Volume 21 Number 5
Island Party contains eleven familiar Caribbean songs including "Mathilda," "Day-0," "Jamaica Farewell" and "Yellow Bird." The songs are arranged and performed by Reggie Paul on what is apparently a synthesizer and a variety of percussion instruments. No liner notes are included on the instrumentation, background to the songs, or words. The performer is sometimes accompanied by another voice, presumably his brother, who performs with him as The Paul Brothers.
This is a professionally produced, if somewhat standard, collection of well-loved and often requested Caribbean music that features a strong beat that invites dancing, moving along with the music and singing along. It will be useful for music and cultural programs requiring music from the Caribbean, or for music programs for children using a variety of rhythms and styles. Playing time is approximately forty minutes.
The recording could have been improved by more variety in arrangement and instrumentation. Some of the repetition of choruses seemed rather relentless, and there is a somewhat predictable feel to the collection as a whole. Certainly most public and school libraries will want to include a recording of music from the Caribbean, from which so many of our citizens come. It is therefore a shame that this tape did not provide an opportunity to hear some of the less commercially available songs from this region, especially if background notes had been provided.
If Caribbean music is already well represented in your collection, there would be no particularly strong reason to purchase this recording. If not, then this tape would certainly be a useful initial purchase for school and public libraries.
Christine Buchanan, a former branch head with Toronto Public Libraries, is now a teacher with the Board of Education for the City of Scarborough.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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