FROM AFRICA TO AMERICA: GoNOMADs Favorite African World Music Fusion CDs
Think Tower of Power meets Uwe drummers in a jazz-infused format and you get the idea. This is sexy, dance-all-night music. "Beng, Beng, Beng" the CDs steamiest track is pure Kuti, Jr. -- big bass, big horns and lots of hip-grinding groove (banned in Nigeria for its sexual lyrics) -- while "Blackman Know Yourself" puts Kuti squarely in his dads camp; using music to express the needs, desires and political aspirations of the African people. The remaining tracks keep the energy and groove going all night. Wanna dance?
"Show Me The Way," mixes blues guitar and English backing vocals in the chorus with African drums and a ballad rhythm as mellow as the wide Zaire River that winds through his homeland. His sultry, African version of "Sad Song" would make Otis Redding proud. Easy listening, to be sure, but no mistaking the roots of this CD. This is Africa, smooth, wide and modern.
Mali To Memphis: An African-American Odyssey
Malian Habib Koite meets Muddy Waters and Amadou and Mariam meet Jessie Mae Hemphill and Taj Mahal. If you ever wondered just what united Mali and Mississippi, wonder no further. Riffs, patterns, twangy guitars, and melancholy vocals (even if you cant understand the lyrics) are seamless from one track to the next, so much so that you can almost imagine what kind of music must have been floating through the nights in the muggy fields of the American South two hundred years ago.
Ali Farka Toure
Recorded in a crumbling adobe studio in his hometown of Niafunke, this is his first release in 5 years. Farming the arid lands around his home had taken up much of his time and energy, and the tracks on this CD take him back to this traditional aspect of most Malians lives, from which Toure, and the blues, are never far away. Smooth, cool and authentic. Dont miss this CD.
Not only does Baabas resonant voice one of the best in Africa -- carry the winds of Africa, but combined with the talents of Sinead OConnor and the Screaming Orphans (her backup group), Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Luciano and others, this CD is a seamless blend of the best of Western and African music. African drums, big horns (ala Femi Kuti), Celtic harmonies, pulsing bass, blues guitars, and reggae riffs all seem perfectly in place here. Trust us; youll love this CD. We do.
Johnny Clegg and Juluka
Rocking beat, Zulu harmonies and passionate pleas to end racism made Clegg and Juluka popular from Cape Town to San Francisco in the early 80s. This CD offers tunes from 6 different, highly acclaimed albums, including the chart-topper, Scatterlings of Africa. It is not a greatest hits CD, however, and if youre looking for favorite radio play tunes, youll be disappointed. Nonetheless, these 10 powerful tracks show just what made Johnny Clegg and Juluka truly cutting-edge in both their politics and their music.
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