12 December 2011

Monday's mp3: I'm Making a List

...and I've checked it more than twice. It's the

SoundRoots Top 20 Global Albums of 2011

Which sounds pretty exciting, and it is. Because here are the best CDs of 2011, globe-style. We returned to these again and again, and Spin The Globe listeners responded by demanding more. You've read about many of these albums here, and heard them on the STG podcast. If you haven't had time yet to make your wish list for Christmas (or your own culture's equivalent gift-fest), feel free to print this out hand hand it to your loved ones.

Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order, the list:
  • Kiran Ahluwalia: Aam Zameen-Common Ground
  • Kora Jazz Band: Kora Jazz Band and Guests
  • Tribeqa: Qolors
  • Te Vaka: Havili
  • Les Freres Smith: Contreband Mentality
  • Nawal: Embrace the Spirit
  • Nation Beat: Growing Stone
  • Antwerp Gipsy Ska Orchestra: I Lumia Mo Kher
  • Aurelio (Martinez): Laru Beya
  • Ravid Kahalani: Yemen Blues
  • Vusi Mahlasela: Say Africa
  • DeLeon: Casata
  • Ocote Soul Sounds: Taurus
  • Hadag Nahash: 6
  • Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestra and Fanfare Ciocarlia: Balkan Brass Battle
  • Sia Tolno: My Life
  • Orchestre Poly-Rythmo: Cotonou Club
  • Trio Chemerani: Invite
  • Tinariwen: Tasili
  • Cacique '97: Cacique '97
The well-informed reader may note that the Tribeqa CD was technically released in 2010, and wonder therefore about its inclusion on the list. Here's the deal: the year that counts is the year that the album got into the hands of SoundRoots' crack team of reviewers. We're willing to bend rules, 'cause we're more interested in great music than in arbitrary rules and boundaries. So there.

Sia Tolno's My Life was the last album added to the list, and deservedly so. It's a solid offering with bits of Afrobeat, Congolese rumba, desert blues and more rendered in Creole, English, and her native Kissi. Read more in last week's SoundRoots review

And this being Monday, I can't leave without sharing some music with you. Another recent release comes from the Kora Jazz Band, consisting of Abdoulaye Diabate (piano), Yakhouba Sissokho (kora), and Moussa Sissokho (percussion). They've got some magic going on, with original Afro-jazz pieces, alongside creative arrangements like this interpretation of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va." Enjoy!

[mp3] Kora Jazz Band: Oye Como Va

from the album Kora Jazz Band and Guests

More Kora Jazz Band:
Listen / buy CD
hear more on SoundCloud

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