In late October 1989, David 'Mr Bongo' Buttle opened his first record shop, underneath Daddy Kool’s Reggae Store on Berwick Street in London.
Out of this basement a thriving Latin shop was born and supplied music for salsa dancers, Latin Jazz addicts and Brazilian groovers. Such characters as Giles Peterson and clubs such as Dingwalls championed this music and in the following years Mr Bongo established itself as the leader and provider for whole scene.
The rest, as they say, is history. 25 years worth. Encompassing several shop locations in central London and even in Shibuya, Tokyo. Sub-labels including Disorient, Beyongolia, Mr Bongo Bass, Latin 45's and Brazil 45's. The list of artists to have released on Mr Bongo is too long for a blog post but includes true greats such as Jorge Ben, Terry Callier, Masters At Work, Joyce, Ive Mendes, Tito Puente, Sabu Martinez, Wilson Simonal, Ebo Taylor, Seun Kuti, Hollie Cook, Prince Fatty, Nico Gomez, The Incredible Bongo Band and many many more.
To celebrate 25 years of releasing music, we have released a compilation: '25 Years Of Mr Bongo: 1989-2014', available on 2-CD and download. Mr Bongo classics on disc one and the future of Bongo on disc two:
As part of the retrospective we will be looking back at some of our favourite releases.
The very first release on Mr Bongo (MRBLP001 and MRBCD001) was Os Ipanemas by Os Ipanemas. A seminal bossa nova album and one of the best sounding Brazilian recordings. The record is the result of a 1964 jam session organised by Astor Silva and Wilson Das Neves and was originally released in 1975 on the Brazilian label Discos CBS. 'Nana' features on the 25th anniversary compilation:
This album is available on CD and vinyl LP.