When it comes to Guinean music from the 1960s I have thought for a long time that there were only two 'players': Syliphone and Tempo. In the last ten years a few Guineans appeared with recordings on other labels (Pathé, Ngoma and few Ivorian labels), but that was about it.
But recently this lp has popped up in what appears to be two different forms. I would like to stress the "appears", because I am confused. Our friend Graeme Counsel sent me a copy of an lp on the East-German Electrola Ausland Sonder Dienst label. And recently another friend and regular contributor of wonderful music to this blog, Faas, came up with what appears to be the same lp, but printed in West-Germany and without a word about Electrola. Are we dealing with a covert infiltration?
I can only hope that this is the first of a stream of undiscovered treasures from the vaults of socialist Eastern Europe. Because there is no doubt that is a real Treasure!
The lp contains five tracks by the Orchestre de la Paillote, two by the Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée and three by the Orchestre de la Bonne Auberge. The latter of the three was, if I understand Graeme correctly, a predecessor of Paillote (and that orchestra was a predecessor of Keletigui et ses Tambourinis).
All tracks are -like all Guinean music from this era*- great, but some are extra remarkable. Like Paillote's version of "Yo Vine Pa'Ve", a track which I recently discovered through the amazing ListenToYourEars blog in a version by Cuban charanga artist Belisario Lopez. Apparently the margins of Sekou Touré's 'authenticité' also allowed a version of "La Paloma", in this case by Orchestre de la Bonne Auberge, and also "El Checheré", performed live by Paillote, may very well a version of a Latin song. Jardin has an alternative (to the one on SLP 2) version of "Fruitaguinée". Certainly remarkable is the instrumental version by Bonne Auberge of the Malinké traditional "Djandjon" (titled "Yamaré lé" on this album), which breaks off without warning. The last track is more in line with the 'normal' Syliphone repertoire. Named "Kindiakayé bara tongo" on the sleeve, the title on the label is "Kindiakayé bara gagné, coupe P.D.G.", - no doubt an ode to the Parti Democratique de Guinée.
*according to Graeme the lp is from 1965