Greetings From L.A.! 'Global Village' Picks Local Favorites

The Los Angeles band Cambalache specializes in son jarocho, a style from Mexico's Gulf Coast. i i

The Los Angeles band Cambalache specializes in son jarocho, a style from Mexico's Gulf Coast. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
The Los Angeles band Cambalache specializes in son jarocho, a style from Mexico's Gulf Coast.

The Los Angeles band Cambalache specializes in son jarocho, a style from Mexico's Gulf Coast.

Courtesy of the artist

When weekends on All Things Considered calls upon Betto Arcos to share the music he's been playing on his KPFK program Global Village, the conversation usually takes place in separate studios on opposite sides of the country. This week, however, the show is coming to you from Los Angeles and the whole gang is together.

It's only natural, then, for this week's picks to have an L.A. theme. Arcos chats with guest host David Greene about some of his favorite new releases from Angelino musicians.

L.A. Music From 'Global Village'

Cover for El Siquisiri

El Siquisiri

  • Artist: Cambalache
  • Album: El Siquisiri

Cambalache is a group of musicians from East L.A., playing roots music from Veracruz, Mexico. This song is a standard of son jarocho music from the Gulf Coast, a cultural region shaped by indigenous and African culture, as well as Spanish. It's usually the first piece that musicians will play in a set to get the party started — very emblematic of what you do when you want to start a fandango. Son jarocho has been popular in Los Angeles, going back to 1950s with Richie Valens, then Los Lobos. Today it's a part of the regular soundtrack of Latino music in East L.A.

You can learn more about this release at Cambalache's website.

Cover for The Stars Are Singing Too: 10 Year Anniversary Special 2001-2011

Peace and LOVE! (Trevor's Mood)

  • Artist: Build An Ark
  • Album: The Stars Are Singing Too: 10 Year Anniversary Special 2001-2011

L.A.'s Central Avenue jazz scene has a rich history. The musicians in this project certainly know that history and pay homage to it, but their major influence comes from another — maybe lesser known, but equally important — influence, the Leimert Park jazz scene. Leimert Park is considered the cultural heart of the African-American community in Los Angeles. In the 1970s, people like piano great Horace Tapscott found their way there and developed a unique sound that was avant-garde, community-based and very L.A. in its sensibility. Build An Ark are his spiritual children, drawing heavily from Tapscott in both form and, to a degree, sound. They've created something very special, open and in keeping with the expansive spirit of the city.

Learn more about this release at Disques Corde.

Cover for A Window To Color

Rapture

  • Artist: Mamak Khadem
  • Album: A Window To Color

Los Angeles is home to the largest community of ex-Iranians (which has earned it the nickname "Tehrangeles," in reference to the Iranian capital, Tehran). Mamak Khadem is one of them — she lives in West Los Angeles and her music is steeped in the classical and traditional music of Iran. This song is inspired by the paintings and poems of the Iranian artist Sohrab Sepehri. Khadem put music to his poetry, not just on this song but on the whole album. In addition to singing, she plays a hand drum called a daf.

Learn more about this release at Mamak Khadem's website.

Cover for Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down

El Corrido De Jesse James

  • Artist: Ry Cooder
  • Album: Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down

A corrido is a traditional Mexican storytelling song. Corridos were used to tell stories back in the Mexican Revolution, but are still very popular today. Here, Ry Cooder uses the form as a vehicle to address the situation with the U.S. banking industry and the government bailout. The song is a story about how Jesse James would go after bank executives if he were alive today, and it uses this really exciting brass band sound that's very popular in L.A. — you'll hear it if you roll down your window while driving.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
El Corrido De Jesse James
Album
Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down
Artist
Ry Cooder
Label
Nonesuch
Released
2011

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