Latino Moods

And so, as I stare out at the blustery, rain-sodden English landscape from the comfort of my own lounge, what better way to lighten the overcast mood than another selection of Latin albums from a bygone age. Today I’m specifically on a ‘Piano with Latin-American Rhythm Accompaniment’ tip. Absolutely no strings attached…

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Stanley Black‘s “Tropical Moonlight” album is possibly the gentlest latin album ever. In places the percussion is mixed so quietly, it’s like the whisper of tropical insects clicking away somewhere in the distance, with Stanley’s wandering, extemporised ivory-tinkling coming across like an Anglicised Martin Denny. Even though there are no attempts at replicating bird-calls, Stanley did devise some interesting musical effects, “which he mysteriously describes as something like tunable cowbells“. Judging from the sleeve notes, Stanley was quite a big player in his day. He even has a Wiki page.

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Next up is Bill McGuffie‘s “Mood Latino”, released in 1966, which follows a similar path, but with just a hint more cocktail-lounge flourish, and slightly more instrumental colour with occasional guitars and female background harmonies so distant in the mix they sound positively ghostly.

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Lastly, ‘introducing the electrifying latin-american piano of George Dourado’ aka Los Dourados, from 1970. George was actually born in Malaysia (he originally came to England to study law) but seems to have carved out a nice little career as a Latin pianist – “the West End nightclub and restaurant scene has been his domain” – backed by a strong multinational band of percussionist who really shine, especially on the final track “Jungle Fantasy” which is something of a rhythmical tour-de-force.  Not sure about the photo on the sleeve though…something about the look in that Mexican fella’s eye makes me fear for the lady’s safety.

Incidentally, these are the first of a big batch of latin/exotic albums I found recently in the Fishponds branch of Cancer Research UK. More to follow…

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Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 10:58 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] Biddu – Chic Chica Chic Chica Chic David Essex – Street Fight Mikis Theodorakis – Penia Los Dourados – Jungle Fantasy Sarr Band – Double Action Russ Henderson & His Carribean Boys – West Indian Drums Deco […]


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