Ladilikan (World Circuit), a collaboration between Malian act Trio Da Kali and acclaimed American string ensemble Kronos Quartet is the number album of the Transglobal World Music Chart in September 2017.
Trio Da Kali includes some of the finest musicians in Mali: vocalist Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, bala master Lassana Diabaté (of AfroCubism) and bass ngoni vistuoso Mamadou Kouyaté (son of Bassekou Kouyaté).
David Harrington (of Kronos Quartet) described the recording as “one of the most beautiful collaborations Kronos has had in our first 40 years.”
Chicago Afrobeat Project – What Goes Up (Chicago Afrobeat Project, 2017)
Chicago Afrobeat Project, one of the finest Afrobeat collectives in North America, teams up with Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and groove master Tony Allen on What Goes Up. What was initially to be a collaboration on two tracks, grew into 10 tracks.
What Goes Up features a formidable rhythm section, an excellent cast of vocalists, and fabulous keyboards and guitars, as well as a solid brass section. In addition to classic Afrobeat, Chicago Afrobeat Project injects soul, funk, jazz fusion, blues, electronica and other elements, creating an explosive mix. The only drawback is the participation of some rappers who disrupt the cool vibes with their tired, monotonous out of rhythm rapping on 2 or three songs.
Quantas Tribos is an album by superb Portuguese singer and composer Marta Dias. It’s a beautiful album of Afro-rooted and Portuguese music that highlights Marta’s voice as well as duets and great interplay with male vocalist Costa Neto.
Marta Dias has family roots in Sao Tome (West Africa). The lyrics are poems by five leading poets from Sao Tome and Principe: Alda Espirito Santo, Conceição Lima, Fernando de Macedo, Francisco José Tenreiro and Maria Manuela Margarido.
Most of the music was composed by guitarist Osvaldo Santos and features a tasty mix of masterful guitar, percussion, nostalgic accordion and exquisite fretless electric bass.
Jazz vocal wizard Carmen Souza appears as guest on one song.
The lineup on Quantas Tribos includes Marta Dias on vocals; Osvaldo Santos on classical guitar; Yuri Daniel on bass; Ruca Rebordãao on percussion; João Frade on accordion; and Costa Neto on vocals. Guests: Carmen Souza and Kalaf on vocals.
Marta Dias’ earlier albums include YUÉ (União Lisboa, 1997), Aqui (Farol Música, 1999) and Ao Vivo no CCB (Movieplay, 2003).
Afrobeats Hot Hits: New Urban Dance Grooves from Africa presents a fabulous new wave of young Nigerian stars who combine African-rooted music and neosoul with cutting edge electronic dance music and electronically processed vocals. The multifaceted electronic beats are seductive and ingenious.
The artist selection includes Davido, Wizkid, Timaya, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Wande Coal, Seyi Shay, Skales, Kiss Daniel, 9ice, Falz, Anthony David, Kayefi.
The raw, percussion-driven but still melodic sounds of Farafina burst forth on this 1992 release. Layers of drumming provide a solid foundation for bala (wood and gourd xylophone), flute and lyrics that focus mainly on the subject of man’s place in the world and the fulfillment of destiny. But don’t get the idea that it’s heady-sounding stuff. It’s energetic and passionate, with a thunderously tight ensemble sound that knows when to fuel the fire and when to sit back and let it burn. So grab your drum, join in, and feel the spirit.
The World Music institute will present top African world music artists in New York City as part of its Masters of African Music series.
Acclaimed Ethiopian acts Mahmoud Ahmed and Hailu Mergia are scheduled to perform on September 15, 2017 at The Town Hall. Both artists appeared in the influential Éthiopiques compilation series that highlighted the finest Ethiopian artists over the past 20 years. Recording available: Ethiopiques, Vol. 7: Ere Mela Mela.
Dance on the Roof is the new album by Finnish band Afrotysonia. It’s a trio that combines Finnish traditional music, West African rhythms and melodies, and pop. the highlight is the interaction between the kantele and the percussion intruments. The English-language vocals are the weakest part of the project.
The lineup includes Sonja Korkman on vocals; Aino Kurki on kantele; and Macoumba Ndiaye on percussion. Guest vocalists: Tero Pajunen and Katri Liira.
Kane Mathis has been making annual trips to The Gambia, West Africa to study the 21-string harp called Kora played by the bards of the Mandinka people. Kane’s teacher is Jeli Ba Malamini Jobarteh who is one of the living legends of the Kora. Recognizing Kane’s seriousness with Kora, Jeli Ba Malamini Jobarteh gave Kane a regimen of Kora training never before undertaken by a non-African.
In addition to his learning with Malamini Jobarteh Kane has studied African music extensively over the past ten years. Kane’s present goal with Kora is to remain with the Mandinka musical tradition and along with the many other players and scholars of this music bring it to further recognition around the world.
JuJu is Justin Adams (electric guitar, bendir, backing vocals), Juldeh Camara (lead vocals ritti talking drum),Billy Fuller (bass) and Dave Smith (drums percussion).
JuJu’s successful hybrid sound was evident on their acclaimed 2007 debut ‘Soul Science’ and its equally praised follow up ‘Tell No Lies’. ‘In Trance’ came out in 2011, combining rock, African music, dub reggae and avant-garde jazz.
“Justin’s playing gets inside my body and I can hear the music in his head,” said Camara. “Justin plays African style.”
The In Trance recording took place at Real World Studios featuring new band members Dave Smith and Billy Fuller.
Juldeh Camara is a Gambian singer and ritti maestro who was taught to play the single-string West African fiddle by his blind father who himself was taught directly by the jinn. Having lived and worked in traditional Fula society as a griot, the hereditary poets praise singers and musicians who carry the cultural knowledge of their people.
Justin Adams is widely regarded as one of England’s most innovative and original guitarists and a child of punk whose long and varied resume includes producing albums by Saharan desert bluesmen Tinariwen and collaborating with the iconic Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel and Jah Wobble.
Bassist Billy Fuller has collaborated with Massive Attack, triphoppers Malachai and Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation (in which Adams plays lead guitar.
Dave Smith is one of the finest and most versatile young drummers in Britain. He’s influenced by West African percussion and classic jazz drumming.
“The whole album evolved in a very fast and spontaneous manner,” says Adams. “We just went into the studio and did five live takes without headphones or overdubbing. We set out to make swing music dance music trance music; we got all those things.”
After nearly 10 years since she recorded her last album, the great world music star Oumou Sangaré has a new album titled Mogoya. Oumou is Mali’s finest female and a leading figure in African and world music. She’s also a songwriter who writes most of her material.
Mogoya is a fabulous recording that combines Malian tradition with western trip hop modernity along with some good humor.
Oumou invited trailblazing Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, one of the pioneers of Afrobeat, who adds his memorable signature drum style on “Yere Faga,” a song that provides support to individuals suffering from depression.
The lineup includes Oumou Sangaré on vocals; Toni Allen on drums; Kandy Guira on backing vocals; Guimba Kouyaté on guitar; Benogo Diakité on kamele ngoni; and French production collective A.L.B.E.R.T. (Vincent Taurelle, Ludovic Bruni and Vincent Taeger), who added cutting edge electronic keyboards and other instruments tastefully.
Mogoya is an excellent, beautifully-crafted album by Oumou Sangaré, one of the greatest vocalists in Africa. It was well worth the wait.