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And the Roots of Rhythm Remain

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"When Paul Simon first heard the Zulu accordion flourish that would open his multi-platinum album Graceland, he told Joe Boyd that it seemed to proclaim, 'You haven't heard this before!' Yet the 'world music' boom of the 1980s that Simon's album helped to usher in had roots that extended back through the decades and across continents: tango on the eve of World War I, Latin dance across the '30s, '40s and '50s, reggae in the '70s, pre-War samba and pre-Beatles bossa nova, Eastern European ensembles filling capitalist concert halls during the Cold War, Indian ragas changing rock and roll in the 1960s, gypsy music inspiring classical composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. As far back as 1853, the music that had intrigued Simon had captivated London during a Zulu choir's extended run there. (Only Charles Dickens dissented.) Like that of other far-flung musical traditions sweeping the globe, the story of Zulu music and its relationship to neighbors, invaders, appropriators, and admirers -- from brutal 19th century massacres to 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' -- is more controversial, colorful, and complex than many imagine. Joe Boyd was part of a small group of label heads and journalists who chose 'world music' as their marketing slogan in the 1980s. Already the legendary producer of artists including Pink Floyd, The Incredible String Band, Soft Machine, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Toots and the Maytals, and many others, Boyd had little idea how fast and how wide those simple words would spread, or how far back the history went. He would soon learn, producing pathbreaking music in Cuba, Brazil, Bulgaria, Mali, Hungary, Spain, and India under his label Hannibal Records. Following the success of his book White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, a self-published smash hit, Boyd now sets out to explore the stories behind the world music he had helped to popularize. He has traveled across continents and interviewed dozens of musicians, producers, and academics, and spent years reading, listening, and writing. The one-of-a-kind result is And The Roots of Rhythm Remain: a riveting, symphonic, globetrotting tour of the music that shapes the world. Hardcover. 900 pages."