March 20, 2018

Program March 21, 2018

One of the pleasures of hosting a radio show is the opportunity it affords me to bang the drum for artists who deserve wider recognition.  Skip McDonald, who records as Little Axe (pictured above) is high on my list of those artists.

McDonald is best known as the guitarist in two of the seminal studio bands of our era: the house band at Sugarhill Records (where he played on the pioneering hip hop recordings of Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa) and Tackhead (the London band that powered Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound Records, uniting funk, dub and industrial music).

But he started with the blues, learning guitar from his father at age eight, and the Little Axe project ties together all of his musical experience -- it's the blues meets dub and trip-hop.  This week on Global A Go-Go I'll play you three tracks from the extensive Little Axe catalog (12 albums so far), including one from his most recent release, London Blues.

Also this week: a Latin music sampler - trova, bachata, Latin soul and salsa; brass bands from India and the Balkans; and new sounds from Fela Kuti's sons Femi and Seun.

March 19, 2018

Charts March 18, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HAILU MERGIA | Lala Belu | Awesome Tapes From Africa
2 LEVANTA POEIRA | various artists | Jazz & Milk
3 SIDI TOURE | Toubalbero | Thrill Jockey
4 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
5 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
6 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
7 LOS CHICOS MALOS | Los Chicos Malos | Vampisoul
8 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
9 BANDERAS | "Tema De Banderas" [Single] | Matasuna
10 FATOUMATA DIAWARA | "Nterini" [Single] | Shanachie

March 12, 2018

Program March 14, 2018

That Ethiopian guy who took you to Dulles Airport last time?  He might be the greatest musicians you've never heard.

Hailu Mergia (pictured above) has been working as a taxi driver in Washington DC since 1997.  Back in the 70s, he was one of the pioneers of Ethio-jazz.  He fled the Derg military dictatorship in 1981 and settled in DC, home to more Ethiopians than any city other than Addis Ababa.

In the last several years, his music has made a comeback; now 71 years old, he's just put out his first new recording since 1985, and it's fantastic.  On this week's program you'll hear a track, plus one from the supergroup he led in the 70s that also featured Mulatu Astatke and Girma Beyene, two more Ethio-jazz veterans who are having late-career renaissances.

Also this week: new Malian releases by Djeneba & Fousco, Fatoumata Diawara and Sidi Toure; the sounds of Brazil's Northeast; and the music of West Africa's Islamic funk belt.

March 11, 2018

Sidi Toure | Toubalbero

ARTIST: Sidi Toure
TITLE: Toubalbero
LABEL: Thrill Jockey
Guitarist, singer and bandleader Sidi Toure is one of the unsung heroes of Malian music. Born in 1959 in Gao in Mali’s southeast, he led the regional orchestra Songhai Stars in the 1980s and released an album on Stern’s Africa in 1996.

Charts March 11, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VIBRONICS | Woman On A Mission | SCOOPS
2 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
3 SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80 | Black Times | Strut
4 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Mambo Cosmico | Glitterbeat
5 FATOUMATA DIAWARA | "Nterini" [Single] | Shanachie
6 LA DAME BLANCHE | Bajo El Mismo Cielo | Nacional
7 MO KALAMITY MEETS SLY AND ROBBIE | One Love Vibration | Sofia Thea
8 LUCIBELA | Laco Umbilical | Lusafrica
9 BANG DATA | Loco | Futuro Sónico
10 AFRIKA MAMAS | Iphupho | ARC

March 5, 2018

Program March 7, 2018

I saw Black Panther last week, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film's score, composed by Ludwig Goransson (pictured above seated, along with four Senegalese tama drummers), which liberally incorporates African popular and traditional music.

Most noteworthy to my ears was the voice of Baaba Maal, the great Fulani singer whose music, like Goransson's, employs a fusion of global elements in a search for the ecstatic.  Maal's most recent album, The Traveller, in particular sounds like a template for Goransson's score.  So I'll start today's program with two Maal songs that echo sounds you hear in Black Panther, then move on to the drum-driven Senegalese mbalax which is also a major influence on the film's soundtrack.

Also this week: deep dub; chicha and cumbia; and Super Djata vs. Toubab Krewe in a jam band showdown, West African style.

March 4, 2018

Charts March 4, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
2 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
3 THORNATO | Back It Up [EP] | Wonderwheel
4 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
5 CESARIA EVORA | Carnaval De Mindelo [EP] | Lusafrica
6 PALENQUE RECORDS AFROCOLOMBIA REMIX, VOL. 2 | various artists | Galletas Calientes
7 FEMI KUTI | One People One World | Knitting Factory
8 LOS NASTYS | "Veneno Del Serpiente" [Single] | Nacional
9 LOS YETIS | Los Yetis | Vinilisssimo
10 GUY ONE | #1 | Philophon