Harry Belafonte


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This brief collection is heavy on the Caribbean-based material that most people associate with Harry Belafonte. Songs like "Banana Boat (Day-O)," "Matilda," "Mama Look a Boo Boo," and "Jump in the Line" are undeniably infectious and went a long way toward introducing world music rhythms into Western pop music. Belafonte was more than a one-trick pony, however. His jazzy, saxophone-led version of Leadbelly's "Cotton Fields," included here, shows how innovative his arrangements were for the time. There are several collections of Belafonte's work on the market, and while this one is fine for what it offers, a more comprehensive and balanced anthology is probably the way to go.

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