Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Al Caiola - Percussion Espanol

I've had this one waiting in the wings for quite a few weeks now. I digitized the record a while ago, but I hadn't taken photos of the jacket, so I couldn't post the record. Yes, I am that concerned with making sure the posts are top quality. So when I had my recent free weekend I finally photographed the jacket and put this in the cue of things to post.

I'm not exactly where this record fits into the time line of "percussion" records that seemed to be so popular back in the day. Anyone who looks through the thrift store record bins knows that there are a boat load of records with names like Persuassive Percussion or Percussion Festival or some other variation on that idea. It seems like every label and band had to release some record on this theme. So I don't know that this record is special in any sort of ground breaking way, but it is quite good.

If you are a fan of the big band Latin music from the 50's and 60's you'll like this record. It also features some great stereo effects. The album takes full advantage of the new technology and makes sure you know that you have a right and left speaker. No center mixing here. This is something that has kind of been forgotten in recording today. Maybe it is for the better, maybe not, but I certainly enjoy it here. I enjoy the fun the engineers seem to be having playing and experimenting.

The music has one foot in the Latin tradition and one foot in the big polished lush I dare say "Hollywood" production style. The music is big and bold. It's not background music for a Spanish restaurant. It's more like music in a film set in Spain or sound of the border starring Elvis. I don't know if that makes sense, but maybe after listening to it it will.

Start to finish the album is strong. It is a great one to throw on in the evening when you're cooking or settling down for the evening. You don't have to really hit skip on any track. That isn't to say some tracks are better than others, but on a whole the album holds together as one piece.

If you listen to any track I recommend the first one "Macarenas". It's got a great guitar and what I think is dancing intro. It then kicks in with this really boisterous and bold music, that I think reminds me of something Tarantino would use if he had the chance. The song has that sort of Leone/Morricone epic quality to it that I love. This really shouldn't come as a surprise. One of Al Caiola's first hits was his recording of the theme to "The Magnificent Seven" which fits in perfectly with the sort of macho men movies Tarantino Leone and Morricone are identified with. So if you are down with any of those three entertainers I think you'll be down with "Macarenas" as well.


01 Macarenas.m4a
02 Noche De Ronda.m4a
03 Malaguena.m4a
04 Grenada.m4a
05 Cielito Lindo.m4a
06 Tico Tico.m4a
07 Espana Cani.m4a
08 La Spagnola.m4a
09 El Relicario.m4a
10 La Paloma.m4a
11 Andalucia.m4a
12 Lady Of Spain.m4a

The whole thing here.


Wayne Barker said...

Actually, Elmer Bernstein wrote the music for “The Magnificent Seven”.
Thank you for all your fantastic posts!


Spencer said...

Yes, you are correct. My mistake. Caiola had a pop hit with Magnific Seven and Elmer Bernstein did indeed write the score. I should have known that since I do have that original theme on my ipod. I'm not sure how I made that mistake. Thanks for the correction.