About a couple dozen Belasco discs (as well as a couple of interview excerpts) from 1914-61, although most of the tracks are from the late '20s and early '30s, and the only post-1933 numbers are a few items from 1961. According to the liner notes, almost all of the tunes are Venezuelan dances or Trinidadian Carnival music that Belasco would have been exposed to when he was young, adapted for recording (and sometimes copyrighting) purposes. Bear in mind that although the disc bears Belasco's name, he is pianist and bandleader, not (with the exception of a 1961 number) the vocalist. Many of the songs are instrumental, and those with vocals are usually sung by Wilmoth Houdini or E. Peters. Except for the 1914 cut, "Panama Paseo No. 1" (recorded in Trinidad), all of this was recorded in New York City. It's good-natured calypso (well, what calypso is not good-natured), with a goodly portion of early jazz and parlor music influences, as well as Creole and Caribbean ones.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger