Lord Kitchener, Klassic Kitchener Volume One

Alex Abramovich

By Alex Abramovich

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Calypso’s Cassius Clay.

Lord Kitchener was calypso's Cassius Clay: A singer whose sense of humor sometimes threatened to overshadow his innate abilities and seriousness of purpose. And like Ali, Kitchener might have been the single greatest practitioner of his art. Born Aldwyn Roberts, in 1922, Kitchener stuttered in conversation but soared in song: His phrasing was subtle, delicate, unhurried. His lyrics were earthy — concrete — but never crude. And, while he wasn't the flashiest calypsonian, he was versatile, resourceful and remarkably consistent, winning ten Road March titles over the years (this, despite spending much of his career in England), and performing well into the 1990s. Above all, he exuded the good humor, dignity and grace which sets these early recordings apart from the pack.