One World, Many Cultures (Putumayo, 2006)
This is a superb Putumayo compilation, top of our pick this month. Duets seem all the rage these days, and this album features 11 cross-cultural collaborations between western artists and some of the top names in contemporary world music. Outstanding partnerships on this CD include Algerian Cheb Mami and Jamaica’s Ziggy Marley (in the track Madanite), and blues legend Taj Mahal with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate (in Queen Bee).
The album begins in fine style with the smooth African Dream (by Wasis Diop and Lena Fiagbe), and another notable track is Snimbe featuring Tama and Susheela Raman. This album definitely belongs in your collection, both as a great musical experience as well as a pointer to a world of musical harmony.