Music: Jazz in the Jungle

The drummer was from the jazz caves of Broadway, the skins from the jungles of Nigeria, some of the audience from the green hills of Rhodesia. But the message needed no translation: when Drummer Carlos ("Potato") Valdes started slapping the taut "talking" drums in a syncopated rhythm, eyes rolled, lips moved, bodies swayed in time to the beat. Had the air been a little bluer and the babble a little louder, it might be any weekend night back at Manhattan's Village Vanguard.

That is how it went all during the four-month, ANTA-sponsored African tour of Herbie Mann's Jazz Octet. From Liberia to...

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