Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra

That Happy Feeling

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With his hit single "Afrikaan Beat" and this follow-up album, the unmistakably German maestro Bert Kaempfert became an unsung world music pioneer, adopting elements of South African music decades before it became fashionable. Throughout original tunes like "A Swingin' Safari," "Market Day," "Tootie Flutie," "Black Beauty," and covers of "Zambesi" and the prophetic international hits of the '50s, "Wimoweh" and "Skokiaan," Kaempfert dwells playfully upon the classic, simple harmonic cycles of kwela, the popular music of South Africa at the time, itself derived in part from the big band swing that influenced this artist. All of which is an involved way of describing these irresistible, merrily swinging, cunningly constructed tracks where string, brass, flute, and choral layers are not allowed to get in the way of the dancing Fender bass, rhythm guitar, and brushed drums. The other nationality evoked most often here is Spain ("Similau" and "Sunday in Madrid"). This is one of the most consistently lively Kaempfert albums from the '60s, taking its mood from the title track and its inspiration from the townships.

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