October 10, 2010

Reviews and charts October 10, 2010

ARTIST:  Moussu T E Lei Jovents
TITLE:  Putan De Cancon
LABEL:  Le Chant Du Monde

REVIEW:  Moussu T E Lei Jovents is a band from Marseilles, France whose music fuses some of the wide variety of sounds heard in that worldly port city: local and Provencal traditions, American blues and jazz, the sounds of the Caribbean, and especially the music of Brazil.  They’re led by vocalist Tatou, founder of the legendary Marseilles reggae-rock band Massilia Sound System; the real star here is string player Blu (also a Massilia alumnus), whose work on various guitars and banjos is just stunningly tasteful throughout.  Three percussionists back them up, laying down subtly Brazilian-influenced rhythms.  These are mature, confident, virtuoso musicians and songwriters who make this complex fusion of styles seem natural and effortless – the overall vibe is one of a jam session or street busking.  This is the kind of album that Manu Chao or Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz will want to make when they’re tired of the road and ready to settle down.  Two thumbs way, way up for one of the best releases I’ve heard in 2010.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    1    3    6    7    10

Excellent new records by Ebo Taylor and Huun Huur Tu are reviewed inside, and WRIR's world music charts are there as well.  So take the jump ...

ARTIST:  Ebo Taylor
TITLE:  Love And Death
LABEL:  Strut

REVIEW:  74 year old guitarist Ebo Taylor is one of the most important musicians in the development of Afrobeat.  His 1970’s tracks on Soundway’s Ghana Soundz compilations are among the all-time highlights of the genre.  Believe it or not, this is his first internationally distributed solo album after a career of hitmaking, bandleading and teaching in Accra.  Here he’s supported by Afrobeat Academy, a Berlin-based group that includes Oghene Kologbo from Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band.  The session features some superb guitar playing, a punchy horn section, rock-solid bass and terrific polyrhythmic trap drum playing by Ekow Alabi, who’s very much in the Tony Allen style of Afrobeat drumming.  The result is one of the most satisfying contemporary Afrobeat recordings in recent years.  Ebo Taylor is not a nostalgia act – he’s happening right now and if you like funky West African music you won’t hear many better recordings this year than this one.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    1    2    3    5

ARTIST:  Huun Huur Tu
TITLE:  Ancentors Call
LABEL:  World Village

REVIEW:  Huun Huur Tu is a four-man group from Tuva, a Russian republic in southern Siberia bordering Mongolia.  They’re one of the best-known bands in the world that specializes in khoomei, or “throat singing,” a technique in which a singer produces more than one note at a time.  The fundamental note is usually in the bass register, the overtones sound like whistles or birdsong, and the overall effect is otherworldly and mesmerizing.  Huun Huur Tu has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians in the past (Kronos Quartet, Frank Zappa, The Chieftains, Kodo Drummers), but here it’s just the four of them on guitar, flute, traditional Tuvan instrumentals -- and of course those incredible voices.  If you’ve heard throat singing (the Richmond Folk Festival has had a few throat singing groups over the years), these guys are the best.  If you haven’t heard it, you’re in for a major treat.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    3    6    7    12

New & Recommended At WRIR
Antibalas | Who Is This America? | Ropeadope
Apples, The | Kings | Freestyle
Balkanize! | Balkan Eyes | self-released
Bostich + Fussible | Bulevar 2000 | Nacional
Debo Band | Flamingoh (Pink Bird Dawn) | self-released
Huun Huur Tu | Ancestors Call | World Village
Krygier, Axel | Pesebre | Crammed Discs
Matorralman | Guateque Estelar | Nacional
Moussu T E Lei Jovents | Putan De Cancon | Le Chant Du Monde
Orchestre National De Barbes | Rendez-vous Barbes | Le Chant Du Monde
Roots Of OK Jazz: Congo Classics 1955-1956 | (various artists) | Crammed Discs
Salsa Explosion! The New York Salsa Revolution 1968-1985 | (various artists) | Strut
Septeto Nacional | Sin Rumba No Hay Son | World Village
Soriano, Joan | El Duque De La Bachata | iASO
Taylor, Ebo | Love And Death | Strut

CMJ New World Top Ten
1 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Salsa Explosion: The New York Salsa Revolution 1969-1985 | Strut
2 MATORRALMAN | Guateque Estelar | Nacional
3 BOSTICH + FUSSIBLE | Bulevar 2000 |Nacional
4 THE APPLES | Kings | Freestyle
5 THE BUDOS BAND | III | Daptone
6 THE PINKER TONES | Modular | Nacional
7 ETOILE DE DAKAR FEATURING YOUSSOU N'DOUR | Once Upon A Time In Senegal: The Birth Of Mbalax 1979-1981 | Sterns
8 JOAN SORIANO | El Duque De La Bachata | iASO
9 SEPTETO NACIONAL IGNACIO PINEIRO | Sin Rumba No Hay Son | World Village
10 ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE BARBES | Rendes-Vous Barbes | Le Chant Du Monde

CMJ New World Adds
1 BUJU BANTON | Before The Dawn | Gargamel
2 SABOR DE GRACIA | Sabor Pa' Rato | World Village
3 JOVINO SANTOS NEVO | Veja O Som: See The Sound | Adventure Music
4 TOUBAB KREWE | TK2 | Nat Geo Music
5 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Roots Of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru | Barbes

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