James Asher – Raising the Rhythms (Free Spirit Entertainment, 1999)
Citing influences from the Caribbean, America, India, Africa and Middle East, this promises to be an all-round world music album by percussionist James Asher. Our picks include the tracks Tropical Zinge, Spice Souk, Zingawele, and Sunny Side Up. The 10 tracks on this album make for about 52 minutes of music, but some of the pieces are downright cheesy and sound more like elevator music.
The opening and closing tracks are good, but many of the rest in between leave a lot to be desired. Pity, because there is a rich range of instruments: Sandeep Raval on tablas, Kiran Thakrar: on keyboards, Thomas Blug on guitar and Ted Emmett trumpet.
Author: Madanmohan Rao
Madanmohan Rao is an author and media consultant from Bangalore, and global correspondent for world music and jazz for World Music Central and Jazzuality. He has written over 15 books on media, management and culture, and is research director for YourStory Media. Madan was formerly World Music Editor at Rave magazine and RJ at WorldSpace, and can be followed on Twitter at @MadanRao.