1. LONDON (UK) – SMALL FACES ( FROM THE BEGINNING,1967)
It is impossible not to think about London when we talk about the 60’s British Musical Invasion and the MOD culture. The influence of the American Soul and R&B from accross the Atlantic Ocean, the Jamaica Ska or the Hippie Wave among others, shaped what it is now the MOD genre. The city was a seething mass of bands and only the greatest ones would be a milestone at that specific time. That is the example of Small Faces. In 1967 they released their second album: “From the Beginning“. It was a total boom. The biggest representation of the MOD musical style: a mixture of Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Psychedelia and Beat. Their music and genuine sound is still has an influence on loads of current rock & roll bands. I bet you a coffee that you could not think about anything other than a dark and gloomy 60’s London bar full of sweat, beers and girls dancing in spotty dresses when you listen to this tune.
2. ANDALUCÍA (SPAIN) – PACO DE LUCÍA (ENTRE DOS AGUAS, 1981)
Is there any other more quintessential genre than flamenco? I can only think of a couple more. Listening to Paco de Lucía‘s album is being beamed up to the sunny and bright south of Spain: Andalucía. A walk by acres of oranges trees, bull fields, and the Arab architecture. In 1981 Paco de Lucía launched this Greatest Hits album called “Entre Dos Aguas”: a magnificent compilation of their best compositions since their debut in the early 60’s with Camarón de la Isla. 2004 Prince of Asturias Awards in Arts or 2010 Honorary Doctorate by Berklee College Music in Boston are only a few examples of his extraordinary talent. Flamenco would not be what it is without Paco de Lucía. This is evident. Only his fingers can get these beautiful guitar sounds. Trust me, I am not a big Flamenco lover, but it is impossible not to like this man. Enjoy the tune and the fictitious spanish tour.
3. NEW ORLEANS (USA) – LOUIS PRIMA (THE WILDEST!, 1956)
And if we talk about jazz, how are we going to forget New Orleans and its 50’s stage? Great musicians like Louis Armstrong, Lionel Ferbos or Freddie Keppard among many others were born in this city of deeply-rooted musical tradition. At the end of 1890, some marching bands started to play rudimentary jazz with bugles, trombones and some percussion instruments. This was the origin of the “New Orleans Style”. African overacted sounds and “minstrel” and “hot” influences characterised the early genre. A few years later, in 1920, there was a refinement of the sound: “Dixieland”. Improvisation was one of the main characteristics next to other instruments like trumpet, saxophone or piano. But for now I will focus on the vocal jazz and the most important New Orleans ambassador: Louis Prima. In 1956 “The Wildest!” came into this world to delight our ears. He also was a great trumpeter so in this album we can find a mixture of delicious instrumental and vocal compositions. His shows were funny, entertaining and danceable. When I listen to this song I imagine myself in a New Orleans street following a marching band headed by Louis and his musicians while everybody is singing and dancing like crazy.