A brief introduction to the sound. Almost all the islands east of the Americas developed a love for ballad singing in the 60s often via listening to doo wop and soul tracks from their own and occasionally US radio stations. This sort of music was interspersed with all sorts of varieties of jump up music from calypso, and later soca and so on. The dominant form of music though was the sound of Jamaica, starting with ska, through rock steady (the soul beat), and this particularly applies for those islands which were closer to the continent. But what about the Bermudas? Although its music is generally considered part of the Caribbean heritage, they are way more north and lost in the Atlantic Ocean than any other caribbean country thus they have been under many different influences due to being in the middle of oceanic routes between Europe and The New World. You could listen to some great Calypso imported from Trinidad and Tobago as well as bagpipe music Irish and Scottish soldiers imported during layovers on the 18th and 19th centuries. A big role was played by Soul Music aswell, pushed by the many Canadians and Portuguese residing on the islands and investing a lot in the entertinament industry (like they did in all the Caribbean after all). It’s the case of Leon Cook who came out with a brilliant Long Player by the title of “Cookin’ with Leon” out of which we licensed the brilliant “Steppin’ in” for a first-ever-relase on a 7” backed by the later ballad “The Last One To Know”. The album was produced by Eddy De Mello, a white portugese business man (radio plugger, event manager, music producer) based on Hamilton, Bermuda, who had put together a mix of white and black musicians and went to the pressing plant under his Edmar Records label. Cook has worked with Sonny Stitt, Jack McDuff, Clark Terry, Hank Marr, and numerous other jazz stars, and traveled with bands led by Richard “Groove” Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, and Rusty Bryant. “I think every musician should have the experience of being on the road with a teacher, like I was,” Cook said. “They taught me not only about music but about life. And playing jazz is a lifelong thing. It’s something that teaches you not only how to play your instrument but it teaches you how to be a person.”
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