Rhum Rhap­sodies & Other Ex­otic De­lights Numero

Exclaim! - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

May 25. It was a mu­si­cal cock­tail born in a mar­ket­ing meet­ing: Two parts easy lis­ten­ing, one part jazz, a healthy dol­lop of conga drums, a sprin­kling of bird calls, and a pinch of text­less choir. Ex­ot­ica! The sound­track for a myth­i­cal air con­di­tioned Eden, pack­aged for mid­cen­tury, tiki torch-wield­ing arm­chair sa­fari­ers. Be it mos­quito-bit­ten torch singers, land­locked surf quar­tets, fad­chas­ing jazz com­bos, mad ge­nius band lead­ers, D-list ac­tors, or a mid­dle aged loner pro­gram­ming bird calls into a Hammond, Ex­ot­ica was al­ways more con­cerned with what ge­og­ra­phy might sound like over who was con­duct­ing. Cap­tured across three al­bums are 48 ( 54 on CD) cu­ri­ous ex­am­ples of the short-lived genre’s reach, each sum­mon­ing their own sonic vi­sions of Shangri La, bring­ing their ver­sions of the Pa­cific, Africa, and the Ori­ent to the hin­ter­lands of Amer­ica. Technicolor Par­adise is where one makes it, af­ter all.

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