Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae

Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae

by Peter Lamarche Manuel, Michael Largey, Kenneth Bilby

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Aaron Cohen
Since the Caribbean's multifaceted music is usually heard in the U.S. only in such popular forms as reggae and salsa, Manuel and company's diligent scholarship is much needed. They provide thoughtful descriptions of such overlooked styles as the "bachata" of the Dominican Republic and the voudou-jazz of Haiti, as well as of the forms of more musically famous islands, such as Jamaica and Trinidad. They discuss such insular cultural manifestations as the salsa vs. merengue conflict in New York City and the Hindu devotional songs of Trinidad's Indian community. They describe their travels in several rather inaccessible countries, particularly Cuba. They cogently argue how the Caribbean's historical, political, and social developments shaped its musics. The musical analyses and notation they provide are straightforward enough to interest careful listeners as well as casual fans, and the many helpful discographies throughout the book--not to mention the cool photographs!--contribute to making this an essential text on some of the world's most irrepressible rhythms.

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Temple University Press
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