Calypso Jazz




"Calypso jazz" may be an uncommon term, but the combination makes sense, even though jazz is mostly instrumental and calypso mostly lyrical. Jazz and calypso share African origins, as Duke Ellington pointed out in A Drum is a Woman and other explorations of jazz tradition. In their exploration of all rhythms and cultures, particularly those of direct African descent, jazz players have long borrowed the calypso rhythm. Most "calypsos" in jazz are merely instrumental soloing over a West Indian rhythm (similar to much Latin jazz). Improvisation is central to both traditions, but the emphasis on improvisation does not extend to either the lyrical tradition in vocal jazz or the rare "instrumental calypso." More interesting, perhaps, is when calypsonians take a break from singing and improvise instrumentally.

After Duke Ellington, Don Elliott's Calypso Jazz is the definitive hybrid album on a major label. Also there are fine efforts on smaller jazz labels (Freddy Grant on Bethlehem) and calypso labels (Cook). Anita O'Day and other jazz thrushes have done interesting things with calypso.



[Partly] Calypso-Jazz LPs

Rating
7David Amram: No More Walls; RCA Red Seal VCS-7089; 1971 (2-LP; classical/beatnik ("Pull My Daisy")/Mid-East/Brasil/calypso-jazz "Wind from the Indies"; w/George Mgrdichian, Pepper Adams, Candido, Ramblin' Jack Elliot..)
4Maya Angelou: Miss Calypso; Liberty LRP-3028; 1956
7The Blue Notes at the Rum Keg; Carib LP-2033-S; 1962 (2 caribeat cuts & one w/scat, "Calypso Be Bop")
7Odell Brown & the Organ-izers: Raisin' the Roof; Cadet LPS-775; 1966 ("Enchilada Joe")
7Mickey O'Bryan Quartet: Jamaica's Gift to the World; Ivanhoe IV-12345 (Caribeat, calypso jazz, mod soul, twist, calypso, bossa)
6Keith Campbell's Orchestra & Latin Combo/Clifton Glasgow's Latin Combo/Richard Messiah's Steel Band: Eastry Presents Barbados Holiday; [Eastry] Q-631129 (calypso jazz/Latin jazz/caribeat)
8Candido, Calypso, & Girl: Calypso Dance Party; ABC-178; 1957 (w/Johnny Careisi, the Twintones, Claudia Swann, Frantz Casseus)
8Candido: Candido's Comparsa; ABC-Paramount ABCS-453 ("St. Thomas"; w/Frank Wess, Chocolate Armenteros, Patato Valdez, Armando Peraza..)
8Candido: Brujerias de Candido/Candido's Latin McGuffa's Dust; Tico SLP-1142; 1966 (w/Cachao & Tito Puente; Latin/-jazz/-soul/calypso)
7Rupert Clemendore/John Buddy Williams: Le Jazz Primitif; Cook 1082 (Vector-stereo version: 1082sd)
8Rupert Clemendore: Le Jazz Trinidad; Cook 10850
7Tino Contreras: Percusiones Mexicanas; Capitol of the World T-10310 ("Matilda")
8L'Orchestre Creole Folklorique: Dance Music of Martinique 10"; Dial Ethnic Series 402
7Anita O'Day ("Jamaica Mon"); Tomo TJ-6003; 1984/?
Eugene Delouche & his Martinique Jazz-Beguine Orchestra: Martinique [Creole] Carnival; Monogram
8Bill Doggett: "On Tour"; King 667 (not live; "Ocean Liner")
7Syl Dopson et al: Kaiso; RA-4301 (w/John Buddy Williams, star of a Cook LP)
6Duke Ellington & his Orchestra: A Drum is a Woman; Columbia CL-951
6The Don Elliott Octet with Candido: Jamaica Jazz; ABC-Paramount ABCS-228 (arr. Gil Evans; tunes from the Broadway production "Jamaica")
8King Errison w/the Lou Adams Orchestra: Drums of Nassau; Bahamian Rhythms BRH-52 (Latin jazz/bongo/conga/calypso jazz)
8Lord Flea & his Calypsonians: Swingin' Calypsos; Capitol T-842; 1957 ("Calypso Be Bop" -- scat!)
8Sandy Gamory w/Syd Joe & his Caribbean All Stars Orchestra: The Calypso Man; San Joe SJ-4667
8Dizzy Gillespie: Jambo Caribe; Philips/Limelight LM-82007; 1964
8Sir Freddy Grant's Caribbean Troubadours: Calypso ("Calypso Jam Session"); Bethlehem BCP-7001; 1957
8J.C. Heard: Calypso for Dancing; CBS/Epic LN-3348 (crossover calypso by jazz drummer/singer/dancer/actor)
7Wilmouth Houdini/Bert McLean's Jazz Hounds: Calypso; RCA Camden CAL-360 (reissues 78s; 7 Houdini songs, 5 calypso-jazz instrumentals)
7Howard University Jazz Ensemble '78; Mark Custom MC-5581; 1978 ("Calypso in Motion")
7[The Black Beret Presents] The Islanders; BB-333
7Maurice Jallier, Original Biguine Creole Band: Biguines; Barclay 82004
8Montego Joe: Arriba! Con Montego Joe; Prestige PRST-7336; 1964 ("Fat Man")
6King Kobra & the Venoms: Limbo Carnival; Family SFLP-545/FLP-145 (Request/Sounds of the Caribbean SLP-736; 1972)
7Joey Lewis: Jump with Joey; RCA Victor Trinidad LPB-2050 ("calypso jump-up"/kaiso/instrumental calypso jazz)
7Joey Lewis & his Orchestra; Charlie's/JoeVan JVL-1007 (caribeat/calypso jazz/soca; jacket: Joey Lewis at the Lion's Den)
7Enoch Light & the Light Brigade: Future Sound Shock; Project 3 PR-5077-SD; 1972 ("St. Thomas! Everybody!"; conga, some sitar)
7Mano Marcelin: Kaiso Power; Straker's GS-8896 (kaiso)
5Augustine Mercer & his Jaragua Merengue Orchestra: The Jaragua Presents Merengues; Ritmo 805 ("La Salve de Guachupita"; Dominican Republic; Latin/calypso/calypso jazz)
7Harold McNair: Bahama Bash Featuring the Voice & Saxophone of "Little G"; Top Rank RM-316
7Baba Motta: Jamaican Carnival at the Myrtle Bank; Caribe LP-2006; 1958
6Bill La Motta: Themes from a Sunny Isle; Westindy ST-1008 (calypso jazz/calypso, Latin jazz)
7The Mighty Panther & Lad Richards: West Indian Calypso Magic; Art ALP-18 ("Zoop, Zoop, Zoop")
7Freddie Munnings: Nassau Holiday [at the Cat & Fiddle Nightclub]; Famo LP-1001 (w/Dudley Capon; calypso/calypso jazz/Latin jazz)
8Houston Person: The Real Thing; Eastbound 2EB-9010; 1973 (2-LP; live; "Kittitian Carnival")
7Dave Pike: Limbo Carnival; New Jazz NJ-8284; 1962 (w/Ray Barretto, Ahmed Abdul-Malik)
7Pritchard's Orchestra w/Fats Greene: Fats Shake 'em Up; Camille LP-9021
7Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones: Sweetback; Joka; 1975 ("Jamaica Farewell"; Ubiquity/Luv N' Haight LHLP-020; 1995)
7Carlos Malcolm & his Afro-Jamaican Rhythm: Skamania; Federal/Upbeat 101
7Carlos Malcolm & his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms: Space Flight; Upbeat 102
7Carlos Malcolm & the Jamaica Brass: Carlos Malcolm Jamaica Brass; Scepter S-551 (compilation; 6 tracks from Upbeat 102, 4 from Upbeat 101)
7Carlos Malcolm: Don't Walk, Dance!; Roulette SR-25359; c.1964 (mod/Latin/calypso soul/jazz)
8Emil Richards & the Microtonal Blues Band: Spirit of 1976; Impulse A-9182; 1969 ("Peek-A-Boo")
8Hector Rivera: At the Party; Barry BAR-101; 1966 ("Calypso #10"; 5 outtakes include "I Wanna Chance for Romance"; canta John Fernandez; at least 1 pressing does not indicate stereo but is)
8The Milt Robinson Trio: Wanna Be With You; MR-70
7Guy Durosier: Haitian Rhythms; Decca DL-8602; 1957 (or "du Rosier"; w/Ti Ro Ro)
7Stamma & the Clubbites: Montego Beat; Federal Record Mfg. FRM-134 ("What's the Idea"; mainly Caribeat/reggae)
8The Seven Shadows directed by Derrick Vaughan: Seven Shades of Sound; Bosworth BLP-139; 1975 (production; funk/calypso jazz/soul-jazz organ/Latin jazz/mod soul/Moog funk; "Hello Calypso, Goodbye Blues")
7Berkley "Peanuts" Taylor & his Goombay Drums; Bahamian Rhythms BRH-31; 1960
7[Berkley] "Peanuts" Taylor: Moods of Peanuts; Tropical 2740; 1964
6Buddy Terry: Natural Soul; Prestige PRST-7541; 1968 ("Pedro, the one Arm Bandit"; w/Larry Young, Wally Richardson, Joe Thomas..)
7Joe Thomas: Comin' Home; Buddah/Cobblestone CBS-7001 ("Monique")
7The Jimmy Thurston Quintet at the Balmoral Club; Elite LPOES-16 (calypo, Latin jazz, calypso jazz; Bahamas)
8Trinidad Limbo Orchestra: Limbo from Trinidad; RCA Victor LPS-3013/LPB-3013 (Cyril Diaz, Lord Brynner, Andrew Beddoe Chorus & Drummers)
7Jack Trombey & the International Studio Group: Living Power 10"; De Wolfe DWLP-2970; 1966 ("Jazzamatic No.2"; otherwise spy/crime)
6The Tropical Islanders: Musical Adventure; Wirl W-009 (instrumental caribbeat similar to Sparrow's Troubadours)
6The Tropical Islanders: Musical Pot-Pourri; Wirl W-017
7Harold Vick: The Caribbean Suite; RCA Victor LSP-3677; 1967 (w/Blue Mitchell, Montego Joe, Bobby Hutcherson..)
8The John Buddy Williams Band: The Drums of Trinidad (Equatorial Jazz/Drums of Trinidad); Cook 10451 (Vector-stereo version: 10451sd)
7Uncredited: Percussive Calypso; Oleander OLP-103 (instrumental/calypso jazz/bongos/voodoo; Bermudan; prod. Al Donahue/Frank Walsh; possibly features King Trott/Stan Seymour/Lloyd Simmons)
7Various: Calypso Carnival; Oleander OLP-104 (Lloyd Simmons, Red Smith Trio, Moira, Ghandi Burgess, Bishop Caines, King Trott, Graham Bean, Terry Brannon, Eugene Steed (Gene Steede of Gene & Pinky), Eric Webb, Mac Lightbourne, Al de Josheph)
7Various: Calypso Jazz; Cook XX-2 (compilation)
7Various: XX-3; Cook XX-3 (compilation; jaw harp/calypso jazz/odd pop/Latin jazz; w/Rupert Clemendore, Willy Rodriguez, Red Camp, Bill Floyd..)
9Various: Calypso Magic 10"; Monogram/Supertone 802 (Duke of Iron, Lord Kitchener, MacBeth, Lord Invader; possibly reissued as 12" Monogram 820 w/Marie Bryant)
7Various: Dancing Calypso; Cook 930 (instrumental, partly jazz/vibes; Clarence Curvan, Johnny Gomez, Vin Cardinal, Tom Charles, Fitz Vaughn Bryan)
7Various: Showtime at the Drumbeat; Tropical CLP-2470 (much overlap w/2471; Berkley "Peanuts" Taylor, Richie Delamore, Johnny Kemp, Carl Brice)
7Various: Showtime at the Drumbeat; Tropical CLP-2471 (much overlap w/2470; Berkley "Peanuts" Taylor, Richie Delamore, Eloise Lewis, Luis Perez, Pat Rolle, Bullumba Landostoy)
8Various: Souvenir of Jamaica; Request/Sounds of the Caribbean SLP-738; 1972 ("Jamaican Mambo"; reissues Monogram, original unknown)
7Various: TransAfrica MusicMakers Vol. 1; Shade FM-005 (UK African/calypso/calypso jazz/Latin; West African Supersonics, OK Jazz Band, West African Rhythm Brothers, Rans Boi, Amrose Campbell, Ali Ganda, Brewster Hughes)
6Various: Waikiki Swings; Hula HS-520 (Zulu: "The Coed Song"; Capitol/Tower ST-5101)


[Partly] Calypso-Jazz 45s

Rating
8Chaino & his Slave Boys: Trinidad/The Slide; Tampa TP-142 (calypso jazz/African; not on LP)
6Lionel Hampton & his New York Jazz All-Stars: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes/Matilda; Glad-Hamp GH-3001; 1979 (disco jazz; B-side "discolypso"; co-prod. Chico O'Farrill)


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