Various Artists – The First Recordings of Cretan Music (1940 – 60) (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgBack from Crete …. :

The music of Crete (Greek: Κρητική μουσική), also called kritika (Greek: κρητικά), refers to traditional forms of Greek folk music prevalent on the island of Crete in Greece. Cretan traditional music includes instrumental music (generally also involving singing), a capella songs known as the rizitika, “Erotokritos,” Cretan urban songs (tabachaniotika), as well as other miscellaneous songs and folk genres (lullabies, ritual laments, etc.).

Historically, there have been significant variations in the music across the island (more violin than lyra in far Eastern and Western Crete, a preference for the syrtos in Western Crete and kondylies in Eastern Crete). Some of this variation continues today and in the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries has received greater attention by scholars and the mass media. Nonetheless, over the course of the twentieth-century, the sense of a single, island-wide Cretan musical tradition emerged.


Although much Cretan music remains consciously close to its folk roots and an integral part of the fabric of many Cretans’ everyday lives, it is also a vibrant and evolving modern, popular tradition that involves many professional and semi-professional musicians, numerous regional record companies and professional distributors, professional luthiers (especially of Cretan lyras and Cretan lutes), and Cretan kentra (clubs for dancing to live Cretan music). (by wikipedia)

And here are some early recordings of this unique sound of Cretan music.

The violin is the prevailling instrument that has been popular in Eastern und Western Crete for years !


Pantelis Baritantonakis (violin)
Y. Dermitzogiannis (lyre, violin, guitar)
Giorgis Lapokostantakis (violin)
Yannis Papahatzakis (violin, vocals)


01. Kondilies me ti lyra 4.01
02. Ierapetritikos 3.34
03. Varis Haniotikos 3.58
04. Pono krifo i agapi sou 3.04
05. Kondilies me kithara 3.13
06. Haniotika sirta 4.20
07. Pseftiko louloudaki 4.17
08. Ta’mathes Aretousa mou 5.31
09. Makria mou ki an evriskese 2.51
10. Kastrinos horos 4.16
11. Lasithiotika pentozalia 4.01
12. Ithela namoun kladeftis 3.34
13. Rethemniotika sirta 3.41
14. Kondilies Kalogeridi 4.34
15. Irakliotikes kondilies 4.52
16. Pentozalis argos 2.30
17. Tragoudi tou gamou 4.53
18. Lasithiotikes melodies 2.25



CretanLyrasCretan lyras

Mark Nauseef – Wun-Wun (1984)

FrontCover1.jpgMark Nauseef (born June 11, 1953), in Cortland, New York, is a drummer and percussionist who has enjoyed a varied career, ranging from rock music during the 1970s with his time as a member of the Ian Gillan Band and, temporarily, Thin Lizzy, to a wide range of musical styles in more recent times, playing with many notable musicians from all over the world.

Nauseef briefly toured the United Kingdom in 1972 as tour member of The Velvet Underground before joining Elf, fronted by Ronnie James Dio, in early 1975, but the group disbanded shortly afterwards. Accompanied by Elf keyboardist Mickey Lee Soule, Nauseef joined ex-Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan in his new jazz fusion group, simply named the Ian Gillan Band. After three albums, Gillan broke the group up in 1978. Nauseef stood in for Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey for two international tours, then joined Gary Moore’s short-lived band G-Force.

During the 1980s, Nauseef moved away from rock music towards a wide range of styles, including Javanese and Balinese gamelan, as well as music of Indian and Ghanaian origin. He has released several solo albums and worked with many other musicians in an array of different projects.


Nauseef has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Joachim Kühn, Gary Moore, Jack Bruce, Bill Laswell, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Trilok Gurtu, Steve Swallow, L. Shankar, Hamza El Din, The Velvet Underground, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Ronnie James Dio, Markus Stockhausen, Kyai Kunbul (Javanese Gamelan), Andy Summers, Tony Oxley, Tomasz Stanko, Kenny Wheeler, Edward Vesala’s “Sound and Fury”, Thelma Houston, David Torn, The Ladzekpo Brothers (Ghanaian music and dance), Charlie Mariano, The Gamelan Orchestra of Saba (Balinese Gamelan), Kudsi Erguner, Philip Lynott, George Lewis, Evan Parker and Lou Harrison. Throughout most of these projects Nauseef has collaborated with Walter Quintus.


Nauseef attended the California Institute of the Arts where he studied Javanese Gamelan with K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, Balinese Gamelan with I Nyoman Wenten, North Indian Pakhawaj drumming with Pandit Taranath Rao, North Indian music theory with Pandit Amiya Dasgupta, Ghanaian drumming and dance with Kobla and Alfred Ladzekpo, Dzidzorgbe Lawluvi and C.K. Ganyo, and 20th Century Western percussion techniques and hand drumming with John Bergamo. He also studied frame drum techniques of the Middle East, India and the Caucasus with Glen Velez. It was also at CalArts that Nauseef began a very creative and productive relationship, which continues to this day, with musical “alter ego”, guitarist Miroslav Tadic. Together, they have composed, recorded and produced a wide range of music in situations from duo to large ensembles with musicians from around the world.


Nauseef has also worked as a producer. In addition to his own recordings, he has produced many records of various types of music including modern experimental forms as well as traditional forms. Traditional music productions include numerous recordings of traditional Balinese and Javanese music such as the acclaimed and award-winning “The Music of K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat” which was recorded in Java and features Wasitodiningrat’s compositions. Other examples include the Balinese ensemble recordings “Gamelan Batel Wayang Ramayana” and “Gender Wayang Pemarwan” which were recorded in Bali. These recordings and many others of Indonesian music were produced for the CMP 3000 “World Series” with the production team of Kurt Renker And Walter Quintus. The “Worlds Series”, which Nauseef was instrumental in establishing, was founded by CMP owner and producer Kurt Renker and produces recordings from a variety of non-western countries including India, Turkey, Korea, Indonesia and others. (by wikipedia)


This is Mark Nauseef’s 3rd LP, adding also the vocal and bass artistry of Jack Bruce, ex Cream. With every release Nauseef becomes more eccentric, be prepared for a real musical adventure.

“…mysteriously moving, thoroughly personal, boundary mocking sounds.” (Dwon Beat, August 1985)

And I add a very interesting interview with Mark Nauseef (taken from the April 1998 issue of Rhythm Music by Larry Birnbaum)


Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Trilok Gurtu (vocals)
Mark Nauseef (drums, percussion, keyboards, vaco-horn, vocals)
Walter Quintus (onaiprah, violin)


01. Colotomix (Nauseef) 8.53
02. Language (It´s Medicinal) (Nauseef) 9.41
03. Quilts (A Patchwork Dance) (Nauseef) 10.11
04. Jones (Nauseef) 6.07
05. Colotomix II(Nauseef/Bruce) 2.10



Paul Winter – Icarus (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgThis 1972 classic captures saxophonist Paul Winter and his ensemble at the height of their improvisational powers. Winter was one of the first artists to incorporate such exotic instruments as the sitar and tabla into his music and the result was memorable chamber jazz-folk played in the wonderfully experimental, post-hippie way only Winter and his merry band could. The title track, one of guitarist Ralph Towner’s compositions, became famous for its pensive melody and soaring soprano sax. “Whole Earth Chant” is a piece that foreshadows New Age artists like Loreena McKennitt with its echoing tribal drums interwoven with ominous distorted guitar. And “Minuit” downright borders on what today some would call world music–it features a choir of voices singing a simple, sauntering melody taken from a Guinean folk song. Classic early ’70s Winter. (Karen Karleski)

This superb album was not widely known in the seventies in my part of the world, yet these brilliant musicians captivated me with this wonderful music played almost entirely with acoustic instruments, & I have never tired of this album. To this day I do not know anything of their backgrounds, or their previous & later works. My appreciation of this record has remained pure & simple. This work is dated 1972, a year of shining musical inspirations.


When we think of acoustic, we tend to picture acoustic guitars, but just look at the line-up of instruments. Soprano saxophone,cello,oboe,English horn,contrabass Sarrusophone,classical guitar,12-string guitar,Regal,bush organ,Fender bass,conga,tabla,mridangam,surdos,traps,kettledrums,bass marimba,sitar,resonator guitar,& Ghanaian percussion.

The first track titled “Icarus” immediately carries the listener aloft on the air currents & has him/her sailing amongst clouds. One doesn’t really come down again until the final track of this album. Next a track with a peculiar title “Ode to a Fillmore Dressing Room” has the unusual combination of sitar,classical guitar,& jazz bass playing in harmony, with tabla drums also,a remarkable performance. Then a simple but deep song with piano accompaniment,”The Silence of a Candle” reflects one man’s journey within himself, followed by more soaring sensation from tracks with titles such as “Sunwheel”,”Whole Earth Chant”,& “All the Mornings Bring”. I find the use of soprano sax,oboe,& cello as lead instruments rather refreshing in a music market dominated by electric rock.

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The album ends with a truly beautiful West African folk song “Minuit”, which just might remain in your head,& in your heart, for evermore. For me this music always seems like a celebration of the Earth, of Nature, & of Humanity. What more can one say? If you seek just one album of acoustic instrumental music for your collection,”Icarus” may very well fulfill that need wonderfully. (Stephen Keen)


Herb Bushler (bass)
David Darling (cello, vocals)
Paul McCandless (oboe, english horn, bass, sarrusophone, vocals)
Ralph Towner (guitar, piano, regal, bush organ, vocals)
Collin Walcott (conga, tabla, mridangam, surdos, traps, kettledrums, bass marimba, sitar)
Paul Winter (saxophone, vocals)
Barry Altschul (percussion on 08.)
Larry Atamanuik (traps on 01.)
Billy Cobham (traps on 04. + 06.)
Milt Holland (Ghanaian percussion on 06.)
Andrew Tracey – resonator guitar, voice (‘Minuit’)
vocals on 09:
Janet Johnson – Paul Stookey – Bob Milstein


01. Icarus (Towner) 3.04
02. Ode To A Fillmore Dressing Room (Darling) 5.35
03. The Silence Of A Candle (Towner) 3.28
04. Sunwheel (Towner) 4.43
05. Juniper Bear (Walcott/Towner) 3.05
06. Whole Earth Chant (Winter) 7.43
07. All The Mornings Bring (McCandless) 3.53
08. Chehalis And Other Voices (Towner) 5.29
09. Minuit (Winter/Fodeba) 3.10



Sultan Khan – Maestro’s Choice (2006)

FrontCover1.jpgSultan Khan is one of the greatest musicians of the rare instrument called sarangi. It is believed that the word sarangi was derived form the word Sau Rangi, which means a hundred colors and sultan Khan is a great exponent to express those colors on the instrument.

Sultan Khan was born on April 15, 1940 at Sikar in Rajasthan. His great grandfather Hussain Baksh and grandfathers, Azim Khan were court musicians in the princely state of Jodhpur. Gulab Khan his father was also an accomplished vocalist and sarangi artiste. Sultan Khan was trained in the Indore gharana style of khayal singing which was popularized by the legendary Amir Khan. He went through a strict regimen at home.

Sultan Khan is being acknowledged by music connoisseurs for unique depth and his magnificent technical and melodic control over the string instrument. He adopted in his style a special nuance of Amir Khan’s gayaki, which reflects always in his renditions. He is torchbearer of a famous lineage of sarangi players. His systematic badhat, exquisite Khan02.jpggamakas and intricate taan-s make his performances unique and soulful.

He is a master in light and light classical genres of Indian music. Besides his solo performances Sultan Khan is widely known for his talent of accompanying other famous artistes like Zakir Hussain, Ravi Shankar, Lata Mageshkar and Many others.

He is a proud recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy Award the gold Medalist Award of Maharshtra and the American Academy of Artistes Award in 1998. In 1997 he had the honor and privilege of playing for Prince Charles 50th birthday celebration. Sultan Khan has come to be recognized on an international scale performing along with Ravi Shankar on Former Beatle, George Harrison’s 1974 Dark Horse world tour.

In this album Sultan Khan brings out the structured gravity of the raga Ahir Bhairav the winsome appeal of the thumri played here in four different angs or styles and exquisite lyricism of the evening raga Patdeep. (

Enter this land full of magic music !


Madan Bongale (tanpura)
Chintamani Gore (tanpura)
Sultan Khan (sarangi)
Fazal Qureshi (tabla)


01. Raga Ahir Bhairav 31.08
02. Raga Patdeep 20.28
03. Thumri 10.28




Ryco-Jazz – Fantastique Ryco-Jazz (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgRyco-Jazz was founded by Henri Bowane in 1958. The name was composed from Rythme Congolais, Ry-Co in short. From 1960 to 1964 they toured west Africa and later moved to Martinique where they were very popular.

Their styles varied from tumbele, biguine, bolero and rumba. Back in Paris in 1971 the group splits up and
spreads. Jean Serge Essous for instance went back to join Les Bantous de la Capitale..enjoy.. (

Ry-Co Jazz became pan-African heroes during the 1960s when they introduced their vital Congo/Latin rhythms to West Africa. The band was founded in Congo in 1958/59 and managed by Henri Bowane, the hit parade guitarist who first brought Franco into the recording studio. Original members Freddy N’kounkou [vocal], M’Bilia Casino [congas and vocal], and Panda Gracia [double bass], were soon joined by ace guitarist Jerry Malekani who stayed with the group until they ended their epic adventure in 1972. From 1967, with sax master Jean Serge Essous on board, they spent four years in the French Antilles, leaving their influence on the pioneers of ‘zouk’ music. (unknown source)

And here´s another piece of World Music … directly from West Africa into our hearts …


Lucien Chico (keyboards)
Philippe Combo (bass)
Justin Jerry (guitar, vocals)
Jacky Michelin (alias Mawa) (drums, percussion)
Espiritu Jean Serge (saxophone, flute, vocals)


01. Mimi (Tumbele) (Kabasele) 4.22
02. Bana Biafra (Boogaloo) (Freddy) 4.56
03. Nabenga Yo Nani (Boléro) (Kouka/Essous/Malapet) 4.34
04. An Drole Di Chance (Biguine) (Essous) 3.31
05. Blue Sugar (Calypso) (Freddy) 4.34
06. Basi Na Angola (Tumbele) (D’Oliveira) 4.08
07. Désarmement (Cadence Rampa) (Essous) 5.18
08. N’Doto Kitoko (Boléro) (Essous) 4.05
09. M’Puli Mua Munie (Biguine) (Le Pape) 5.20
10. Ivecia (Tumbele) (Freddy) 4.44





Various Artists – Viva Mexico (1974)

FrontCover1.JPGThe music of Mexico is very diverse and features a wide range of musical genres and performance styles. It has been influenced by a variety of cultures, most notably the culture of the indigenous people of Mexico and Europe. Music was an expression of Mexican nationalism, beginning in the nineteenth century.

Many traditional Mexican songs are well-known everywhere, including María Grever’s first international hit “Júrame” (“Swear to me”), and her song “Te quiero dijiste” (English version “Magic Is the Moonlight”), written for the 1944 Esther Williams film. “La Noche de los Mayas,” Huapango de Moncayo, “Sinfonía India (Second Symphony),” “Sobre las Olas,” “La Sandunga,” “Cielito Lindo” (“Beautiful Sweetheart”), “Bésame Mucho” (“Kiss Me a Lot”), “Perfidia”, “Solamente una vez” (English version “You Belong to My Heart”), “Esta Tarde Vi Llover” (English version “Yesterday I Heard the Rain”), “Somos Novios” (English version “We Are Dating”), “¡Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes!”, and “Jesusita en Chihuahua,”


Other famous songs include “México Lindo y Querido” (“Beautiful, Beloved Mexico”), “Jarabe Tapatío’ (known internationally as “The Mexican Hat Dance”), “El Rey” (“The King”), “El Triste” (“The sad one”), “Pelea de gallos”, “Enamorada” (“Enamoured”), “Échame a mi la culpa” (“Blame me”), “La ley del monte” (“The law of the land”), “La Bikina” (“The Bikina”), “Por Debajo de la Mesa,” “La Media Vuelta,” “La Bamba,” (“The Bamba”), “Lilongo,” and “Jarabe Pateño”. “La Cucaracha” (“The Cockroach”), although popularized during the Mexican Revolution, is a Mexican corrido. (by wikipedia)

Irma Serrano

And here´s a beautful sampler with traditional music from Mexico … and if you like for example Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, then you should listen … it´s music that can make you happy … and sometimes very sentimental (“Las Golondrinas”) it´s music directly from the heart of the people of Mexico.



Mariachi Jalisco De Pepe Villa:
01. Guadalajara (Guizar) 3.04
02. Las Alteñitas (Espinosa) 2.42
03. Camino Real De Colima (Vargas/Fuentes) 1.56
04. Las Perlitas (Cardenas Jr.) 2.41
05. Jarabe Tapatio (Particheia) 2.30
06. Las Mañanitas (Traditional) 3.04
07. La Negra (Vargas/Fuentes) 2.49
08. Atotonilco (Espinosa) 2.58
09. La Madrugada (Vargas/Fuentes) 2.37
10. Las Copetonas (Traditional) 2.41
11. Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Palomma) (Mendez) 2.54
12. Las Golondrinas (Serredell) 3,02

Mariachi Los Mensajeros:
13. El Guaje (Sones Jaliscienses) (Jaliscmnses) 2.18

Irma Serrano:
14. Flor Del Rio (Cordero) 2.46

Jorge Valente:
15. El Vicio (Ruiz/Zorella) 2.59

Mariachi Jalisco De Pepe Villa:
16. Guadalajara (Trditional) 2.08

Trio Los Panchos:
17, La Corriente (Navarro) 2.58

Eva Garza:
18, Padre Nuestro (Delfino) 2.31

Fernando Soto:
19, Rayando El Sol (Cancion Mexicana) (Traditional) 2.18

Mariachi Los Mensajeros:
20. Chapala (Son) (Guizar) 2.19

Irma Serrano con Los Alegres De Teran:
21. La Martina (Castro) 3.02

Cuco Sanchez Y Antonio Bribiesca:
22. Maria Elena (Barcelata) 3,96

Linda Vera:
23, Guindame La Hamaca (del Rivero) 2.22

Irma Serrano & Lloren Organillos:
24. La Abandonada (Castro) 3.16

Mariachi Jalisco De Pepe Villa:
25. El Mariachi (Guizar) 2.50

Jorge Valente:
26. Calladamente (Maldonado) 2.25

Irma Serrano:
27. Carinito De Mi Vida (Valdes/Ortega) 1.46

Coral Mexicano:
28. Cielito Lindo (Fernandez) 2.22




I got this rare item from Hermann, a reader of this blog … Thank you very much !!!

Ray Lema – Medecine (1985)

FrontCover1.jpgRaymond Lema A’nsi Nzinga (born 30 March 1946), known as Ray Lema, is a Congolese (DRC) musician. A pianist, guitarist, and songwriter, he settled in France in 1982.rn in Lufu-Toto, Bas-Congo Province. As a child he wanted to be a priest and in 1957 at the age of 11 entered a seminary of the White Fathers (a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life), where his talent for music was recognized. He began learning the organ and piano, within a European classical canon that included Gregorian chants, Mozart and Chopin; his concert debut was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. He left the seminary in 1962 and subsequently attended the University of Kinshasa, where he studied chemistry. He became interested in popular music from outside Africa and after learning to play guitar he began his involvement with the Kinshasa music scene. He became a performer in clubs and was a fan of musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

In the early 1970s Lema went round the country recording as an ethnomusicologist. In 1974 he became music director for two years of the National Ballet of Zaire. Over the years he has played with the bands of Tabu Ley Rochereau, Joseph Kabasele and Franco, and in 1978 his own band, Ya Tupas, won the French Maracas d’Or award.

Ray Lema01

In 1979 he was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to the United States, where he recorded his first album, Koteja (1982). He then moved to Europe, settling in 1982 in France. His album Kinshasa-Washington DC-Paris was released in 1983. His album Medecine was recorded in London with Martin Meissonnier. His first recordings in the early 1980s were for Celluloid Records, and by 1989 he had international success signing with the Island Records subsidiary, Mango.

Lema has become a major figure in world music, performing at numerous music festivals, and has also worked as a film composer. He has also been involved with various international collaborations. He appears as a vocalist (and composer on three tracks) on Stewart Copeland’s 1985 album, The Rhythmatist. Guests on Lema’s 1989 album Nangadeef include Courtney Pine and the Mahotella Queens. In 1992 he spent time in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, writing the opera Un Touareg s’est marié avec une pygmée with Cameroonian Werewere Liking, and also that year worked with German pianist Joachim Kuhn to record Euro African Suites. In 1997, he recorded the album Bulgarian Voices with the choir of the Pirin Folk Ensemble, and composed The Dream of the Gazelle for a Swedish chamber orchestra. In 2000 he worked with Moroccan band Tyour Gnaoua and brought out the CD Saf.

Ray Lema02

In 2002, Lema appeared on a track titled “No Agreement” on the Red Hot Organization’s tribute album to Fela Kuti, Red Hot and Riot alongside Res, Tony Allen, Baaba Maal, Positive Black Soul and Archie Shepp.

He was awarded the “Django d’Or” in October 2003 (by wikipedia)

And here´s his second solo-album:

Born in Zaire (now D.R.Congo) in 1946, Ray Lema proved at a young age to be a gifted pianist and guitarist. He worked as an ethnomusicologist, and in the mid-70s was commissioned by the Zairean government to assemble a National Ballet for Zaire. In 1979 Ray received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to travel and perform in USA. There he recorded his first album, Koteja. Two years later he moved to Europe, staying in Belgium and France. In France he formed the band Carma and started a record label, Celluloid with his album Kinshasa-Washington DC-Paris in 1983. Medecine followed in 1985. Since then, he has travelled the world, working with musicians from Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Morocco and Europe. In 1989, the Mahotella Queens featured on the track ‘Kamulang’ on the Nangadeef album.

Ray Lema03

Medecine draws on traditional central African music and translates it into reggae-tinged electronic funk for your Nintendo. He strikes the perfect balance between traditional and electronic, African and western. Every song is a gem, none more so that the 7-minute ‘Bored Whore’. Lema handles vocals, guitar, percussion and keyboards on the album, while the electronics were programmed by Martyn Philips and Martin Meissonnier. Legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen lays down the groove on ‘Marabout’ and ‘Peuple Eyo’.

Progressive South African label Shifty re-released the album in 1990. (

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Athey Dialopa (saxophone)
Ray Lema (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion)
Martin Meissonnier (electronics, synthesizer)
amba N’Go (guitar)
Martyn Phillips (electronics, synthesizer)
Tony Allen (drums on 01. + 04.)
M’Bamina (vocals on 02. + 06.)
Boffi Banengola (drums on 01. + 07.)
Fanfan (guitar on 01.)
Pape Thiam (percussion on 03.)


01. Marabout (Iyolela) 6.55
02. Ninga 6.43
03. Nzola 4.37
04. Peuple Eyo 5.54
05. Lusala 3.01
06. Bored Whore 7.09
07. Dansometer Reprise 3.17

All songs written by Ray Lema