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The hour of separation is my fave. He can be a bit relentlessly virtuosic on his own and benefits from being reined in as part of a larger group of big talents. Joseph Tawadros (Oud) John Abercro

So due to popular demand (or at least two "likes" to the idea), I'm starting a thread dedicated to the weird, wonderful world of erm, "World Music".  Here we can enjoy the folk/rock/fusion/gumbo that

Here are some terrific collaborations/improvisations from musicians from Turkey through to India.   Persian Night Silence Desert - Mohammed Reza Shajrian & Kayhan Kalhor   Persian/Turkish.  

Another one of my orders arrived yesterday.




A 2019 recording produced as part of the African American Legacy series on the Smithsonian Folkways label. A collaboration between Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCall and Allison Russell, with songs inspired by the stories of the African people who were transported to America as slaves in years gone by. The songs were co-written by all four, and performed by them in various combinations.


This recording project was instigated by Rhiannon Giddens and is co-produced with Dirk Powell, who also plays a number of instruments as accompaniment (including guitars, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, accordion). The booklet includes quite a comprehensive introduction by Rhiannon Giddens in which she talks in some detail about the history which influenced the music, and how this collaboration came about, followed by notes written by co-producer Dirk Powell. There are descriptive notes with the songs, written by each of the four women, along with lyrics.


I think this is a pretty good album, although I do think I probably need to have a couple more listens to fully appreciate it.


I Knew I Could Fly - Leyla McCalla sings lead vocals, and Allison Russell sings backing. The song was co-written by them. Rhiannon Giddens plays her minstrel banjo and Dirk Powell plays mandolin.




Better Git Yer Learnin' - Rhiannon Giddens sings and plays her minstrel banjo on this. The music is from a book of banjo tunes published in 1855, but she has written her own lyrics (the original lyrics apparently contained some offensive terms). I really like this. I can't help feeling that the tune has a Irish or Scottish influence (although that is not mentioned).






Edited by emesbee
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Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden (2012)




This one arrived today, just had a first listen and am very impressed. Recorded live in the studio in 2011, released in 2012. I think the live nature of this recording really gives this some presence. The performances are very good and it sounds terrific.


Boodle-De-Bum-Bum.  A rather bluesy number with Dom Flemons singing lead vocals. Hubby Jenkins plays mandolin, Adam Matta sings background vocals, and Rhiannon Giddens also sings background vocals and plays a 5 string cello banjo (I'm not really sure what that is).




The title track, Leaving Eden. Rhiannon Giddens sings lead vocals with Dom Flemons on guitar, Hubby Jenkins plays mandolin and Leyla McCalla plays cello and sings background vocals. I really like this, probably the highlight of the album for me. The cello really adds something to this, works very well with the guitar and mandolin to support Rhiannon Giddens excellent singing. Beautifully done.




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11 minutes ago, Ian McP said:

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi were one of the highlights at Womadelaide 2020




They were definitely the highlight for me. Interesting to hear them talk about the way they recorded 'There Is No Other', I will keep an ear open for Francesco's comments next time I play it.



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Sunday Morning listening, despite the somewhat dodgy name, this a really good album,,I first heard it in a book shop and ended asking them what it was. It’s well recorded and produced.  

“A second album was released by Sacred Spirit, but it was a complete divergence from the original. The focus this time was around the blues singing of America. In keeping with the change of theme, the American release saw the group name also being changed, to Indigo Spirit.”




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Pedro Santos - Krishnanda. Excellent album from 1968.

Review by Jennifer Kelly from Dusted magazine.

Not much is known about Pedro Santos, a Brazilian percussionist, composer and sometime inventor of instruments, who worked as a side man with a host of Brazilian luminaries. Krishnanda, released in 1968 on the Brazilian division of CBS records, makes up his only solo recorded output, and it is so singular and eccentric and eclectic that listeners will have a hard time extrapolating from it. A whimsical mash of samba, bossa nova, rock, funk, psychedelia, field recording, classical and lush movie soundtrack sound, the album wanders through a puzzle palace maze of connecting rooms, here undulating in African heat (“Savana”), there pushing tangled Amazonian vines aside (“Dentro da Selva”), and everywhere pulsing to a syncopated, samba-style beat.

That beat — you’re not imagining it — remains constant (or nearly so, you can’t hear it in “Advertencia”) throughout the album, a stippled layering of hand- and stick-beaten percussion, some tonal, some not, some clanging like bells, some thudding like boots on ground. Santos invented this beat, apparently, and named it “Sorongo.” (It became a kind of nickname for the composer himself.) Everything else mutates and fluctuates in Krishnanda—melody, mood, instrumentation—but this distinctive cadence continues, a lilting swaggering stop-stepping heartbeat that comes as close to uniting these disparate pieces as anything can.

Krishnanda blenderizes traditional Brazilian sounds with a hodge podge of outside influences; conceptually and in terms of timing, it falls close to early Os Mutantes recordings. Yet Santos is far less enamored of rock and roll than the Baptista brothers. His work feels more spiritual and even metaphysical, and it employs a full orchestra rather than the typical rock band line-up. “Sem Sobra” billows with lavish strings and a hypnotic women’s choir, which might remind you of Rubias Del Norte. “Savana”’s melody comes from a sinuous oboe line, which snakes above drum slaps and movie-soundtrack-lush swathes of strings. After the relative sparseness of “Ritual *****” and “Um So,” these cuts feel Westernized, like a bossa nova reimagined by Ennio Morricone.  

Santos also uses samples and field recordings in some interesting ways, interspersing the plop and splash of water drops into “Agua Viva,” and an ominous rumble of thunder into “Advertencia” (which means “Warning”). Several of the tracks feel not just like sound track work, but actual parts of movies, missing only dialogue and pictures to turn them into film. The work is most fascinating when it veers the furthest from convention, as on the oddly tuned, spookily entrancing “Quem Sou Eu” (“Who Am I”) where twanging strings or, perhaps,  keyboard notes have been dialed into weird resonances, like a harpsichord coming down with dementia. Or “Flor De Lotus,” with its B-movie string crescendos and stage-whispered threats, a scenario in sound, that melts finally into a stutter-stepped Latin funk.

And this is, perhaps, the charm of Krishnanda, that it implies whole worlds of sensory input without ever exactly defining them. You might feel like you’re in a movie house facing, inexplicably away from the screen, but give it time and you’ll see your own image stream, as hallucinatory and elusive as the music.

Jennifer Kelly.



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Gaelynn Lea, American singer and fiddle player, and winner of NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk contest. She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and learned how to play the violin in a similar way to the cello. Her music has its origins in Irish fiddle tunes, but she has very much developed her own style. She uses a looping pedal to layer the tunes as she plays them. She has also become an advocate for people with disabilities. This is quite a remarkable performance.



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1 hour ago, emesbee said:

Gaelynn Lea, American singer and fiddle player, and winner of NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk contest. She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and learned how to play the violin in a similar way to the cello. Her music has its origins in Irish fiddle tunes, but she has very much developed her own style. She uses a looping pedal to layer the tunes as she plays them. She has also become an advocate for people with disabilities. This is quite a remarkable performance.



I posted this on youtube spinning some time ago. She's pretty amazing.

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6 hours ago, mrbuzzardstubble said:

I posted this on youtube spinning some time ago. She's pretty amazing.

Oh, guess I missed that. I only just found out about her. She is indeed.


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Compro Oro: Suburban Exotica




<Compro Oro; a psychedelic underground road trip to Africa, the Middle East and the Americas via Belgium.

On the band’s new album ‘Suburban Exotica’ the spirit of Cal Tjader, Mulatu Astatke or Marc Ribot is never far away. One of the leading bands in the ever-expanding new wave of Belgian jazz, Compro Oro's wayward and psychedelic approach to a broad range of sounds has gained them a devoted fan base since the band’s formation in 2014.
Produced by Gent-based multi-instrumentalist Dijf Sanders, ‘Suburban Exotica’ digs deep into several ethnic music traditions, leaving the listener enthralled in dark grooves and rabid psychedelica.
From the danceable beats and colourful sounds of ‘Miami New Wave’, the exotic rhythms and textures of ‘10 Dollar Jeans Jacket’, and the curious vibraphone infusions and wild guitar riffs of ‘Rastapopoulos’, to the heady, bass-laden mover and shaker ‘Lalibela’ and traditional latin and cuban rhythms of ‘Dark Crystal’, Compro Oro offer wild, profound and uncanny flavours that explore the best of afro-cuban music and jazz tinged psychedelia.
‘Suburban Exotica’ features drummer, keyboardist and percussionist Joachim Cooder, son of guitar legend Ry Cooder who played on both the landmark Buena Vista Social Club albums and the Manuel Galban spin-off, Mambo Sinuendo. He adds percussion and his effects-laden electric mbira to three tracks on the album; ‘Miami New Wave’, ‘Rastapopoulos’ and ‘Dark Crystal’. “I had a great time playing on this record. Compro Oro blends together so many interesting rhythms and styles that I never knew what was coming next. I like to work that way.” 
released October 18, 2019 >




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