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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY IDOL..circa 40's 50's, 20 Sep 2010
Haylyn Challis "haylyn challis" (Norwich,Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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LES BAXTER...I love ths man and his music.
my idol as a young boy in the 1940's and 1950's. everything that was issue at this time, I collected. Les was well served with a lot of lp albums at this time, remember this was the very early days of vinyl. Some popular les Baxters themes were issued on 78rpm. However, the big part of his albums were not issued in Britain at this time. When I went out to the US in the RAF in 1958 I collected all the other available ones I didn't have. Now, a lot of the recent cd issues are now being produced by various companies. The two albums African Jazz.. Jungle Jazz lp's now issued on cd on el cherry lable with extra tracks and also Real Gone Jazz lable, with Les's South Pacific and Wild Guitars albums as well, continues this re interest in this wonderful, talented, brilliant, composer arranger and conductor. For all those who love this man's music, type in "Les Baxter" and there are many other issues to have. Sheer Bliss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The EL/Les Experience, 4 May 2011
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EL Records responsibles continue with their policy of reissueing Les Baxter's music. With the reissue of Afican Jazz/Jungle Jazz they have gone beyond expectations.

By the time Les Baxter composed these albums in 1958/1959 he was probably in the peak of his creative period. It took him only four months to compose/arrange Jungle Jazz after the album African Jazz was released, being difficult to choose which one is better.

A lot of tracks included in these album have seen the light in a digital format in one or other compilation, but this reissue is quite worthy as all the missing tracks are as good as the one you have probably already heard, not to mention that you can listen to them in their original sequence. For instance the track "Congo Train" which is the middle of one disc in the famous Exotic Moods of Les Baxter is here the opening track, sounding better.

The success of this CD is that it is full of music/style continuity, being almost impossible to realize that you are in fact listening to two different albums. Also included here are 5 extra tracks of the same style, under my opinion not necesary as the 24 main tracks are an enjoyable and quite lasting listening experience. The extensive booklet included opens with the original African Jazz cover which was for sure the best choice as it is a very good art work by itself. All of it for a ridiculous price.

Thanks god, enlightened music producers are retrieving this music to the digital era.
Buy one copy and feel the "jungle vibration" with Les.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mambo in your Congo, 19 Mar 2014
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
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Before mass travel, the only way to get a broader perspective was to join the armed forces and engage in some form of killing natives. For most it was a form of instant travel or colonialism is its bad PR description.

Here however the human savagery is tamed (not the natives but the colonisers) and you can place this in the player to become whisked away to the 1950's version of what the unexplored world offered to the potential jet traveller. Like the starry eyed films of MGM, listening to these cadences you can be plopped in the midst of a Tarzan epic replete with full strings playing some wild detuned jungle beat. A depiction deployed courtesy of Hollywoods filter on what life was like back in the jungles of Zaire.

Alternatively you can be lulled into some exotic sensual dance in the middle of some hot beating desert with an Islamic siren. There is enough here to satisfy any curiosity or body shape as the music sways the mover into offering different vistas.

It is all light hearted and frothy but also has a dose of lysergia in a syrupy sort of pull you in and make you dance sort of way. Uplifting sax plays along to frenetic bongos veering to light supermarket muzak and then it twists away into sounds which are more blatantly Dionysian. It is the beginners guide to jazz - and that is about my personal limit because I cannot find my ticket home.
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