Most of our CDs have been imported from Europe or Asia. They are not all shrink-wrapped, and I am not going to con you by wrapping them here just to make you think they have been sterilized in America. I guarantee that the CDs and the contents are all brand new and in perfect condition. Whenever I can, I use recycled shipping materials. They may not look as pretty on the outside, but they save money and keep the trash dumps a little bit emptier.
Thanks- Cliff, cdRoots
Luisa Cottifogli : Come Un Albero D'Inverno
Italian singer Luisa Cottifogli came to my attention in 2000 with her remarkable first recording, Aiò Nenè. The recording was subtitled, "I come from the North, but I am from the South," and explored the dichotomy between Italy's colder, richer, more urban north and its warmer, poorer and more rural south. But she was born in the Alps and that is where she returns on Come Un Albero D'Inverno, as she and her ensemble proclaim in the opening track, "Yodel," where they take what in other parts of the world is considered a cliché of the past and place it in the bold, beautiful now. A highly recommended recording that focuses on the human voice in solo and ensemble settings.
Boubacar Traore : Dounia Tabolo
Boubacar Traore is not only one of Africa's best guitarists and songwriters, he is also one of my avorite artists, in any genre from any where in the world. His performance is personal. His voice is a thing of rugged beauty; his guitar playing a prod to the ear - crisp and punctuated. It is accented rather than overwhelmed by the musicians assembled in the studio. Dounia Tabolo was recorded in Lafayette, Louisiana, with his usual mates, Vincent Bucher (harmonica) and Alassane Samaké (calabash, shaker & percussion). Joining them are Cedric Watson (violin & washboard), Corey Harris (guitar and voice), and Leyla McCalla (cello and voice). These CDs were donated by the artist and Lusafrica, so all proceeds go to support RootsWorld. Please note that this CD comes in a simple sleeve with the complete booklet. No jewel box.
Goran Mansson & Friends : Ol'jansa
The friends being Emma Ek Ahlberg, Patrik Kallstrom, Karin Nakagawa, Martin von Schmalensee and Olof Jonsson, in a lively set of songs, tunes, dances and compositions that set Månsson's many flutes against ensemble arrangements with fiddle, pump organ, guitar, melodica, koto, bass, percussion and some documentary recordings used as a starting point for new interpretations.
Monsieur Doumani : Angathin (The Thorn)
This trio was founded in 2011 in Nicosia, Cyprus by Antonis Antoniou (tzouras), Angelos Ionas (guitar) and Demetris Yiasemides (trombone, flute). They turn Cypriot folk music inside out, add poetry and politics, and on their third album, they have created what I think is a masterwork of nearly-all-acoutic folk, rock and roots.
Kapela Maliszow : Wiejski Dzez [Village jazz]
Kapela Maliszów says "We don't play traditional music, we are tradition!" Wiejski Dzez" [Village jazz] is testament to the Maliszów's unrelenting urge to explore the types of music not necessarily popular or well received in the rural communities. Village jazz represents their very unique and individualized approach to harmony. Listening to their music you can still discern the trance-like and inconceivable rhythms and melodies of mazurkas, but something different also comes to the surface a new quality.
Makan Badje Tounkara : Daba
Badje has been pursuing a rich career, notably alongside such renowned artists as Salif Keïta, Baba Maal, Ami Koïta, Tata Bambo, Kandia Kouyaté and his aunt Mah Damba. Considered an innovator of the Mande instrument, he has added three strings to his ngoni to open up the range of sound.
Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana : Maggio
From the RootsWorld review: 'Riccardo Tesi always escapes easy pigeon-holing. He is idiosyncratic without being abrasive, cutting edge without the hard edge. He is a gentle fusionist, bringing together new and old worlds so that's it's hard to know where one starts and the other ends. On Maggio, his latest with Bandtaliana, the sound is vintage Tesi: a refinement of traditional music that has the well-aged, heartfelt soul of folk music, but is as assuredly lovely as a classical wind quartet. Underneath the overall gentle spell that Tesi casts are shades and layers of sophistication.'
various artists : Lost in China
I don't often choose a compilation recording for Music of the Month, but I made one of the exceptions for this recording, a collection of songs by 13 different artists or ensembles from urban Beijing to the desert of Xinjiang, mostly younger artists looking to explore and sometimes confound local traditions. Most of the musicians have not been heard outside of China, or even their own region, before so I think this makes a case for choosing this CD.
ba.fnu and Yann-Fanch Kemener : YFK-2016
Czech band meets legendary Breton singer Yann-Fañch Kemener. The Czechs have an affinity for both Czech and other European styles, but especially Breton fest-noz tunes. Yann-Fañch Kemener supplies the Breton vocals distinguished by a call-and-response pattern, that accompanies dancing. The musicians largely work with tracks that Kemener collected, while three of the tracks feature modern lyrics. The whole work is conceived as a 'calendar' with songs and recitations for each month. (A RootsWorld selection)
Saeid Shanbehzadeh : Pour-Afrigha
Saied Shanbehzadeh combines bagpipes and saxophones with the voice of Rostam Mirlashari, the jazz guitar of Manu Codjia and the percussion of Naghib Shanbehzadeh. Pour-Afrigha ("descendant of Africa") is the name that Saeid's mother, born of the third generation of Africans deported to Persia from Zanzibar and enslaved there.
Kries : Selo Na Okuke / Village Tracks
Kries makes wonderfully raw yet thoroughly modern music from Croatia. Driven by men's voices, bowed strings, primitive flutes, drums and more, this is music that speaks to centuries of history and the future, as well. This is a RootsWorld Music of the Month recording, donated by the artists to help support RootsWorld radio and magazine projects. All of your purchase price goes to support RootsWorld.
Fendika : BiraBiro
I am pleased to offer this recording from Ethiopia, by a troupe of musicians, singers and dancers based at a night club in Addis Ababa that bears the name Fendika. The ensemble is led by Melaku Belay, who fashions new music from the traditional roots of many different regions of Ethiopia. Nardos Tesfaw - vocals Endris Hassen - masenko Misale Legesse - kobero Melaku Belay - dance, backing vocals, claps Zenash Tsegaye - dance, backing vocals, claps These CDs were donated by Terp Records, so all proceeds go to support the magazine and radio program. We thank them for their generous support.
Maria Kalaniemi and Eero Grundstrom : Svalan
Finnish accordionist and singer Maria Kalaniemi and harmonium (pump organ) player Eero Grundström have created a set of new works and reworkings of old songs from the Finno-Swedish tradition. They range from the lyrical to the challenging, and touch on both the east and west, from the western sea to the eatern reaches of Karelia. On some tracks they are joined by Pekko Käppi (bowed lyre and vocals) and Mikko Kosonen (guitars).
Kanazoe Orkestra : Miriya
Born in Burkina Faso, Kanazoe is recognized as a young genius of balafon, both for his technical prowessand his creativity. Multi-instrumentalist, he plays the balafon Dioula Sambla and Toussian (pentatonic), the diatonic balafon ( djelibalan or Guinean balafon) and the kamelen ngoni - a pentatonic harp. He sings in Dioula language. The virtuosity of the artist and the festive energy are the two cornerstones of this project. Kanazoe and his musicians offer us a dance music both, muscular and moving.
Samurai Accordion : Te
In this the second such project under the Samurai name, ' five of Europe's most successful and creative veteran practitioners/composers, come together for a disc that features the diatonic accordion. Full of variety, this disc gives a nice overview of how the instrument is used by its most successful exponents, across Europe. With Riccardo Tesi (Tuscany/Italy), Markku Lepistö (Finland), David Munnelly (Ireland); Kepa Junkera (Basque Country/Spain) and Simone Bottasso (Northern Italy).
Srikanth, Svensson, Moberg and Eden : Nordic Raga
Jyotsna Srikanth, Dan Svensson, Par Moberg and one of our favorite artists, fiddler Mats Eden merge Nordic folk music traditions with the improvisational and structural idiosyncrasies of the Indian raga form. What results is not an easternized Nordic music, nor a northerized Indian music, but something completely their own. This is a RootsWrold Music of the Month selection, donated by the artists and label, and all proceeds support the radio show and magazine.
WoWaKin : Kraj za miastem
The trio WoWaKin was founded in the spring of 2016. The three musicians in the ensemble (Paula Kinaszewska, Bartlomiej Wozniak and Mateusz Wachowiak) bring together a wide range of experience in classical, jazz and contemporary music, and use those skills to explore the roots of Polish village dance music. They recreate the spirit of a traditional village celebration, drawing a new generation of dancers into trance-like state through inventive, open-ended improvisation using a repertoire of mazurkas, oberkas, polkas, kuyaviaks, and Polish-style tangos. Beside the violin, three-row Polish accordion and drums they use banjouke and harmonica.
WOR : Sssht
This Belgian band likes to say that they go "Back to the 1780's" with a full throttle sound that uses old Flemish souces to build their repetoire. They delved into manuscripts of music saved by old village and city musicians from Antwerp, Brussels, Gent and Leuven and then go full tilt into making them their own, with baritone and soprano saxophones, bagpipes, muestte, accordion and guitar.
Danyel Waro : Monmon
Danyel Waro has always stayed faithful to the acoustic tradition of Maloya of Reunion Island. As a musician and poet, he sings Creole with unparalleled emotion: 'Maloya, for me, is first and foremost about the word. I'm looking for the cadence, the image, the rhythm in the word. Maloya has put me in touch with Reunion, with its people, with our language.'
Dalava : The Book of Transfigurations
Guitarist Aram Bajakian and vocalist Julia Ulehlas Dálava project is an homage to traditional Moravian folk music, taking melodies transcribed over 100 years ago by Ulehlas great-grandfather, and reinventing them in stirring, sometimes avant-garde musical language.It delves into deep territory; conjuring ancestors, animating spirits, and crafting musical microcosms around the gem-like folk melodies. This fractured village music channels the voices of a bygone era. Their first album was a RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' pick, and this one is equally engaging.
Kala Jula : Mande Kulu
kala Jula is a quartet with Samba Diabaté on guitar and ngoni, Vincent Zanetti on guiatar, harp-luth and percussion, Hélène Labarrière on bass, Jacky Molard on violin and alto. While the music is deeply endebted to the Mande tradition of Mali, this global quartet finds new ways to reach its spirit.
Erlend Viken Trio : Nykomlingen
Erlend Viken leads his trio on fiddle, Hardanger fiddle and vocals, with Marius Graff on guitar, electric guitar, banjo and lead vocals, and Leo Svensson Sander on cello and vocals. Three tracks include Oyvind Skarbo on drums
Jonas Simonson : Till Tranland
The Swedish fluatist is joined by Emma Johansson on the flute, and Ellika Frisell and Mia Marin on the fiddles and viola. 'To Craneland' is a tribute to the water bird and its migratory patterns, and features compositions from all of the ensemble's members.
Trio Tekke and Dave De Rose : Zivo
The trio bring along a percussionist for their third recording. Formed in London in November 2005 by Antonis Antoniou (tzouras, vocals, and a member of Monsieuer Doumani), Lefteris Moumtzis (guitar, vocals) and Colin Somervell (double bass), the band experiments with a raw, acoustic reinvention of the rebetiko of Greece and beyond.
Tunde Jegede and Derek Gripper : Mali in Oak
British kora and cello player Jegede and South African guitarist Gripper join together to explore the music of Mali in a unique set of their own arrangments of the tradition. Recorded at the Globe Theater (as in, Shakespeare's Globe), the sound is gorgeous, the music superb, and the musicianship of the highest level.
Trad.Attack! : Kullakarva - Shimmer Gold
This Estonian band uses tradition as a jumping off point for a vocal infused, high energy folk music that jusmps into the same territory as Hedningarna and Varttina. They take traditional songs – sometimes starting with scratchy recordings of long vanished village voices – and build pulsating rhythmic structures, creating an impressively big sound from acoustic 12-string guitar, drums and an array of whistles, bagpipes and jew's harps.
Vasen : Brewed
The Swedish acoustic juggernaut returns with a 2017 release of 15 original pieces, from the tradition but not bound to it. Olov Johansson's nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle) and Mikael Marin's 5-string viola are once again pushed along by the rhythm of Roger Tallroth's 12-string guitar.
Amine and Hamza : Fertile Paradoxes
Amine and Hamza M'raihi are Tunisian musicians and brothers, playing the oud and the qanun. With their Band Beyond Borders, they are bringing together musicians from around the world, - French clarinetist Blaise Ubaldini, Swiss-Indian violinist Baiju Bhatt, Swedish percussionist Fredrik Gille and guests including cellist Vincent Segal, infusing their Arabic roots with jazz and global roots.
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