Kings & Queens 2.0

The particular sounds evident in this short selection of songs, represent a mostly undefined plot of soul power, freedom & amor, made across different generations, places & spaces.

Written & Compiled by Eric Banta

Part of the process of the dig is joining together a wavy little thread and connection of sounds and revolving history that spans somewhere between the last 70+ years of the recorded music industry. A ritual has begun. Where as “wandering musicians have kept alive a tradition of singing to the accompaniment of percussive instruments” (Verve V6-5037), so has the recorded medium developed into a tool of passing sound from one generation to the next, from one culture to the next…and in many cases, one continent to the next. Through these changing hands, the ritual is extended.

Records of different eras and countries offer a musical map in the details. Small clues, the city, the culture, the recording, the musicality, or even in the business, provide a series of connections that interact between each other. Sometimes the connection is direct; occurring between the very hands of the people who trade recordings. The result is that often music from 40 years ago can feel inspiring and important today. Often music recorded today can feel directly inherited & inspired by what came 40 years ago.

The particular sounds evident in this short selection of songs, represent a mostly undefined plot of soul power, freedom & amor, made across different generations, places & spaces. Records of the world that have appeared and eventually been inherited through travel, culture, & collaboration.

Download the audio playlist

  1. Mike Hernandez y su Orquesta (canta: Menique) – Amor Ciego

    This 1960’s number from the brilliant Fonseca label out of New York is just the perfect soul-ballad-bolero crusher en Español. Finished with just a touch of boogaloo.

  2. Bobby Orozo – This Love

    Another soul crusher, yet this one was recorded in Finland circa 2016 by the Timmion Records lab.

  3. Wilbert Harrison – Listen, My Darling

    Stuck on soul ballads, but back to 1959 for this rhythm & blues number from Wilbert Harrison on an independent label out of Harlem.

  4. Zap Pow – Mystic Mood

    One of my favorite Jamaican souldies, probably recorded in the early 1970’s.

  5. Anthony Ellis – I’m The Ruler

    Just a top-top-top Jamaican Rock Steady soul classic. Super Power!

  6. The Wailers – Freedom Time

    We in Jamaica, so we gotta check in with the heart & soul. The Wailers recorded this one in 1967.

  7. Rual Lopez y Orquesta de Ricaurte Arias – Juanita Bonita

    Moving from Jamaica to Colombia briefly. But staying in the 1960s, bolero son.

  8. La Sonora Matancera – En El Bajio

    Afro-Cuban guajira record with Celia Cruz. Clasico.

  9. Patato & Totico – Aqua Que La Caer

    Excerpt from album liner notes:
    “The music spills out onto the streets into the languis tropical night. It comes from a dozen places all at once – from terraces, through open windows. Parties are in progress. Any excuse will do. The street singers have been called.”

    Afro-Cuban rhythm con tres. Produced by record man Teddy Reig who not only recorded the likes of Tito Puente, Ray Barreto & Eddie Palmieri, but also Sonny Stitt, Sarah Vaughn & Stan Getz to name a few.

  10. Los Papines – Congas De Mi Cuba

    More Cuban roots…moving later into the 1970s.

  11. Hermanos Los Inkises – Mi Changani

    Further explorations into Afro-Cuban roots on the mysterious Candela Records, recorded in 1980, carrying the tradition on a full decade and a half after Patato & Totico.

  12. Bulla en el Barrio – Pa’ San Juan de Uraba

    A recording we made for our label, Names You Can Trust, in collaboration with the talented Carolina Oliveros and the Bulla en el Barrio ensemble. A new generation of traditional Afro-Colombian dance music recorded in Brooklyn, 2016.

  13. The Goombays – Panama

    A 1970s independent recording privately pressed somewhere between Panama & San Francisco. Afro-caribbean soul.

  14. Johnny Lytle Trio – The Village Caller

    Supreme Soul-Jazz from vibes player Johnny Lytle, recorded in 1964.

  15. Lawrence Thomas – Why Do Young Kinds Stray

    Soul “O” Sonic records out of Detroit, soul con funk.

  16. The Persuaders – Love Gonna Pack Up (And Walk Out)

    Early 1970’s super soul ballad from NY. Timeless message in the music.

  17. Earl Coleman & The Latin Love-In – What You Gonna Do Now

    1967, Spanish Harlem, with jazz piano player Earl Coleman. I’ve never heard a record quite like this. It’s hippy jazz, it’s guagunaco, it’s soul, it’s boogaloo. An amazing time capsule of late ’60s New York City.

  18. The Links – Pyramid

    This 1958 recording is just one of those bizarre, far-out, eastern, exotic and psychedelic muses that in retrospect seems ahead of its time.

  19. Cal Tjader – The Fakir

    1963, Cal Tjader goes ‘East’ – incorporating Latin-Jazz with influence from Northern Africa & The Middle East.

  20. Pharaoh Sanders – Greeting to Saud

    One step further into the pyramid. A masterclass desert walk with Pharaoh Sanders, recorded en vivo, Los Angeles, 1973.