Palo Congo – Sabu (1957)

Album no. 11/1001

The instrument of choice for this album is bongos. If you like bongos, this is the album for you. If you don’t like bongos, this is not the album for you.

Supposedly, this album is seminal.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No. I have never heard of this. But I’m going to guess it’s PROBABLY in another language.

NK: I sure haven’t. To be honest I haven’t even heard of old mate Sabu before this. I wish him all the best though.

Standout track?

CL: Well, it’s definitely in Spanish. I particularly enjoyed the session of call and response for the first minute and a half of ‘Billumba-Palo Congo’. What I did not enjoy was the continued repetition of this for the next 6 minutes of the song. Having said that, ‘Choferito-Pleno’ is ok.

NK: ‘Rhapsodia del Maravilloso’! I assume that translates as ‘marvellous rhapsody’?I love the guitar lines, it’s all caribbean-y, made me think of Harry Belafonte, It’s not as loose as some of the other tracks where they’re singing to each other, but the guitar is awesome. On the version I listened to, the lead guitar part is almost entirely in the right headphone, and the backing rhythm stuff is all in the left.  Not sure why I noticed that, but I did. ‘Tribilin Cantore’ is good too. The one I didn’t like was ‘Asabache’, it’s just meandering bongos for four minutes. No thanks pal.

When would be the best time to listen to this ?

CL: To be fair, any song from this album would fit pretty well into an episode of Breaking Bad. Is this the sort of music people dance flamenco to? I don’t know.

NK: Listen to ‘Rhapsodia del Maravilloso’ and ‘Tribilin Cantore’ at a beach party, drinking pina coladas and roasting a suckling pig. The rest of it is for the first half hour of Indiana Jones and the temple of doom, before shit gets real.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Ricky Martin had to get his influences somewhere, right?

NK: That’s true, but I think there is some Harry Belafonte in here as well? Just those two songs really made me think of his stuff.  Also the electric guitar sounds more alive than on pretty much everything else so far.

CL: Who the hell is Harry Belafonte?

NK: Fucking hell.

Will you be listening again?

CL: I didn’t listen all the way through. Sorry. I had to stop. So, not unless I suddenly develop an overwhelming urge to take up bongo-playing or shouting in Spanish.

NK: I got through the whole thing. Not sure I’d put the album on again, but those tracks I might go back to for a party playlist or something.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Out of context youtube comment

11 - Sabu

Listen to Palo Congo in Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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