Umalali cd reviewed


Hot Indie News just published a review of Umalali’s new cd. The strongly recommend this remarkable cd, so here’s what they had to say:

The first track off of the Umalali disk really caught me by surprise.  It was the singing that comes in in the beginning that shook me and gave me a chill.  I was not expecting the voice to sound so raspy like Billie Holiday, or for it to be so rich in impression, immersed in such a mellow sound and mood.  This CD took 10 years to make and was recorded basically in a seaside hut.  The women on this CD are all part of the Garifuna community, coming from countries such as Belize, Guatamala, Honduras and Nicaragua.  The songs on the album blend traditional stories and songs with contemporary style music like rock, blues, and funk.  The instrumentation is pretty, yet simple, but it is the vocals that really stand out.  It is the natural talent of the voices as well as the distinct precision in singing style that make the vocals so beautiful and full of truth.

The story behind this CD is as remarkable as the music itself.  Jacob Edgar, who was primarily working for the famous Putumayo label decided to branch off on his own to start Cumbancha records.  When Putumayo heard about his decision, they decided to help fund his project and that’s how we have Cumbancha records today.  He has done a brilliant job in scouting out the best of the best of world music with this record.  Most of the women on the CD work to support themselves and their families and do music on the side, while the men in the community either work all day at sea or abroad to help support their families.  The stories in these songs reveal the trials and tribulations of everyday life which includes work, play and family amongst other things.  It is the stories they tell on this CD that get passed down from generation to generation in their community.  Gently realized, and well executed, this album does a great job in exposing a genre of music that is often neglected or overlooked.  I highly recommend this album to people who want to experience something unique as it was a real eye opener for me.

The review appeared originally at

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