Nashville may be synonymous with country music, but during the 50s and 60s, Music City U.S.A. also had a vibrant R&B scene and a number of thriving indie labels like Bullet and Excello that consistently pumped out horn-honking jukebox shakers. While it may seem a bit puzzling that the Country Music Hall of Fame is behind the excellent two-disc overview Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm and Blues 1945-1970 , it's great that someone is making available these swinging tunes by Shy Guy Douglas , Christine Kittrell , Earl Gaines , Sam Baker , Audrey Bryant , Roscoe Shelton and the Prisonaires . Who knows, maybe some day they'll even induct original Grand Ole Opry star DeFord Bailey .
Nigeria via Quebec?
Authentic sounding Afrobeat music from Quebec? Sure, it seems unlikely, but don't dismiss the notion before checking the new 12-inch single from Montreal's Afrodizz released on UK DJ Adrian Gibson 's Freestyle label. Their explosive cover of Fela Kuti 's Kalakutu Show is actually the B-side. These knuckleheads have got it goin' on.
Don't count on seeing Eero Koivistoinen 's Five Corners Quintet on the cover of Down Beat any time soon. Even if the fabulous Finnish fivesome represent a promising turn for contemporary acoustic jazz - away from the soft-seat recital halls and back to the dance floors - these Helsinki hombres just don't get the props they deserve. The latest Five Corners 10-inch single for Ricky-Tick prominently features the vibes virtuosity of Severi Pyysalo on hard-charging stomper The Devil Kicks and the flip side's deep waltz-time swinger Three Corners. Ultra classy Scandi-jazz sweetness.
The last few Brazilian Beats CDs compiled by the boys at Mr. Bongo (www. mrbongo.com) have regrettably favoured dull sample-based electro fusion over the hard-to-find 60s and 70s groovers on which the series was built. The good news is that Brazilian Beats 5 boasts a healthy dose of tasty old-school flava from Jorge Ben (Xica Da Silva), Marku Ribas (Zamba Ben), Bossa Tres (Imprevisto), Mario Castro Neves (Candomble) and the great Elis Regina (Yê Mélé) in between the regular bland filler tracks.