This album features jams on homemade percussion instruments by six 11- and 12-year-old African American boys living in New York City public housing, about 1955. These young, untrained musicians improvise the tunes and tales of their upbringing on this rhythmic release and draw inspiration from family folk traditions and popular radio and juke box hits of the era. The group’s enjoyment is apparent in their school yard musical expressions, as is their self-identification with the community in which they live. The album is divided into three parts: Percussion Ensembles, Rhythms with Voices, and Rhythms with Verses. The liner notes provide a deeper look into each section, as well as a subsequent transcription of the lyrics.
released January 1, 1959
2004, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / 1959 Folkways Records