24 August 2010

Top 10 World Music Albums, August 2010

  1. AxumAxum
  2. Luisa Maita : Lero-Lero
  3. various artists: Putumayo Presents Tribute to a Reggae Legend
  4. The Budos Band: The Budos Band III
  5. King Sunny Ade: Baba Mo Tunde
  6. Mohsen Namjoo: Oy (Ouch)
  7. various artists: The Rough Guide to Bhangra
  8. Jienat: Mira
  9. Rahim Alhaj: Little Earth
  10. various artists: Roots of OK Jazz-Congo Classics 1955-1956

It's been a good month for new releases...and particularly for some less familiar artists. Take Axum. A duo of Ethiopian-Israelis (Gilor Yehuda aka Judah and Reuben Aragai aka Tedross), they blend hip-hop, dancehall, and reggae sounds with Ethio and Middle Eastern vibes, a mix that will knock your socks off. Luisa Maita remains on the chart, down from No. 1 last week. Putumayo's tribute compilation to Bob Marley also remains, followed by the Afro-soul of the Budos Band's third album (see SoundRoots' recent review).

King Sunny Ade is back with his first studio album in a decade; the long tracks aren't particularly radio-friendly, but make for fantastic listening in a format more like his famous long live sets. Mohsen Namjoo's Persian rock follows, then a new Rough Guide to Bhangra and the joiking-percussion album from Jienat.

Rounding out the chart this month is Rahim Alhaj's great world-jazz double CD Little Earth, featuring a raft of guests including Robert Mirabal, Bill Frisell, Glen Velez, and Yacouba Sissoko (what, no Bill Laswell?). And then another time-capsule album from Crammed -- this time a fascinating look at Congolese big-band jazz in the mid 1950s.

Check out the links above for audio samples and more info. And if you think I've missed key albums, feel free to discuss -- or you can submit your own review for possible publication on SoundRoots.

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