Monday, October 30, 2006
Last month I posted a track written by Trinidadian composer/pianist Lionel Belasco. His music was a real find for me, and worth featuring again. The cut is a Jamaican mento song, Sly Mongoose. (And no, it's not a calypso!)
* Many thanks to Mike at Mento Music for his diligence, humo[u]r and love for the music
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Today's track comes from eastern Sudan. It's a rare example of the traditional music of the Beja people, who live along the coast (running from southern Egypt to northern Eritrea). Here's singer/'udist Musa Adem performing Yahmoit.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Soth African township jive keeps on evolving - and one of my favorite contemporary singers, Busi Mhlongo, does it as well as anyone and better than most. Here's an original song by her, We Baba Omncane. The title translates as "if you don't obey your parents..." Hats off to Busi for being so "conscious," and for sounding so great while doing it.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
This is one of my favorite Arabic pieces, played by Mimi Spencer (qanun) and Mary Ellen Donald (Arabic tabla). Mimi was an all-around nice person, and one of the best qanun players in the US - her improvisation here is breathtaking.
The piece is Longa Riyadh, by Egyptian composer Riyadh al-Sunbati. You can find it on In Xiniang Time
Monday, October 16, 2006
One of my favorite sambas celebrates the pleasures of the beach and nightlife in Rio's Copacabana neighborhood. It's called Sábado em Copacabana, and was written by the great Dorival Caymmi.
This version is by Zélia Duncan and guitarist Marco Pereira. (Hint: If you like this, hunt down a copy of Zélia's Eu me transformo em outras.)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I'm a sucker for Cuban standards - there's a certain intensity to them them that's found nowhere else. Here's a nice version of Lagrimas Negras by Trio Lissabet. This cut came from an old Cook Records LP, and is part of the Smithsonian Folkways catalog.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I discovered gamelan music via a brief bio. of Claude Debussy. He heard a gamelan at the 1889 Paris Exposition, and the experience changed his music forever.
Today, I'm featuring Balinese composer/drummer Wayan Lotring and his ensemble, performing Gambangan. It's from an Ocora set titled Hommage à Wayan Lotring - hard to find, but well worth hunting down.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
One of my favorite genres of Brazilian music is a well-kept secret. It's called choro - a Rio-born, Rio-based instrumental style that combines beautiful melody lines with African-derived rhythms.
The first time I heard a choro recording, I had no idea what to make of it - it was completely unlike any Brazilian music I'd ever heard. Thanks to a few in-the-know friends (with great record collections), my confusion turned into a passionate love of the music.
Here's Brazilian flutist Alexandre Maionese playing a choro by one of the style's earliest masters, Joaquim Callado. (That's his portrait above.) The piece is called Flor Amorosa.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
It's getting dark very early now, and there are times I'd like to head off to parts unknown in the Southern Hemisphere. Finances dictate otherwise, but I can listen to music that takes me there, albeit briefly.
Bud Powell - A Night in Tunisia
Bud Powell - A Night in Tunisia
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
This cut, Oh Lord! Bring Apartheid Crashing Down comes not from South Africa but the southern Sahara. It's one of many striking tracks on Moorish Music from Mauritania, a World Circuit release that's now (sadly) out of print.
Dimi Mint Abba's interpretation is urgent, gritty and deeply moving.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
African roots + American jazz = South African jazz and jive.
Dorothy Masuka was one of the most important singers on Johannesburg's 1950s music scene. Her voice is beautiful, no question. Here she is singing Zoo Lake.
(Click here for a BBC interview with Masuka.)