Monday, May 29, 2006

Chief Bey and His Royal Household - Taboo


"All The Excitement And Mystery Of The Jungle In High Fidelity."

A mysterious one. Who is Chief Bey? There is no information in the liner notes. Just a mention that the drums are in the hands of the "CAWANDA group." I got the "Chief Bey and His Royal Household" off of the record label. There is no mention of "Chief Bey" or any "recording artist" on the cover, either front or back.

I seem to recollect reading somewhere that Chief Bey might be an alias of Chaino. I doubt it, but its possible. This is a very ethnographic style recording as opposed to the crazed exploitation feel of Chaino. In fact, much of this LP would be right at home as the background music on a commercial for Disney's Animal Kingdom (natazu!). Its very traditional African sounding, whether its real or not.

Most of the tracks would be a bit out of place on an exotica comp but...BUT, you exotica types might check out tracks 5 (Fakiiya) and 10 (Ayilongo) as those are pretty cool and could snuggle up with Yma most righteously.

The liner notes describe "Fakiiya" as thus: "The deep drums, the big drums, predominate as an accent to the rhythms of the smaller drums. The random shout, almost hysterical, pierce the air as the rhythm increases in intensity. A visual scene is stirred in the mind of a primitive jungle orgy."

Woohoo!

Chief Bey and His Royal Household

18 Comments:

Blogger Ben T. said...

Speaking of Chaino aliases...

had anybody ever seen Chaino and Preston Epps ("Watusi Bongos") together?

6:46 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

Speaking of Preston Epps and Del-Fi records...OK, not about Preston Epps but...does anyone know anything about Yo Yo Hashi? She did a couple of insanely great singles on Del-Fi. The A sides can be heard on Del-Fi's two CD comps but the B-sides have been a grail of mine.

I contacted Al DeLory who played piano on the tracks via email. He told me what he knew which was not too much. I'd love to hear the rest of the story and the rest of the tracks.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that sure sounds like Chaino and his crew to me.

--Pappy

7:09 AM  
Blogger johnny dollar said...

it's only one song, but it's pretty catchy - i give you house of bamboo by earl grant:

http://rapidshare.de/files/21856815/House_of_Bamboo.mp3.html

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chief Bey (now deceased) played percussion on many jazz albums. You might want to check Art Blakey's discography for starters... And he really did call himself "Chief Bey."

1:31 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

J$ - Thanks for the rip. Do we have another budding ripper? (That sounds weird)

anon - I really didn't buy into it that Chief Bey was Chaino, the sound is too ethno-authentic, but I didn't suspect that the Chief was a known musician. Often with the Hawaiian LPs a group of studio musicians would get together and record several tracks which would wind up in different combinations on a number of LPs, each with the "group" under a different alias. Since "Chief Bey" was only listed on the label and nowhere on the jacket, I thought this was something along the same lines. Thanks for the info!

9:09 PM  
Blogger PS said...

Hi all great album, did you get the Chaino master tapes DL from hammysbasement blog when it was alive & kicking ? thinking about a repost of that one myself poss...

9:33 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

soundsational - I missed getting that download. It would be great if you reposted it on your blog. Looking forward to it...

10:24 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Funny thing: I was just looking through some LPs for digitizing (I rip more than I post here) and came across a jazz album by Hamiet Bluiett called Orchestra, Duo & Septet. This first credited player on the jacket back is Chief Bey!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

soundsational - I see that http://hammyscellar.blogspot.com/ is still up and still has an active link to the Chaino DL.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Ben T. said...

track 1 from Chief bey, "Asawanda", is on that CHAINO reel-to-reel, if I recall correctly..

9:41 PM  
Blogger PS said...

Thanks for the info re Hammys blog ...its a bugger when they change their name ..still at least you can now DL Chaino , if you like that style of muzak try holiday for skins - art blakey on my mate orgy in rhythms blog tis powerful !!

5:26 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Ben, I checked the Chaino DL and Asawanda is not on it. Thank goodness. That would've really gotten me confused.

Just checked AllMusic.com and they have Chaino as Leon Johnson, born in Philadelphia in 1927 and deceased in 1999.

Chief Bey they list as James Hawthorne born in 1913 in Yamassee SC and deceased in 2004.

Now who is Yo Yo Hashi?

soundsational - yup I check out orgy in rhythms on a regular basis. Great site!

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Sox said...

This comes from hipwax.com/music/african.html

Chaino" (not his real name) was a wild, experimental, non-African drummer given to grunting and other exhuberant "exoticism." While his association with Kirby Allan was a classic case of 1950s, pop marketing gone awry, his talent is obvious. He made his own drums, his hands flew, and his legendary recordings have endured the lurid sensationalism of the artwork and false liner notes. Some famous Latin and exotica LPs feature Chaino as a sideman.

The Jungle Percussion session notoriously appears on countless public-domain, budget-label records, as Jungle Beat, Taboo, Congo Percussion, Soul of a People, Fabulous Bongo Ping Pong Percussion, even Tahitian Percussion(!), and under various artist names --"Sabu" (meaning the actor; the LP has nothing to do with Sabu Martinez), Subri Moulin, "Kaino" (not Chaino), Chief Bey, Cawanda-- and song titles with various spellings, typically "Asiwanda," "Yowcolule," and "Ben Je Engay." Get it only once.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i'm aware that you no longer updating the blog but these are really good and rare music, it's a shame that i only discovered your blog now, could this and the other ones be re-up ?

9:07 AM  
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