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Such is life

Malick Diaw – “Ainsí Va la Vie” (Malick Diaw, 2015)

Senegalese guitarist and singer-songwriter Malick Diaw has released his debut album after many years involved in the West African music scene. “Ainsí Va la Vie” (Such is life) reflects the musical and cultural influences he’s experienced throughout the years. You’ll find West African Manding roots along with blues, folk, jazz and some Spanish flamenco influences.

Although currently based in Paris, Malick Diaw spent eight years in Madrid and he went back there to record most of the tracks on “Ainsí Va la Vie.” His lyrics reflect his personal experience as a musician. He also pays tribute to his father, mothers, women, the Mouride Sufi brotherhood, the dangers of boat migration and other social issues.

Malick Diaw has some connections with the sound of Youssou N’Dour, Ismael Lo and Salif Keita although his time in Spain and his collaborations with African artists from other parts of the continent incorporate many other elements that define his unique sound.

Diaw started his musical career in 1993, while he was still a student in Dakar. One of his first gigs was in Gambia where he accompanied various Senegalse artists on the guitar. In Senegal he recorded on various albums: “Beukarek garaman” (1993) by Dial Mbaye; and the following albums by Alioune Mbaye Nder: “Aduna” (1995), “Inalmanaila” (1996), “Fatelekoul dom” (1996), “Lénéen” (1997) and “Serigne Mansour” (1998).

In 2001, Malick Diaw participated in “Madada”, the debut album by Guinean artists Kamaldine Konte.

In 2002 he relocated to Madrid (Spain) where he joined the band Djambutu Thiossane. He recorded two albums with the band, “Fass” and “Nitt”. In Madrid’s thriving musical melting pot he also worked with fellow Senegalese artist Sidy Samb (former member of Mártires del Compás) with he recorded “La sombra del duende” and two albums for the Senegalese market: “Ngewël” and “Morena”.

While in Spain, Malick Diaw toured with Equatorial Guinean vocalist Piruchi (Hijas Del Sol) and Bidinte from Guinea Bissau. He also joined well known Senegalse artists during their European toutrs: Fallou Dieng, Pape Diouf, Titi, Abdou Guite, Mapenda Seck, Fatou Guéwél, Pape Thiopet, and Djiby Dramé.
In 2009 he collaborated with the late Saharawi Singer Mariem Hassan during her performances at WOMAD in Charlton Park*(UK) and Taormina (Italy), and recorded on her album “Shouka” (Nubenegra, 2010).

In 2010, Diaw moved to Paris although he frequently tours Spain and Switzerland.

Buy the digital download version of Ainsí Va la Vie


New Fela Kuti 3CD Compilation ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul’

Kinitting Factory Records has announced the release of Fela Ransome Kuti and Koola Lobitos’ ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969).’ The 3-CD compilation is scheduled for release April 1, 2016.

‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969)’ contains all the Koola Lobitos recordings with a 12-page booklet, including a full discography and essay by Fela Kuti scholar and author Michael Veal. The significant collection of 39 tracks, recorded live at the Afro-Spot in Lagos, Nigeria, in the mid-1960s demonstrates how Fela used a mix of jazz and high-life to create the early beginnings of what was soon to become his characteristic Afrobeat.

The compilation traces Fela’s musical evolution in the decade before he formed the famous Africa 70 band. In 1958 Fela was sent to London by his parents to study medicine but he decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music.

Upon returning to Lagos in 1963 Fela had aspirations of becoming a successful modern jazz musician and became the leader of Koola Lobitos, a popular dance band. ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969)’ follows Fela Kuti’s career, from highlife (a genre considered to be a West African slant on jazz) to soul to the beginnings of Afrobeat.

Also for Record Store Day (April 16, 2016) Knitting Factory will release a limited edition 10” vinyl single of the 1986 recording of “I Go Shout Plenty”, backed with “Frustration”.

Buy http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014MKIEYC?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B014MKIEYC&linkCode=xm2&tag=musidelmund-20


Fascinating Tibetan Musical Diversity of Dharamsala

Various Artists – Men of Dharamsala (Yarlung Records YAR70902, 2015)

Men of Dharamsala is a fascinating project in support of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. Even though Dharamsala is located in northern india, it is the home of a large Tibetan exile community.

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) was established by the Dalai Lama in 1959. Since then the TIPA and its musicians have labored to keep Tibetan performing arts alive.

The project was carried out by an American production crew consisting of associate producer and Tibetan opera singer Tsering Lodoe, executive producer Randy Bellous, assistant producer Jacob Horowitz, mastering engineer Steve Hoffman and their Tibetan friends Tenzin Sangpo, Rinchen Lhamo and Dhondup Namgyal.

The production team recorded Men of Dharamsala in the auditorium at TIPA in McLeod Ganj, above Dharamsala. Tibetan culture was represented by Tibetan opera, dance and folk music, nomad songs from the Tibetan plateau sung in Amdo, and mesmerizing pujas (prayers) from the Nechung Monastery featuring wind instruments, human skull rattles and Tibetan long horns.

The album begins with Chinbep Puja (Blessing of the Environment) by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

Track 2, “Great Eastern Sun”, is a Tibetan nomad song in Amdo by Toenpa Kyap.

Track 3, “Gyalue Namthar & Ringa” is a stage purification dance by Penpa Tsering, Sharab Wangmo and a chorus of dakinis.

On track 4, titled “Rangyul Rangla Mayna”, guitarist and vocalist Jamyang Choeden performs a modern folk song.

Track 5, “Rime Soldep” (Four Lineages Puja) is a prayer by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

Nechung monks taking a break from the recording and warming up with tea
Nechung monks taking a break from the recording and warming up with tea

Tibetan opera appears on track 6, “Nangsa Woebum” performed by Penpa Tsering.

Track 7, titled “Zandang Palri” features the monks of Nechung Monastery.

“Ayr-sha”, track 8, is a folk song about a majestic mountain pass, performd by Tsering Lodoe.

Track 9 presents “Drelkar,” a well-known spoken performance by Penpa Tsering.

The monks of Nechung Monastery deliver “Losar Puja”, a prayer for the New Year on track 10.

Track 11 is a deghtful Amdo folk song with a galloping rhythm titled “Homage to the Lama” performed by Toenpa Kyap on vocals and guitar and Tsering Lodoe on damyin (Tibetan lute).

On track 12, Tibetan opera returns with a white mask dance called “Tashi Shoelpa” featuring members of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.
Tsering Lodoe sings in the next three tracks, “Dopoe Namthar” from the opera Drowa Sangmo, “Norsang Yab Ki Namthar” from the opera Prince Norsang and “Gyalue Namthar”, a stage purification dance.

Track 16 is a refuge puja titkled “Gyun, Chak Sumpa” by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

“Amdo Glory”, track 17 is another Tibetan nomad song by Toenpa Kyap.

The album closes with the spectacular sound of the Tibetan long horns played by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

This wonderful production received support from Stratton-Petit Foundation, Nechung Monastery, Jacques Farasat and Lynne & Tom Tillack.

Buy Men of Dharamsala


Steep Canyon Rangers to perform at Merlefest 2016

Renowned contemporary bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers is set to perform at Merlefest in 2016. MerleFest 2016 is scheduled for April 28 – May 1, 2016 and will take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Steep Canyon Rangers was formed fifteen years ago at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and have released nine studio albums. The Rangers’ latest album “Radio” was released in August 2015.

Tickets for MerleFest 2016 may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857.


Me decidi

Joan Soriano – Me decidi (iASO Records Records iASCD13, 2015)

Joan Soriano, the master of roots bachata delivers another superb album that combines tradition with modernity. Me decidi showcases Joan Soriano’s talent on guitar and lead vocals, along additional vocalists and a rhythm section with distinctively Dominican flavor.

The style remains rooted in captivating bachata, although Joan Soriano is also appealing to a wider audience by incorporating bolero, nueva trova, romantic pop elements and even unexpected doowop.

Most of the lyrics on the album are about love, passion and disaffection although Joan Soriano also sings about important social issues as in the song “El SIDA” (AIDS).

The lineup on Me decidi includes Joan Soriano on lead guitar, lead vocals and chorus; his sister Griselda Soriano on lead vocals and chorus; André Veloz on lead vocals; Joan’s brother, Fernando Soriano on rhythm guitar, lead vocals and chorus; and Robert Feliz on chorus.

Me decidi was recorded in two sessions. The New York band includes Julián Pacheco on bass; Raúl Bier on bongo, cowbell; and Livander Feliz on güira (Dominican scraper).

The other session took place in Santo Domingo and features Mariano Ferreira on rhythm guitar; José Jaques on bass; José Francisco Dias on bongo; and Rhadamés Reyes on güira.

Buy Me decidi


Best World Music Albums of 2015

Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba – Ba Power
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba – Ba Power


World Music Central presents the list of Best World Music albums of 2015 in alphabetical order.

Ana Alcaide – Tales of Pangea (ARC Music), Spain/Indonesia


Bachar Mar-Khalifé – Ya Balad (InFine), Lebanon


Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Ba Power (Glitterbeat), Mali


BKO Quintet – Bamako Today (Buda Musique), Mali


Dizu Plaatjies and Friends Ubuntu – The Common String (Mountain Records), South Africa


Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band – Rye Groove (Esko Järvelä), Finland


Giuliano Gabriele – Madre (iworld), Italy


Griselda Sanderson – Radial (Waulk Records), Scotland


Kelly Thoma – 7Fish (Kelly Thoma), Greece


Ludovico Einaudi – Taranta Project (Ponderosa Music & Art), Italy


Mamak Khadem – The Road (Innova), Iran/USA


Niyaz – Fourth Light (Six Degrees Records), Iran/USA


Ola Fresca – Elixir (Pipiki Records), USA


Pepe Luis Carmona Habichuela – La Vida Llega (Nuevos Medios), Spain


Sekou Kouyate – Sabaru (One World Records), Guinea


Shooglenifty – The Untied Know (Shoogle), Scotland


Taraf de Haïdouks – Of Lovers, Gamblers and Parachute Skirts (Crammed Discs), Romania


Terakaft – Alone (OutHere Records), Mali


Te Vaka – Amataga (Warm Earth Records), Polynesia


Vilma Timonen Quartet – Drops (Bafe’s Factory), Finland


Transglobal World Music Chart for January 2016

Lura - Herança
Lura – Herança


Afro-Portuguese artist Lura reached the top of the Transglobal World Music Chart in January 2016.

1 Lura – Herança (Lusafrica)
2 Sam Lee & Friends – The Fade in Time (The Nest Collective)
3 Vieux Farka Touré & Julia Easterlin – Touristes (Six Degrees Records)
4 L’Attirail – La Route Interieure (Les Chantiers Sonores)
5 Kandia Kouyaté – Renascence (Stern’s Music)
6 Kreiz Breizh Akademi – 5ed Round (Innacor)
7 Dizu Plaatjies and Friends – Ubuntu-The Common String (Mountain Records)
8 Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood & The Rajasthan Express – Junun (Nonesuch)
9 Bixiga 70 – III (Glitterbeat Records)
10 Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Ségal – Musique de Nuit (Nø Førmat! / Six Degrees Records)
11 Čači Vorba – Šatrika (Oriente Musik)
12 Oratnitza – Folktron (Fusion Embassy)
13 Sahra Halgan Trio – Faransiskiyo Somaliland (Buda Musique)
14 Polyversal Souls – Invisible Joy (Philophon)
15 Lemon Bucket Orkestra – Moorka (Lemon Bucket Orkestra)
16 Carles Dénia i La Nova Rimaire – L’Home Insomne (Comboi Records)
17 Griselda Sanderson – Radial (Waulk Records)
18 Te Vaka – Amataga (Warm Earth Records)
19 Zohar Fresco – Tof Miriam (Zohar Fresco)
20 V.A. – Lost in Mali (Riverboat / World Music Network)

More about the chart: www.transglobalwmc.com