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VA - Putumayo Presents: Music from the Chocolate Lands (2004)

Jazz, Folk | Author: artmuss | 15-02-2017, 10:43
VA - Putumayo Presents: Music from the Chocolate Lands (2004)Artist: Various Artists
Title Of Album: Putumayo Presents: Music from the Chocolate Lands
Year Of Release: 2004
Label (Catalog#): Putumayo World Music [PUT 230-2]
Country: International
Genre: Worldbeat, Bossa Nova, Latin Jazz, Easy Listening
Quality: FLAC (tracks +.cue,log)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 48:02
Full Size: 315 mb

Music from the Chocolate Lands offers a rich selection of songs from the world’s chocolate producing countries. Chocolate has been enjoyed for thousands of years. Used for medicinal and religious purposes, as well as for pleasure, traces of this "food of the gods" have been found in early Mayan pots dating back to 600 B.C.E. Europeans added sugar to the exotic concoction, and the chocolate craze gradually spread throughout the world. Now the cacao plant, which provides the raw cocoa beans for chocolate, is farmed in tropical locations around the globe, often far away from its Central and South American origins.

Music from the Chocolate Lands features a selection of songs as distinctive as chocolate’s history. This release includes music from the tropical countries that grow cocoa beans as well as collaborations with musicians from the European regions where chocolate-makers produce some of the world’s most appetizing chocolate products. Africa, the world’s leading producer of cocoa beans, is represented by Dobet Gnahor? from the Ivory Coast and Toto Bona Lokua, a trio featuring artists from Congo, Cameroon and the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Also from the Caribbean are Haiti’s Beethova Obas, with "Rasanbl?," and the masterful Cuban trumpet player Chocolate Armenteros, whose song "Chocolate Sabroso" (Tasty Chocolate) is a perfect fit. Adrian Mart?nez and Andy Palacio, from the Central American country of Belize, provide a previously unreleased track. The collection also features songs by Ozomatli (USA/Mexico), Susana Baca (Peru), Marcantonio (Brazil), Susheela Raman (India) and Teresa Bright (Hawaii). The Belgian group Think of One teams up with Brazilian musicians to create a track that unites two important chocolate producing countries. Taffetas provides another truly unique collaboration, bringing together musicians from the West African country of Guinea Bissau and Switzerland, the land where milk chocolate was invented.

Whether savored as a drink or devoured in solid form, chocolate is an abiding passion with many people, lifting their moods even as it expands their waistlines. The chances are that this album was born of a can't-miss marketing conceit but the musical choices make for a very tasty if surprisingly low-key listen. The tunes are uniformly acoustic and mellow, with just enough of a percussive swing to keep things from getting too static. Teresa Bright's harmonies sometimes recall a Hawaiian-style Andrews Sisters impression and Marcantonio's North-Eastern-flavored Brazilian track is fluid and lovely. But when Beethova Obas warns his embattled Haitian countrymen about the dangers of selfishness, it's obvious that he isn't talking about anything so trivial as sharing a candy bar. In fact, given the nationalities involved, the material is generally less topical than might be expected. However, the music often reflects the replete euphoria of cocoa-fuelled sugar shock. --Christina Roden


1. Toto, Bona & Lokua – Lisanga (03:26)
2. Susheela Raman – Sarasa (03:55)
3. Marcantonio – Sabi? (03:04)
4. Beethova Obas – Rasanbl? (04:27)
5. Ozomatli – Aqu? No Ser? (04:18)
6. Think Of One – Palet? (04:29)
7. Dobet Gnahor? – Kakou (02:38)
8. Taffetas – Yay Balma (04:24)
9. Teresa Bright – Tihore Mai Te Rangi (02:43)
10. Adrian Martinez & Andy Palacio – Baba (04:02)
11. Susana Baca – Valent?n (05:15)
12. Chocolate Armenteros – Chocolate Sabroso (05:09)

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