• “Hindu” set to a picture of the housing album cover.
“Fantastic Caribbean from Panama”
From his album “Calipsos” (Tamayo LPT-1084) released in 1972. *
My album review:
From the culturally diverse land of Panama comes Lord Cobra and his good-natured, highly danceable brand of calypso. He was a big character with a booming voice, a wide smile, and a great grasp of both English and French language, which was of great help to him on his Caribbean adventures in the 1960s. I first came to hear of Cobra via his appearance on a Soul Jazz compile – “Calypso: Musical Poetry In The Caribbean 1955-69” – on which he was a knockout with both of his inclusions; “Man on the Moon” and “Negro Heart”. My eyes lit up, therefore, when I chanced upon a post on the Global Groove blog containing his “Calipsos” LP, which I duly downloaded without further ado. Although it doesn’t quite live up to the standards of those aforementioned late 60s tracks, it’s a decent set with a few worthwhile moments. He’s rarely serious, and seems to be out to put smiles on faces. Luckily, he has enough style and charm to pull it off without ever being too cheesy. On-board, there are 7 Cobra originals and 3 cover versions – “Congoman” (Mighty Sparrow, 1965), “China Children” (Mighty Terror and his Calypsonians, 1954) and “Bed Bug” (Mighty Spoiler, 1953). His own composition, “Hindu”, emerges as my favourite. It’s a fantastic track, chock-full of character with a particularly magnificent trombone. Cobra disguises himself as an Indian whilst attending a celebration in Nepal! A true story? I’d love to think so. I get the impression that he’s mad enough to have pulled it off. The album is out-of-print but has recently been made available for free download at the Global Groove.
* Marketplace sites such as Popsike, CD Baby and Amazon have listed this LP as 1972. There’s potentially a contradiction at Discogs due to the adjoining label release (Tamayo LPT-1083) being listed as 1977, so who really knows?
You can check out my favoured album reviews for 1972 here.