Honest Jons' series documenting the music of the first wave of Afro-Caribbean immigrants is an important - as well as enjoyable - musicological exercise. Here, the lilting southern African sounds of Dorothy Masuka and the West African highlife jazz of The African Messengers sit comfortably with the calypsos of Lord Kitchener and Young Tiger. The latter pair provide vivid snapshots of life in the diaspora: alongside his rumbustious celebrations of Trinidadian stick-fighting, "Is Trouble" and "Alphonso In Town", Kitchener's "Piccadilly Folk" offers cautionary advice about West End pimps'n'prossies, while Tiger's "Chicken & Rice" tells of doing a runner from a London eaterie. Cab Kaye pays homage to astronauts in "Everything Is Go", and Eric Hayden offers dubious dating advice in "Give Her The No 1". There's not a dull track, but the treasures are Ginger Johnson's pair of cha-chas that bookend the album, particularly "Egyptian Bint Al Cha Cha", a sinuous snake-charmer jazz outing remarkably similar to the kind of thing Sun Ra was doing in the late Fifties.
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