Skip to main content

Bongo, Backra & Coolie: Jamaican Roots, Vol. 2

Various Artists
Bongo, Backra & Coolie: Jamaican Roots, Vol. 2

Jamaican folk music blends African, European and East Indian (in dialect: Bongo, Backra and Coolie) roots into something distinctly Jamaican. Revival Zion, an Afro-Christian religious cult influenced by the early 19th century Myal cults and American missionaries (largely Baptist), involves possession led by a body of music comprised of Christian hymns, choruses, bands choruses and blowing tunes. Possession is uniquely defined by a heavy rhythmic breathing often called “trumping”; this practice is clearly audible on this recording. Quadrille (“katreel”) music hearkens back to the colonial era when slaves learned European dance forms for the entertainment of the Europeans, but it quickly became a fully appropriated fiddle music for the entertainment of the non-Europeans following the fall of slavery. On these recordings, the instrumentation includes bamboo fife, guitars and four-string banjo. Fife and drum music is often associated with junkanoo festivities surrounding the Christmas season that involves energetic dancing intended for “jollification.” Volume One (FW04231) includes music of kumina and convince cults and “Hindustani” dance music.

"The Sounds of an Island: Jamaican Music for the Classroom"

Track Listing

icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Zion Revival: Chorus Revival Zion drummers, singers, dancers 3:52
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Zion Revival: Chorus Revival Zion singers, female dancers 4:00
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Nine Nights Set Up Song: Band of Holy Angels Wake singers, guitarist 3:41
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Quadrille Band: Round Dance St. Ann quadrille band 3:02
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Quadrille Band: Quadrille 1st figure St. Ann quadrille band 0:45
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Quadrille Band: Quadrille 3rd figure St. Ann quadrille band 2:13
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Quadrille Band: Quadrille 4th figure St. Ann quadrille band 3:36
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Quadrille Band: Jane and Luisa St. Ann quadrille band 3:45
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Fife and Drum: John Canoe Music St. Ann fife and drum band 2:46
icon-circle-play svg-new-pause-button
Fife and Drum: Ballerina/John Canoe St. Ann fife and drum band 3:29