Tuesday 1 March 2022

Playlist (March/April 2022) | Music reviewsÂȘ

ALCOA Sessions  Charlie Halloran


Before quick airline travel to the sunny Caribbean was both utilitarian and a vital part of the tourism product, cruising from ports north to the islands was an adventure in itself that required patience and a tropical assimilation. Hailing from New Orleans, a kind of cultural Caribbean North Pole, Charlie Halloran has reimagined the zeitgeist of the era and recreated “the musical experience aboard cruises run by the Alcoa Steamship Co. out of New Orleans from 1949 to 1959.” A broad dance music repertoire from Trinidad, Guadeloupe, New Orleans, and Venezuela gives the listener an appreciation of what the Caribbean aesthetic sounded and looked like to foreign tourism execs. Calypso, beguine, and joropo are played energetically and well. The songs of Trinidadians Lionel Belasco and Pat Castagne are given new life as the idea of cruising “down to the Spanish main” becomes not so much a bygone dream, but a way of restoring majesty to local music.

  1. This review appears in the March/April 2022 issue of Caribbean Beat magazine.
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