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.
By Robert Christgau on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Aptly christened Slinger Francisco in 1935, Trinidadian word-slinger Mighty Sparrow continues to tower over post-World War II calypso decades after beat-heavy soca bum-rushed the genre. Despite his fame, his accessibilit...
By Chris Nickson on 04.22.11 in Reviews
If you want a taste of real Trinidadian Carnival calypso, this is the place to go. Both Sparrow and Kitchener were among the greatest (with lengthy careers that stretched successfully into the soca era), their songs full...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...