The Idan Raichel Project
Quarter to Six (Cumbancha, 2013)
Although it’s clear that Israeli musician Idan Raichel has a great interest in the musical traditions of the globe, his style cannot be really categorized as world music. Instead, Reichel specializes in modern pop songs sung in Hebrew. True, he adds a little traditional music detail here and there, but it’s essential easy listening pop, similar to what you can hear in any top-40 station in most western countries.
Raichel’s best work to date is the Touré-Raichel Collective, the collaboration with Malian guitar sensation Vieux Farka Touré. The most attractive piece on Quarter to Six is the engaging “Ana Ana wa Enta Enta (I Am What I Am),” his Arabic-language song in collaboration with Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad. It has the deepest traditional music roots and shows how Raichel utilizes music to break political boundaries.
Other guests in Quarter to Six include Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura on “Sabe Deus (God Knows),” German counter-tenor Andreas Scholl, and Vieux Farka Touré on “Mon Amour (My Love).”