Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Arabian

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This is one of the more interesting 45s I've found in the last month or so, "The Arabian" by the Johnny Frigo Sextet (and oddly enough 2 weeks later I found another 45 by them, "El Negro", which was featured on the excellent Office Naps blog). From Office Naps and other sources, it seems that the Orion label released tunes by Johnny Frigo that were written for Giordano's dance classes. If ever I could make a video request: a dance class practicing to "The Arabian". Who has this in their archives?

"El Arabian" is heavy on the percussion, fueled by an unrelenting bongo and a drummer playing the top of the cymbal. There's some nice interplay between a saxophone and a trumpet. Then there's the drum bit where everyone steps back, except for the everpresent bongos. They continue to propel the tune along even as the drummer is doing his own thing. The overall feel is a like a speeding through a dark night on a winding road - the lights never shine on where you are until you get around that next bend. Quality stuff.

This track is featured on a collection of the Johnny Frigo Sextet, which has been released by Ubiquity Records.