Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 64 - 12/30/01

Various Artists
The Latin American journey
Norsk Folkehjelp/Universal

The Latin American journey is the third album from Norwegian People's Aid. The two previous albums have been dedicated to African music, and this time the album is dedicated to the influence African music has on Latin American music.

The album is a collection of music from various artist and groups in many parts of Latin America, like Omara Portoundo from Cuba, Lenine from Brazil, Susana Baca from Peru and Mercedes Sosa from Argentina. It has become an album with a great many tunes from the region, and if you like the atmosphere of Latin American compositions; this is a record for you. In addition to buying a record with mainly good music, you will also support a good case; the profit of the sale goes to Norwegian People's Aid.

I tested this record on my little son who's 19 months old. I hereby recommend this album to all parents with children that like to boogie on the living room floor. The album is a charming mix of ballads and tunes that makes you eager to dance.

If you ever travelled in Latin America by bus, the rhythmic tunes of this record will put you right back on that hard bus seat packed together with other passenger, five chickens and a pig on the roof. This is the kind of music you hear in Latin American bars, on the street and on the radio. On this record the rhythmic melodies are especially track number 3 with Mi Son from Havana, number 5 with Silvia Torres from Bahia, number 8 with Jorge Ben from Rio, and track 14 with Toto La Momposina from Columbia.

The ballads are more in style with Buena Vista Social Club (Omara Portuondo in fact sings one of them, track number 7), Astrud Gilberto and Cesaria Evora. I especially like "Maria Lando" with Susana Baca. It is a lovely ballad that makes your hips roll gently if you get up on your feet.

You will hear Africa calling in some of the tunes, especially in "Aniha Sandi" by Andy Palacio and "Canto de Nana" by Dorival Caymni. These two melodies mark the ending of this record and you will easily understand the connection between the Latin American salsa, bossa and tango and African music.

Norwegian People's Aid with project group Torunn Aaslund and Svein Olsen, have put together a record that makes you feel the beauty and the joy along with a touch of wistfulness that for me characterize Latin America. This album sets you in a good mood!

Copyright © 2001 Kathrine Qvenild - with a little help from Vetle (19 months old) e-mail address - with a little help from Vetle (19 months old)

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