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Cesaria Evora: Rogamar (RCA)

Cesaria Evora: Rogamar (RCA)

One of my London-based sons is just back from three weeks on the various Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa. I shall quote him: "loads of swimming, hiking and taking in the traditional island music . . . had a great time meeting villagers as you make your way down the track with many inviting you into their huts to offer...

Thione Seck; Orientissime (Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Thione Seck; Orientissime (Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

There are some who think that "world music" is corrupted by outside influences, and that the folk musicians of various parts of the globe should be time-locked so as to retain some degree of authenticity. Such paternalistic purists bang on about how tragic it is that musicians from the Sahara use synthesizers, or that sitar players...

Various: The Laya Project (Elite)

Various: The Laya Project (Elite)

This ambitious concept and elaborate package (two CDs/a DVD/booklet in the gatefold sleeve) should certainly attract attention -- although some questions hang over it. Essentially the project of music producer and sound recorder Patrick Sebag and Yotam Agam with director Harold Montfils, it involved a crew going to the tsunami affected...

Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit/Elite)

Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit/Elite)

The reissue six years ago of this Senegalese band's 1982 sessions Pirate's Choice thrust this exceptional outfit into the world music spotlight where it remains to shine and gleam. They released the equally good Specialists in All Styles five years ago and have played to wide accclaim for their rocking rhumba and laidback late-night styles...

Cheikh Lo: Jamm (World Circuit)

Cheikh Lo: Jamm (World Circuit)

This inventive singer, writer and arranger from Senegal hasn't appeared at Elsewhere since is wonderful Lamp Fall on '06 at which time I observed he was like a Paul Simon from an alternative universe: he assimilates and explores musical styles and genres to create something his own. This even better album -- cleanly produced by Nick Gold and...

Cheikh Lo: Lamp Fall (World Circuit/Elite)

Cheikh Lo: Lamp Fall (World Circuit/Elite)

Singer-guitarist Lo from Senegal is a man whose music observes no boundaries: on previous albums he's brought a warm Cuban sound into the context of African juju guitars, had Pee Wee Ellis of James Brown's band arrange the horns, and he seems to like a jazzy saxophone alongside talking drum. It's an intoxicating tropical cocktail and for this...

Tcheka: Nu Monda (Harmonia)

Tcheka: Nu Monda (Harmonia)

One of the chief delights of being in Elsewhere is that music usually comes with no promotional blasts or advance reviews, so you make the discovery for yourself. It often comes from people you've never heard of before either. Like this guy from Cape Verde Island who plays driving and melodic acoustic guitar, and possesses a voice which...

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