« All the sides originally released on 78s (plus a few test pressings) » by Rock’n’Reel

A long time before there was ‘world music’, Europe and North America tended to view sounds from elsewhere as ‘tropical’ or ‘exotic’. When clarinettist and bandleader Eugène Delouche arrived in Paris from the Carribean island of Martinique in 1931, he was able to find his niche right away, with the fad for the Antillean biguine very strong in the French capital until the Second World War. By the time he formed his own label at the beginning of the 50s, he was not only totally adept at the creole sound of the islands but also had a strong reputation as a jazzman (jazz had trived as music of resistance during the Nazi occupation), and he could also turn his hand to the music of Brazil and the general Latin styles exepted of Carribean musicians at that time. This Double-CD rounds up all the sides originally released on 78s (plus a few test pressings), and whilst a few numbers veer towards ‘strict-tempo’ dance band sounds, most are far livelier and grittier, and the set even includes a convincing big-bang blues item. Norman DARWEN – ROCK’N’REEL