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    POSTED 7 SEPTEMBER 2001

    "O Primeiro Canto" Dulce Pontes
    ...available here.
    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]" Various Artists
    ...available here.
    "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.

    "Donia" Sawt el Atlas
    ...available here.
    With its fusion of Moroccan backgrounds and French elements, Sawt el Atlas stirs up a zesty form of world pop on its latest release, "Donia."

    "Realize" Karsh Kale
    ...available here.
    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.

    "African Odyssey" Seydu, et al
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Olajope" Batidos
    ...available here.
    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.

    EDITOR'S FAVORITES

    "Soleil de Minuit" Mama Sissoko
    ...available here.
    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
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Esperanza II" La Esperanza
    ...available here.
    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."

    "Mouneissa [IMPORT]" Rokia Traore
    ...available here.
    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 plucked-string arrangement.

    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.
    Fela reissues
    ...available here.

    FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS

    Download songs from hundreds of independent and major-label International artists. Available now: * David Hudson, "Walkabout"
    ...available here.
    * Ernest Ranglin, "Way Back When"
    ...available here.
    * Garmarna, "Vanner Och Frander"
    ...available here.
    * Celtic Colors, "Tyre/Tiree Love Song"
    ...available here.
    * Go to all International downloads
    ...available here.

    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
    ...available here.

    FEATURED BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

    "Natty Dread" Bob Marley & The Wailers
    ...available here.
    "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

    "Movimento" Madredeus
    ...available here.
    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.

    Read more
    ...available here.

    "Border" Lila Downs
    ...available here.
    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 cultural worlds.

    "Gil & Milton" Gilberto Gil
    ...available here.
    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" Lagbaja
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Kumbajei" Xiomara Fortuna
    ...available here.
    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
    ...available here.
    "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.

    EDITOR'S FAVORITES

    "Beat of Love" Trilok Gurtu
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Xel" El Hadj N'Diaye
    ...available here.
    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
    ...available here.
    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" Amina
    ...available here.
    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.

    Go to download
    ...available here.

PREVIOUS PREVIEWS

    Editor, Thomas May

    POSTED 23 JULY 2001

    WOMAD 2001

    This year's WOMAD USA festival, which celebrates the proliferating world-music scene, features such first-rate artists as Afro Celt Sound System and many others from among 22 countries. Here are some releases from WOMAD artists: * Kathryn Tickell Band
    ...available here.

    * Lagbaja
    ...available here.

    * Sawt el Atlas
    ...available here.

    More WOMAD artists
    ...available here.

    NEW AND NOTABLE

    "Tree" Gaelic Storm
    ...available here.
    Recent waves of artists cashing in on the Celtic-music trend have begun diluting the flavor and feeling behind the music. But not groups like Gaelic Storm, who--with their new release "Tree"--are keeping their heritage alive, blending their musical roots with modern elements in a spirited fashion.

    "Under the Moroccan Sky"
    ...available here.
    The Sounds True label has added another fascinating title to its unique collection of sacred Islamic music. "Under the Moroccan Sky" is the third volume in the series from the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and offers a sonic snapshot of the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Sounds from Algeria, Kurdistan, Egypt, Senegal, and more contribute to the rich tapestry.

    "La Culebra [IMPORT]" Osdalgia
    ...available here.
    If you've got a weak heart, steer clear of Osdalgia. When she flings herself into a breakneck timbia, she could send your pulse into overdrive. Her confidence as a performer dabbling in everything from jazz vocal to rap matches her chutzpah as a composer.

    "Vision of Peace" Ravi Shankar
    ...available here.
    Ravi Shankar occupies a status apart among the true visionaries of the world-music scene. This new two-CD set, "Vision of Peace," includes collaborations with Japanese musicians Susumu Miyashita (koto) and Hozan Yamamoto (shakuhachi), as well as Shankar's longtime colleague Alla Rakha (tabla). The sitar master, about to turn 81 this year, remains a formidable creative force.

    "Dellali" Cheb Mami
    ...available here.
    A crossover star vocalist who has introduced the joyful sounds of Algerian Rai to a wider audience (through his collaboration with Sting), Cheb Mami is back with a rhythmically intense and wide-ranging collection on "Dellali."

    "Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn" Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
    ...available here.
    The nephew of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat was personally selected by the master to lead his band after his death. Rahat is still in the process of developing his own musical identity, but he brings undeniable vocal power and presence to the pursuit of Qawwali, the beat-driven setting of Sufi poetry.

    EDITOR'S FAVORITES

    "The Rough Guide to Franco: Africa's Legendary Guitar Maestro [IMPORT]" Franco
    ...available here.
    They called him the "Sorcerer of the Guitar," and with his band, O.K. Jazz, he helped shaped not only the history of Congolese rumba, but also soukous. Franco was a giant, not just physically, but also in reputation, a guitar god every bit the equal of Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, but unknown in the West.

    "Boheme De Cristal" Lo'Jo
    ...available here.
    Lo'Jo are perhaps the ideal reflection of modern France. Multicultural, quirky, and artistic, they bring together strands of chanson, North African rhythms and harmonies, and the primal sounds of West Africa into a tasty bouillabaisse.

    "Mi Yeewnii-Missing You" Baaba Maal
    ...available here.
    On "Mi Yeewnii (Missing You)," Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal's piercingly gorgeous, stratospheric Islamic wailing soars over melodies constructed along austere yet sensuous lines as he sings of Africa's imminent heyday, romantic love, and ancient tales.

    NEW FROM SIX DEGREES

    "African Travels"
    ...available here.
    Six Degrees has issued another musical passport and ticket to go with African Travels, part of its ongoing Travels series. This new release looks at the interplay between musical energies from the continent and today's electronic dance culture. Check out some of the new grooves and directions African music is taking.

    Go to the Six Degrees Store
    ...available here.

    GREAT REGGAE REISSUES

    Celebrate the summer with some great new reissues of reggae classics: a topnotch Bob Marley anthology called "One Love" and the remastered version of the soundtrack to "The Harder They Come."

    "One Love-The Very Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers" Bob Marley & Wailers
    ...available here.

    "Soundtrack [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]" Harder They Come
    ...available here.

    FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS

    Moreno Veloso, son of legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso, does his father's legacy justice with his debut release, Music Typewriter. Download "Arrivederci," a funky slab of Brazilian pop.

    Go to download
    ...available here.
    And check out these downloads from Burning Spear: "House of Reggae"
    ...available here.
    "Dub It Clean"
    ...available here.
    "As It Is"
    ...available here.

    NEW FROM JAMDOWN RECORDS

    Jamdown Records has some new releases to find the right summer riddims. Check out these latest titles in their series of reggae and dancehall compilations, featuring such artists as Elephant Man, Frisco Kid, Hawkeye, and many more: "Dancehall Explosion 2001"
    ...available here.
    "Reggae Explosion"
    ...available here.
    "Riddim Ryders"
    ...available here.


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