Monday, August 06, 2007

Les Baxter - Oasis of Dakhla (Capitol 655)

Oasis of Dakhla

When Pigs Fly

Picture, if you will, a rustic setting. The villagers have gathered to celebrate a special date in their ancient calendar. They have sacrificed a pig, which turns ever so slowly as it roasts over a communal fire. The air is perfumed with its succulent aroma, as guests arrive from far away lands, bearing gifts for the festive occasion. Music, once subdued and quiet, begins to grow in intensity, mingling with the smoke that is all around them. They partake of the feast, then dance in wild abandon as one of the elders of the village dons the head of the slaughtered animal. The children chase after him, trying to pull him down in a ritual re-enactment of his moment of oblation. As the elder begins to topple, the pig's head is torn from his grasp, rolling slowly skyward, silhouetted by half of a buttery yellow moon...

It lands, looking up askance through greasy sunglasses, at the feet of the only true 'vegan' guest at my niece's wedding, who begins screaming at the top of her lungs just seconds before the elder (that would be me) hits the ground with a sickening splat.

It seemed like a good idea at the time... what with it being 07/07/07 and all of that. An MRI showed a massive rotator cuff tear, which required that I undergo surgery this past Friday, August 3rd. My arm will be 'immobilized' for the next four to six weeks, and full recovery may take up to four months. I'm only sharing all of this with you because I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post here for a while (this left-handed typing is no fun, let me tell ya!), but I'll do the best I can...

Les Baxter was one of the founding fathers of Exotica, and his late fifties work for Capitol never fails to transport me to another time and place. Today's selection is taken from the 1956 original three 45 rpm disc set of Tamboo!, which, according to the liner notes, is the Haitian Creole word for drums. The notes also go on to tell us that this is 'music for every romantic daydreamer'... I stand accused.

I'll see you on the flip side!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, Red. Here's hoping you get well real soon.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG...I thought i was the only person that knew the Tamboo LP. I actually have the vinyl. It was my mother's and one of the many lp's from the 50's and 60's that i loved. i'm gonna have fun searching this site, if only for the memories of records in my basement that haven't seen the light of day for many a decade.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Arvo said...

I hope YOu recovered well. Great story. I'm a first time reader here, and I've damn near nabbed everything I don't already have. This stuff isn't on most reissues. Thanks for it all. I'm guessing you haven't had pork for a while?

3:44 AM  
Blogger Red Kelly said...

...good guess, arvo!

I should have subtitled this one 'Pork Shoulder', no?

The recovery is going well, although I'm still in physical therapy here five months later!

Welcome aboard.


8:14 AM  

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