The Fabulous Arab
:: La Paloma ::
:: K.L.M. March ::
:: entire album, zipped ::
Ah, the barrel organ. Can you smell the roasted peanuts, feel the sticky fibers of cotton candy under your shoe? The Barrel Organ, or Street Organ, or Band Organ, creates unmistakable sounds, maniacally happy tones of all registers. Just several seconds of listening will take many of you back to your childhood, riding a carousel, or just being at a carnival. The less sunny of dispostion might imagine themselves being chased by cackling clowns with large, shiny knives. Either way, I doubt anyone who listens to this won't have some sort of vivid imagery or nostalgic flashback.
The name of this ornate organ is The Fabulous Arab, and it was crafted by the famous Belgian barrel organ builder Pierre Verbeeck (what, you never heard of him?) in 1926. Despite the pronouncement that this is The World's Most Famous Barrel Organ, I couldn't find any information about it beyond what's on the liner notes on back. This puppy had (has?) 75 keys, capable of mimicking a dizzying array of instruments, from drums to trombones to flutes to actual organ noises. While I agree it's rather fabulous, I don't see what's so Arab about it.
I'm putting up two single mp3's for organ dabblers, and a ZIP of the whole thing for hardcore organ hoarders.