is a fun song anyway, but this version with accordion and Cajun fiddle always puts me in a good mood. I want to say the vocals are in French, but who knows? It's probably the Acadian Cajun French dialect which I have no chance of understanding.
  • Hey! Baby - Buckwheat Zydeco, originally by Bruce Channel: Another fun song made even better with some accordion.
  • Tequila - Bio Ritmo, originally by The Champs: Bio Ritmo is a salsa band based in Richmond, Virginia. Go figure. This Latin cover is so good, it sounds like could have been the original version. Bonus points for the sexy woman's voice whispering "Tequila."
  • On Broadway - Tito Puente, originally by The Drifters: kind of a let down after the high-energy Latin piece that plays before it, but it's not a bad jazzy Afro-Cuban instrumental. Epic flute solo!
  • The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro) - The Untouchables, originally by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: I would not have thought this song would work as a ska cover by a SoCal mod band. I would have been wrong.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I bought this and a similar CD at Cost Plus/World Market while in Houston with my friend Jim. I bought them as a joke, just to listen to the bad covers and was pleasantly surprised how good they were.

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