Saturday, March 31, 2007


Tanzania was something of a guitarist's paradise during the 50s and 60s. The styles and sound are little-known outside East Africa, but I'm hoping that will change. Once you hear this cut by Kiko Kids Jazz, you'll be with me. The title: Sili Sishibi

loop'd tupan

NYC-based performance collective Balkan Beat Box blends more styles than I've got room to list, and does it superbly. Here's a cut from their upcoming CD (in photo). The title: Joro Boro

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Algerian singer Cheikha Tetma, caught on record in 1930. The song: Guenene Tini


Luna Viajera, from Terence Blanchard's CD Wandering Moon

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

por por

Ghana's industrious truck drivers make music with car and truck horns, tire pumps and metal brake drums. Today's cut is by the La Drivers Union Por Por Group. The title: Trotro Tour of Ghana

More info. here (includes performance video and audio samples).

* Photo by Steven Feld

Sunday, March 25, 2007

o barquinho

One of the loveliest standards of the bossa nova era, performed by Elis Regina and Toots Thielemans

* Photo by David Whitman

Friday, March 23, 2007

night and rain

The Wind, by Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan, is one long, seamless improvisation. Excerpts can't really do justice to their playing, but I'd like to offer Part I and Part II, in hopes that you'll seek out the rest.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Fisk Jubilee Singers were pioneers of black American culture. Formed in 1871, their many world and US tours enabled people to see and hear the beauty of spirituals (and other kinds of songs). It's no exaggeration to say that they changed the way music was heard - and understood.

Song: Roll, Jordan, Roll

* The official site of the Fisk Jubilee Singers (includes tour schedules and more).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Brazil's Orquestra Popular de Câmara gives a brand new spin to music from Central Asia. The title: Bayaty

Monday, March 19, 2007


I love the complex, looping sound of Daniel Humair's playing on today's track - not to mention his apparent use of kitchen utensils.
Casseroles/More Tuna, from Quatre fois Trois

* Sculpture by David Fried

Sunday, March 18, 2007

a thousand times

I'm a day late with this post (the 17th being the proper day for all things Irish. Still, the music is (I think) worth the wait.

The artists: Susan McKeown and Tartit. The song: Oró Mhíle Grá (A Thousand Times, My Love)


Piano Cubano - Peruchin's Changüi Oriental

* More on changüi here

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007


Italian master percussionist Carlo Rizzo's version of a Tarantella, from his album Scherzo Orientale

* Photo by Scatti di vita

lord randall

Martin Carthy's version of this ballad is both stark and compelling

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Taarab comes from the East African coast. It's a heady combination of local and not-so-local (Arabic, Indian) influences, and first caught my ear via a recording issued by the Original Music label. Here are two cuts from that LP.

Juma Bhalo - Kem Kem

Yaseen Mohammed & Saada - Lala Mpenzi

* More info. here

Friday, March 09, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007

perico ripiao

Truly frenetic merengue by Fefita La Grande - Me Pusieron/Trampa

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Celia Cruz (with La Sonora Matancera) - Caramelos

Friday, March 02, 2007


Unidentified children - Chariot Jubliee

Vera Hall - Black Woman