POSTED 7 SEPTEMBER 2001
"O Primeiro Canto"
Armed with a tape recorder, Portuguese chanteuse Dulce Pontes
wandered her native country collecting sonic inspiration for her
fifth and finest recording, "O Primeiro Canto." Pontes has a voice
that rings true with each gorgeously stunning note.
"The Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music [BOX SET]"
"The Long Road to Freedom" is Harry Belafonte's labor of love. An
exhaustive, lavish five-CD collection of the music African Americans
made from their earliest years in the U.S. to the late 19th century,
"Long Road" comes with a 140-page book and a DVD chronicling the
making of the collection.
Sawt el Atlas
With its fusion of Moroccan backgrounds and French elements, Sawt
el Atlas stirs up a zesty form of world pop on its latest release,
The Six Degrees label is your reliable passport provider for all
manner of musical journeys across the globe. Check out "Realize,"
the new release by Karsh Kale of the "Asian Massive" movement. It's
a postmodern blend of electro and trance with ancient Indian sounds.
Seydu, et al
Putumayo's latest offers a musical overview of the staggering
richness and variety of Africa's musical landscape. "African
Odyssey" culls acoustic samples from Tunisia to the very end of
South Africa and features such artists as Habib Koite, Seydu,
and Manecas Costa.
Anyone looking for a thoroughly contemporary, easy-beat-driven take
on Afro-Cuban/Latin-jazz dance groove--look no further. Excellent
for either listening or dancing, "Olajope" is as perfect and
enticing as a summer day in the Caribbean.
"Soleil de Minuit"
With guitar prowess similar to fellow Mali musician Habib
Koite, Mama Sissoko offers up "Soleil de Minuit," a gorgeous
collection of songs. A combination of blues, jazz, and pop, the
highly skilled Sissoko knows when not to play, elsewhere giving the
music a voice through tasteful and pliant guitar work.
"Di Alma [IMPORT]"
Teofilo Chantre gives Cape Verde's morna-derived sodade oeuvre a
Brazilian-flavored update. "Di Alma" excels in the heady, yet always
danceable cabaret-style songs that have justifiably vaulted these
small islands onto the world-pop-music radar.
The freshest take on flamenco since the millennium flipped over
comes from a Spanish rocker who candidly admits he has no formal
background in the gypsy-guitar genre. Session and soundtrack work
have served Carlos Villalobos beautifully, however, lending him an
ear for cinematic textures plus the versatility to bring them to
life on "Esperanza II."
This reissue of Rokia Traore's first album from 1997 shows fewer of
the Western vocal touches than on 2000's "Wanita," along with soft
backing instrumentation that complements her voice like soft
raindrops on tender seeds. On "Mouneissa," she's arresting but
never overpowering as gliding harmonies couple with the chiming
FELA KUTI REISSUES
The career of Nigerian-born Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti was one
of the most formative influences on the world-music scene as we know
it. Godfather of Afro-beat, impassioned political activist, and
prophet to idealists around the globe, Fela continues to exert a
formidable presence despite his tragic death from AIDS in 1997. Here
are some unbeatable reissues from the prolific Fela.
FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS
Download songs from hundreds of independent and major-label
International artists. Available now:
* David Hudson, "Walkabout"
* Ernest Ranglin, "Way Back When"
* Garmarna, "Vanner Och Frander"
* Celtic Colors, "Tyre/Tiree Love Song"
* Go to all International downloads
GREAT CLASSICAL CDS FOR $8.99
Whether your taste runs to Bach or Wagner, you'll find the music
you're looking for in our Great Classical CDs for $8.99 Store! We've
dramatically reduced the price on hundreds of excellent recordings
covering the spectrum of classical music from some of the most
acclaimed artists and composers of all time, from opera to
orchestral, Baroque to modern. Just remember to hurry--the sale ends
September 25, 2001.
Great Classical CDs for $8.99
FEATURED BARGAIN OF THE MONTH
Bob Marley & The Wailers
"Natty Dread" captures Bob Marley's decisive transition from
Wailers band member to auteur. His singing and writing are now front
and center, and the revamped band is securely reined in to his
defiant, Rastafarian worldview. This 1974 release mirrors the
lineup's more sinewy sound.
POSTED 16 AUGUST 2001
With classical guitarists Jose Peixoto and Fernando Judice,
keyboardist Carlos Maria Trindade, and keyboardist/guitarist/
producer Pedro Ayres Magalhaes, Madredeus has expanded the
musical horizons of Portugal's national music without sacrificing its
beautiful, Moorish-descended sound.
On "Border," singer-songwriter Lila Downs explores the joys and
sorrows experienced by Mexican immigrants who cross the border for a
better life only to experience exploitation and racism in this
country. A child of a Mixtec Indian mother and Anglo-American
father, the talented Downs brings a fresh perspective from two
"Gil & Milton"
Two of Brazil's most enduring musical icons, Gilberto Gil and
Milton Nascimento, team up on "Gil & Milton" for their first
album-long collaboration. They cover personally shared favorites
(from Luiz Gonzaga to George Harrison's "Something") and also
present five new songs written for the album in a fusion of
Afro-Caribbean and Latin American musical impulses.
"We Before Me"
Led by a mysterious masked singer and saxophonist who gives the
band their name, Nigeria's "Lagbaja" mine not only the more
traditional sounds of highlife and juju but add plenty of Afrobeat
and '80s funk to the mix.
Long a dedicated student of musical tradition and technique,
Dominican musician Xiomara Fortuna finds a deep yet modern
Afro-Dominican groove on "Kumbajei." Somewhere between slinky jazz
and street-party music, Fortuna's compositions employ multiple
layers of melody and counter melody.
"People's Colony No. 1"
Temple of Sound & Rizwan-Muazz
"People's Colony No. 1" is a pan-cultural ocean of clubby beats,
dub, Asian and Middle Eastern dissonance, and the rhythmic wail of
Sufi tradition. Guest player Jah Wobble lays down the bones with his
mighty bass, and Cuban violinist Omar Puente bows Arabic style.
"Beat of Love"
The Bombay-born tabla master and percussionist Trilok Gurtu has
become a fixture on the pop- and world-music scenes, performing with
Pat Metheny, Gilberto Gil, and Bill Laswell. On "Beat of Love,"
Gurtu forms a rhythmic rice-and-curry meal flavored with funk, raga,
bhangra, and juju sonic seasonings.
El Hadj N'Diaye
El Hadj N'Diaye embarks on a nervy strategy for his internationally
released second album, "Xel." Senegal's searing signature mbalax
rhythm takes a back seat to meditative tempos and a guitar-rock
ambience seldom associated with African releases.
"Band of Gypsies"
Taraf De Haidouks
Romania's best-known music export, Taraf de Haidouks, returns with
a live album that perfectly displays their ample talents. "Band of
Gypsies" might share its title with a Jimi Hendrix record, but this
is the real deal, bringing in enough guests from around the Balkans
to qualify as a joyous summit on modern Roma culture.
"Nomad-Best of Amina"
Tunisia and techno don't usually go together. But Carthage-born
singer Amina has built a thriving, hip-gyrating career blending
North African belly-dancing beats with modern dance-floor
electronics. A huge hit in Europe, her surprisingly organic sound
has received scant exposure in the U.S., but this best-of disc
should change all that.
FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS
"Agua Rasa," from Brazilian superstar Vinicius Cantuaria's latest
release, "Vinicius," floats and hangs in midair like a feather
drifting gently on a light breeze.
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