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A Rough Guide to those old Mekong Delta blues.
A Rough Guide to those old Mekong Delta blues.
Latino Nuevo: Giving traditional sounds a contemporary context.
Latino Nuevo: Giving traditional sounds a contemporary context.

"Bokoor" means "coolness," and refers to both the Ghanaian studio and the band founded by John Collins, a British expatriate who grew up the son of a professor in Africa. Collins fell in love with the local sounds and had access to plenty of Western music, and fuses the two here with often stunning results on these early '70s sides, eight (of 12) of which are by his own Bokoor Band. The standout cuts include plenty of scratchy guitar riffs melded with Collins's harmonica and male-female call-and-response vocals and plenty of percolating percussion. "Maya Gari" sounds like Toots and the Maytals in Africa; "Onukpa Shwarpo" like a James Brown groove with Bob Dylan sitting in on harp. Meanwhile, "Anoma Franoas," from a group called Dyihwam International, is a lovely mélange of jazzy guitar chords and tootling organ. Tons of funky fun that sounds great on the beach. — J.N.L.

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