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    $13.99 $12.45 list($16.98)
    1. Talking Timbuktu
    $13.99 $11.99 list($17.98)
    2. Voices From Heaven
    $13.99 list($18.98)
    3. Disclaimer (Bonus Dvd) (Dlx)
    $13.99 $10.63 list($15.98)
    4. Arabic Groove
    $13.99 $12.40 list($16.98)
    5. World Psychedelic Classics 3:
    $13.99 $13.01 list($18.98)
    6. Ancestry in Progress
    $13.99 $13.14 list($17.98)
    7. The Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo
    $13.99 $9.96 list($15.98)
    8. Islands [Putumayo]
    $14.99 $9.59 list($18.98)
    9. Oyaya
    $13.99 $12.55 list($17.98)
    10. Raise Your Spirit Higher: Wenyukela
    $13.99 $11.06 list($14.98)
    11. Sabla Tolo: Journeys into Pure
    $13.99 $11.66 list($15.98)
    12. Amassakoul
    $22.99 $16.50 list($24.98)
    13. The Best Best of Fela Kuti
    $13.99 list($18.98)
    14. Egypt
    $14.99 $11.84 list($16.98)
    15. Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms,
    $14.99 $9.79 list($18.98)
    16. The Very Best of Cesaria Evora
    $18.99 $13.99 list($22.98)
    17. Red & Green
    $14.99 $12.69 list($16.98)
    18. Tekitoi Who Are You (Bonus Dvd)
    $12.99 $6.55
    19. Broken
    $13.99 $12.52 list($15.98)
    20. African Lullaby

    1. Talking Timbuktu
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000062H
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1153
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Talking Timbuktu is a groundbreaking record that vividly illustrates the Africa-Blues connection in real time. Ali Farka Toure, one of Mali's leading singer-guitarists, has a trance-like, bluesy style that, although deeply rooted in Malian tradition, bears astonishing similarity to that of John Lee Hooker or even Canned Heat. It's a mono-chordal vamp, with repetitive song lines cut with shards of blistering solo runs that shimmer like a desert mirage. Toure may be conversant with some blues artists, but it is unlikely that artists like Hooker or Robert Pete Williams ever heard these Malian roots, which makes the connection so uncanny. Ry Cooder, well versed in domestic and world guitar styles, is the perfect counterpoint in these extended songs/jams, his sinewy slide guitar intertwining with his partner's in a super world summit without barriers or borders. --Derek Rath ... Read more

    Reviews (24)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Talking African Blues
    Ry Cooder brings another great musician to light. Ali Farka Toure is a leading singer-guitarist from Niafunke, Mali and Ry Cooder has made quite a discovery in this artist. His music is quite good, and very bluesy, though it's a laid back blues. It has been said all along (I don't know by whom, but it has been said) that most of American Blues is just transformed African music, and I think this album clearly illustrates that. The resemblance between this music and just about any album by John Lee Hooker is quite amazing at times.

    The lyrics are somewhat repetitive in that African chanting style, but the music that weaves under and around the lyrics is phenomenal at times. Ry Cooder does a good job of extending some more traditional blues stylings into the great music that is led by Toure, just as he has with so many other international artists.

    My favorite track from this CD is "Gomni" this track is a very emotional song about hard work and the effects it has on the individual. The melody is trance like at times but changes around enough that it feels almost vivacious in its sound. There are quite a few other great songs on here like "Bonde", "Amandrai" and "Keito" but they all have to be listened to truly appreciate their beauty. The CD as a whole works very well and seems to present a unified face of music that winds around your heart and your ears, much like the Niger river that flows through Toure's homeland.

    My one complaint about this CD is that maybe Ry left this CD too much up to Toure, Cooder's great work is almost overpowered by the singer/guitarist wonderful sounds. I think that Cooder achieved a much better synthesis on the Buena Vista Social Club and on BVSC presents Ibrahim Ferrer, where he works with some Cuban musicians. I've also heard that his work on A Meeting by the River is really good, where he teams up with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and looks at classical Indian music.

    If you like this CD I would recommend any of the ones mentioned above as well as Kulanjan where the Blues artists Taj Mahal teams up with another Mali artist Toumani Diabate. I think Taj Mahal's work is actually superior to Cooder's mainly because he injects himself more into the CD.

    Nonetheless, I would recommend this CD to anyone who wants to hear where American Blues music really came from, or for anyone who is ready for something a little different. It's a great CD overall.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable "Feel Good" Bluesy Music of Mali - The Best
    I have 6 or 7 CDs of music from Mali and find myself listening to this one most often. While I love them all --- the combination of musicians: Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder is unbeatable. Track #1 "Bonde" sung in Peul begins with a fantastic guitar introduction by Ali Farka Toure. Each note is drawn out just right to hook the emotions. The congas played by Oumar Toure provides an infectious rhythm. One male voice begins while a chorus responds in rhythmic unity, telling the story of why some women are unsuitable for marriage. Track #2 "Soukara" is sung in the Bambara language ... it has the sound and feeling of music from the Caribbean with a suitable ambient melody. The male vocalist pours his heart out to his lover at night, so say the liner notes. Another favorite track is #5 "Amandral" sung in the Temasheck language. The rhythms and sounds of this desert tribe is familiar. They are unforgetable on the CDs, "Festival in the Desert" and "Radio Tisdas Sessions", both of which are highly recommended. As each guitar note is plucked, the feelings of the listener are hooked. The feelings rise ... ever higher in resonance with the melody and mood expressed on the slide, acoustic and bass guitars, drums, calabash, and congas. Without exaggerating, I feel this CD contains some of the finest guitar playing on the planet. Other favorites are: #6, "Lasidan" (#6) which has a peppy, cheerful and upbeat tempo and #7, "Keito", which has musical elements of India and Pakistan or is it the Meditarranean? Ry Cooder plays the tamboura, Ali Farka Toure plucks and strums the electric guitar. There is a syncopated rhythm played on the congas and calabash. The music of Mali is highly distinct and very appealing. It is the best music from Northern Africa, and to this listener, the best from the whole continent of Africa. Erika Borsos (erikab93)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love Ali Farka Toure and Salif Keita
    I am in love with music from Mali. It is music that touches the soul. The region have deep traditions...Then when you understand the lyrics....then you say God has really blessed them with wisdom. The region has over 700 000 manuscripts and old universities where people from all over came to study in Timbuktu, Djenne...you can find more information on the web at http://www.timbuktufoundation.org

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Simply Gorgeous Album
    The liner notes tell us that Toure speaks eleven languages and that on this album he sings in Songhai, Bambara, Peul and Tamasheck. And do you know what? It doesn't matter that I don't understand the words. Music is a universal language and the music on this disc is gorgeous! I first bought this album because Ry Cooder is one of the best guitarists on the planet. I've now added Ali Farka Toure to that list. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful
    Probably the most satisfying CD of Ali Farka Toure. Ry Cooder has assembled an excellent cast of musicians to back him, including the immortal Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown on violin. The songs are hauntingly beautiful, echoing the Blues, but indebted more to the pervasive Muslim inflence in West Africa. Toure is one of the grand masters of Malian music, which has an incredibly rich heritage. He is a purist at heart and this music reflects that approach, although it has been jazzed up to reach a broader audience. "Soukora" and "Ai Du" will leave you breathless.

    One only wishes that Toure had the chance to meet John Lee Hooker, since the two seem like soulmates. When he heard Hooker, Toure apparently was so stunned that he said Hooker belongs in Africa. It just goes to show you that the Blues is firmly embedded in the African tradition. ... Read more


    2. Voices From Heaven
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006TRO6I
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4453
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    South African choral music is renowned for passionate singing and soul-stirring harmonies. The Soweto Gospel Choir is made up of top talent from throughout that hard-scrabble yet celebrated Township. All sixteen tracks were seemingly recorded studio-live with no overdubbing or after-the-fact prettying-up. Paradise Road is led by a powerful pair of female voices who sing in English about walking hand-in-hand toward a place where there will be no more pain. It is almost unbearably poignant. A ceremonial yet ecstatic version of "Amazing Grace" renews the power and grandeur of a seriously hackneyed hymn. The selections are either sung a cappella or accompanied by a guitar-led mbaqanga combo, plus drums, hand-clapping, stamping, exhortations, whistling ,and high-pitched ululations. There is even a taste of sacred R&B and hip-hop! The lord being praised here is obviously a robust but loving realist; the voices are redolent of humanity in all its fragile, undying splendor. --Christina Roden ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting voices
    I saw the Choir in concert last night in Madison.The cd captures their spirit.Having seen both Ladysmith Black Mombazo last year and owning cd's of each group, I must say Voices from Heaven is even more uplifting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Époustouflant!
    Avis à tous ceux qui aiment la musique gospel!Ce CD est un must!

    À ma première écoute, plusieurs pièces m'ont donné le frisson.Les voix sont chaudes et expressives.Les pièces bien choisies.

    C'est un disque qu'il faut absolument se procurer!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Once in a Lifetime Experience
    Saw them tonight in concert in Ann Arbor. Simply Amazing. I have attended choir concerts of all kinds all over the world. This group moved me more than any other. You could feel the energy of the crowd grow during the performance. Even my seven year old was mesmerized by the music and dancing, and he usually won't even listen to a single song on the radio. Ran out and got the album. Too bad the Steven Biko renditon (Peter Gabriel)they sang is not on the album.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
    We saw the Choir in concert last night in Providence, RI and bought the CD. It captures the energy, harmony and wonderful experience from the live concert. I just wish you could see their dancing and moves that accompany their songs.

    I can't stop playing the CD. I bought copies for my family and friends. If you have a chance to see them on their US Tour - don't miss it!

    You can find their tour schedule on their website: www.sowetogospelchoir.com. They are fantastic and this CD extends last night's performance for us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking!
    If you love Ladysmith Black Mambazo and have been longing to hear some female voices with the same kind of tight harmony and vocalizations, this is the CD for you.This is an amazingly talented group of people.Soweto Gospel Choir members speak 11 African languages and sing in 8 plus English. You'll also hear the 'clicks' and ululations which make African music so distinctive.

    The choir is also touring in the US for a while.If you get a chance, a listen to this group is definitely an uplifting experience.

    ... Read more


    3. Disclaimer (Bonus Dvd) (Dlx)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000267JQK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 914
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Follow Up
    I was big fan of the first version of the Disclaimer album back when it was originally released and the re-make was even better than expected. The original tracks sound better than the orignals, and the new additions are a perfect addition to this allready great album. Seether has a unique sound of there own, blending the today's rock sound with their own style. The resulting product puts Seether next to the top rockers of today. Look to see them making bigger and better strides down the road. This album is filled with twenty tracks, only about three of which I would say are sub-par, that every rocker should hear at least twice. The bonus DVD on its own is worth buying the the CD again. The DVD contains the videos for some of their best songs and a whole live show. If you have a spare (...) laying around, do yourself a favor and make one of the best investments you will probably ever make.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much better than the original "Disclaimer"
    When I first heard that Seether was re-releasing "Disclaimer" I was a little worried that they were on the verge of selling-out. But out of respect for the band, I bought this CD on the day of its release. I was 100% WRONG on my original thoughts of the CD.

    Seether has re-recorded, and re-mastered the truly awesome songs off of "Disclaimer" and they sound so much better. The remastered songs sound 100% better and more professional than the original cuts of the songs on "Disclaimer". Even the band says on their website that they were never truly happy with the original mastered versions of the songs. The added guitar harmonics in "Driven Under" just gave me chills, they blend together so well with the song.

    Seether also has added 8 new tracks to the CD. All of the new tracks are excellent, except for the new version of "Broken" which features guest vocalist Amy Lee from Evenescense. The original acoustic version of "Broken" was so much better than the new one made for "The Punisher" album. Amy Lee's vocals are too loud and they completely drown out the original and better vocals of the ACTUAL composer of the song, Shaun Morgan. It's not Amy Lee's song, so why does she have to be more noticable than Shaun, who created the song in the first place?? But aside from all of that, the extra tracks are awesome. "Sold Me" is one of the greatest songs I have ever heard, and "Got It Made" is right up there too.

    The only other flaw with this album (other than the new version of "Broken") is the title. "Disclaimer II" just doesn't sound right. It sounds like a movie sequel. I know it's a minor problem, but come on, I would have taken something like "Disclaimer: Special Edition" or "Disclaimer: Remastered" or something like that, but "Disclaimer II" just sounds stupid and half-assed, like they didn't wanna spend time picking out a name that worked. But the name doens't effect the awesomeness of the CD in any way. It was just something that bothered me.

    The Bonus DVD is awesome. The live footage is truly worth having and the videos are pretty cool as well.

    So, over all, "Disclaimer II" is truly an awesome CD. If you were a big fan of "Disclaimer", like I was, times that by like 100 and you end up with "Disclaimer II". This album is definately worth the buy for old and new Seether fans. Just re-release the new version of "Broken" either without Amy Lee, or just take her vocal level down just a little bit so we can actually hear Shaun Morgan, and Seether will be on its way to being one of the greatest hard rock bands out right now.(...)

    5-0 out of 5 stars proudly South African!
    Being one of the best live acts ever to come from South Africa,it's only fitting that Seether is finally getting he recognition they deserve. For the uninformed, please note that Shaun (Leadsinger/songwriter) stated on their website that a 2nd release for Disclaimer was on the way, and that fans who already bought the cd could save their bucks for the new album (due next year), without being any poorer. So for the few whiners out there that's proclaiming that Seether are sellouts or oppertunists, please get the facts straight. The record company wanted to re-release, and it gave the band the scope to redo the songs the way they originally wanted to in the first place. All in all, a brilliant package, bringing back more of the raw edge they displayed on their debut 'Fragile'. (Unfortunately only available to us lucky South African okes!)

    1-0 out of 5 stars WTF?!?!?!?!?!
    I hate when bands do this. I bought Disclaimer shortly after it came out a couple of years back, and found Seether to be one of the best new rock bands I had heard in a long time. Now, instead of putting together a brand new album, we get a rehashed version with bonus tracks that the purchasers of the original release need to shell out another sixteen bucks to hear. Note to record companies: this is why people download mp3s. If a band is going to do this, there should be a way for the owners of the original album to get the extra tracks from the band's website or something. This is simply a marketing ploy to get people to buy an album twice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SEETHER ROCKS!!!
    I just bought Disclaimer II yesterday, and I can't stop listening to it! The best tracks are Gasoline, Fine Again, Pig, Sympathetic, and of course both versions of Broken. I haven't gotten a chance to watch the DVD yet, but I plan to do it soon. But if you are thinking about buying this CD, think no more, take it from me and go get it! ... Read more


    4. Arabic Groove
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005J6WU
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2181
    Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    While not yet part of mainstream American music, Middle Eastern music, asevidenced by the rise of Algerian pop star Khaled in France,has sidled up to other club music forms in the hot spots of Paris,London, and elsewhere. To that end, Putumayo's Arabic Groovebrings us up to date with their compilation, a jubilant sonic partyrooted in ancient musical tradition and structure, steeped in the aucourant flavors of hip-hop, R&B, and other urban western forms.Lebanese, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Algerian artists such as formerLondoner Natacha Atlas (who has been featured with both Transglobal Underground and JahWobble) contribute 11 songs which lend themselves to sensual dance,exotic drink, and glamorous gatherings of multicultural hipsters.Traditional Arabic instruments such as the flute and oud blend withguitar, bass, and drums, laying down plenty of funk, fun, and full-onbooty-shaking rhythms. A heady high point is the disco-nomad jam"Leiley," a Transglobal Underground remix of a hit by Lebanesesongstress Dania. Arabic Groove is a feast of a sampler.--Paige La Grone ... Read more

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mid-Eastern Dance Beats!
    This CD focuses on dancey and pop styles from various Middle Eastern and North African musicians, and I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer diversity I found on this CD. Egyptian pop music is placed side by sid with Algerian Rai and even more exotic styles. It is truely an excellent CD, especially if you are already familar with Cairo pop music or Algerian Rai. The music on this CD is incredibly modern and dancable.
    Big names, sch as Hamid el-Shaeri, Amr Diab, Natacha Atlas, Dania and the like make some excellent contributions to this CD. Hamid el-Shaeri's song alone is worth buying this CD for, and Natacha Atlas outdoes herself on Kidda. And thats not even getting into the incredibly beautiful remixes of Sawt el-Atlas and Dania.
    And, of course, theres also some Algerian Rai music on this CD, though not as much as one would expect. Khaled, the King of Rai himself, presents a excellent track, "Mauvais Sang", which is particularly moving. Theres also a track by Fadela & Sahraoui and a track from Cheb Tarik. However, this CD is very eclectic, and also covers Moroccan pop, Cairo/Arab pop, and styles even further afield.
    Over all, this is an excellent CD, and I stongly recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys Arabic or North African music, especially Rai or Cairo pop styles.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So FUNky!
    This is a fun, funky, totally danceable CD. I love it and have had it in my CD player since it arrived. Some of the tunes I was already familiar with, such as Amr Diab's Amarain, and Natacha Atlas' Kidda. There are artists here that are new to me, and I'm looking forward to discovering their releases. My favorite tracks on Arabic Groove are Galbi, which has a driving back beat and a hip hop feel, and Heli Meli, a song that incorporates traditional rhythms and instruments, as well as some traditional sounding backing vocals by female singers.

    The packaging is great, with photos, lengthy bios and descriptions of the songs. These things, along with some English translation of the lyrics, help me to decide if a piece is appropriate to bellydance to.

    While this CD can skip from one track to the next just like a regular CD, when played straight through, there are no breaks because each song flows into the one following. It's perfect party music, put it in the player and let it go, and the dancing doesn't have to stop.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great sample of talent
    These songs hail mainly from N.Africa and share their Arabic language roots with their African hertiage. It's a really good introduction to some phenomenal artists of the region (my favorites are Amr Diab and Natacha Atlas). It might inspire you to take up bellydancing (or, if you are lazy, tap your feet while sitting around). I've had it for a while but I'm still not tired of it.

    Standout songs: Moi et toi, galbi, leiley, amarain, mani, kidda

    5-0 out of 5 stars it rox!
    i really liked this album and if anyone had the lyrics for "Hely Meli" and "Intil Waheeda" can you please email me?

    5-0 out of 5 stars SEXY MUSIC!
    Post 9/11, everything Arabic and Middle Easterm seemed mysterious and interesting. Where is a better place to start than music.

    You're gonna love this CD compilation. It's darn sexy! Tract #8 by Natacha Atlas is mesmerizing. What exactly is she singing about? Probably something beautiful and sensous, cause that's what it sounds like to me. Her voice is an aphrodisiac. Dania Khatib's "Leily" (tract #3) is just as beguiling, sad and absorbing. Amr Diab and Abdel Ali Slimadi also have unforgetable voices. The singing seems to be more about the words and the meaning they carry, and you can feel the passion in their voices. There's a lot of drums, flutes and guitars traditionally played but also have some techno pop synthesizer mixed in to give it an exciting, exotic pulse. And the best thing about owning this and other Putumayo World Music CD is the gorgeous art cover and the inserts telling you a little something about the music and the artist. If you are looking for an introduction to Arabic Music, this is a good start. ... Read more


    5. World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love's a Real Thing
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007NMKSK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2823
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The American psychedelic movement was bound to produce unexpected progeny--including the 1970s, which began as a mainstream attempt to absorb the "free love," recreational drug use, and sartorial eccentricities of the previous decade. But there were parallel repercussions elsewhere in the world, and nowhere was this phenomenon more fascinating than in West Africa. As LPs became cheaper and readily available, local musicians began to incorporate the fuzz and wah-wah guitar vamps, cheesy organ riffs, blatting saxes, and fat, funky bass lines of sixties R&B plus Santana-influenced Latin rhythms and the extended, destination-free guitar solos typical of the San Francisco sound. These were not emulated by rote but freely adapted by younger Africans, mostly students, whose own acoustic traditions had already been transformed by exposure to urban technology. The resulting amalgams, whether they evolved in Benin, Nigeria, Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire, or Mali, remain incredibly lively, funny, inventive, and surprising. --Christina Roden ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Bunch
    This is volume three in Luka Bop's World Psychedelic Classics Series which easily bests the Shuggie Otis comp from a few years ago and equals the Os Mutantes one from 2000 ( I think).
    The musicand CD packaging is first class all the way. The CD is even enhanced to include a video/ film from Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey.
    Though this may be a psych comp the music is very mucha funk-jazz or soul jazz thing.The artists within borrowedfrom contemporaryNorth American funk and Cuban rhythms popular in the late 60's and 70's and came up a sound that is best described as a rush to the head and body. If you have any love for African music or any kind of music pleaseget this CD. Luka Bop has out done itself this time. Now can they release another Bollywood compilation.
    On a side note the Moussa Doumbia track is edited. What happened to the guitar solo, free jazz sax and the intense screaming that round out the song? I have an mp3 from the original record and it is life changing.
    ... Read more


    6. Ancestry in Progress
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002SPQ40
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1108
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    Amazon.com

    Longtime Zap Mama fans may take issue with the direction Marie Daulne has taken the band. After starting out as a women’s a capella group, Daulne started integrating instruments, rappers and programming on Seven, taking it even further on A Ma Zone. Now on Ancestry In Progress, the first ZM album in five years, it's Daulne with help from the Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, Taleb Kweli and others from the hip-hop and R&B community. Nonetheless, the band was always Daulne's, and she's in complete command here again. You still get to wonder at her ability to create weird vocal sounds. Her high raspy cat-like voice is as playful and rhythmic as ever, and her sense of harmony stills draws upon her African roots even if she chooses to put samples over the top. No doubt "Sweet Melody" is one of Daulne's catchiest songs, but other standouts include "Vivre" and "Bandy Bandy." Instead of the African jungle we get the urban jungle, but it's still beautiful music. –-Tad Hendrickson ... Read more


    7. The Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo [Shanachie]
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000000DXI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3015
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Whether they are singing hymns or secular songs, Ladysmith Black Mambazo always raise their voices in glorious harmony. They are the unmatched masters of the South African a cappella form known as isicathamiya or mbube, and this CD demonstrates their vocal prowess. The Zulu songs are ornamented by trills, yips, humming, and tra-la-las and punctuated by the rhythmic clicks that are particular to the language. The English-language songs instruct and advise on the fine moral points of human relationships. While the mbube song form lends a certain similarity to the pieces, this group is so good that the music never seems redundant, and the generous selection of 16 songs seems to go by too quickly. --Jeff Grubb ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A stirring collection of African rythmic harmony
    A moving collection by the group made famous after their immediate success from Paul Simon's Graceland.

    Each track on this album is enough to give the listener goose flesh. "Mambazo", meaning "axe" in Zulu, has nothing to do with violence but pertains to the "cutting" nature of the various voices while singing. You certainly get that feeling when listening to this CD. The pulse and harmony on this album will move you. There are no instruments - all of the "instrumental rythmns" come from the groups' voices in the form of humming, trills, clicks and other excalmatory sounds. It is intriging to listen to the harmony they achieve.

    It perhaps does not include all of their "best" tracks. In fact most of their commercial success were English tracks. Tunes such as Homeless, Diamonds on the soles of her shoes (both with Paul Simon), Knocking on Heaven's Door (with Dolly Parton) and the World in Union (Rugby Union World Cup Anthem) are not here.

    However if you are looking for virtuoso collection of Zulu isicathamiya (cutting harmonic music) then you are unlikely to find anything better.

    If you don't know much about Southern African, or indeed African music, then this should get you interested.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you truly love music, you'll love this CD!
    If you've heard the Life Saver's commercial (yumm!), or seen the Lion King, you've heard Ladysmith Black. You may never know what they are saying, but you'll sing along anyway. Their songs are nothing but harmony and rhythm. I highly recommend this CD to--if nothing else--broaden your musical horizons. You WILL be glad you did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This CD shows their amazing range
    Like many North Americans, I first heard Ladysmith on Paul Simon's Graceland album (by the way, the DVD of the making of that album is terrific). Last year I bought this CD, and it's been in continuous rotation on my CD player. There are lovely hymns (I only know they're hymns because they end in Amen) and very silly love songs like Paulina. It's a mini-vacation to listen to these guys!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A truly spiritual album
    This collection of Ladysmith Black Mambazo tunes is more than just a 'greatest hits' collection. It stands by itself as an artwork, all of the songs fitting a certain mood - one of joy, healing and positive christian spirituality.

    A range of voices, low to high with cliks and whoops, is all this album contains. It is amazing how much music can orginate from the human vocal chord to produce music as stunning and beutiful as that made by the most sophisticated intsuments.

    Some of the tunes are sunny, others pensive. Some songs are sermons, many end in "halleluyah," and the overall result is mezmerizing -- enjoyable for christians and non-christians alike.

    This is highly recommended, and the perfect companion for a quiet day or to relieve daily stress. A+

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very very good
    hey it nice to hear yo voice guys.Can u please sent me the lyrics so i can learn them.They are very good.Mah email address is CRIPPLERNZ@YAHOO.COM ... Read more


    8. Islands [Putumayo]
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000003EK1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8221
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Why is it that island cultures so often create the most magical, deeply individual sounds? Is it because they are usually miles away from corrupting outside influences? Perhaps it is due to the fact that they are forced to create music from their own inner resources. The powerful voices of Jamaican reggae, Cuban rumba, and Puerto Rican salsa have been joined on the world stage by Cape Verdean morna and Hawaiian slack-key guitar, and the hits just keep on coming. The tunes on this set are not terribly revealing about their place of origin, but plenty of likable grooves turn up, primarily dance-oriented party fodder. It's like a casual tourist's piña colada-fueled vacation fantasy: a very pretty and colorful interlude that doesn't have much to do with real life in either place. It's perfect for lazy summer days and nights, ethnic banquets, and tropical-themed celebrations. --Christina Roden ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Authentic Island Music
    I love the international sounds of this CD! I normally like Calypso style music, and this is not that style; but it is unique and really quite good! It sounds like something I would hear traveling to exotic lands! A new sound for me, and after listening a few times, i've grown to really like it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Memories of my honeymoon.
    After getting married, my husband whisked me off to the Island of St. Thomas. What an adventure. The people were so freindly (how can you be depressed when the weather is so perfect) and the food was decadent and gourmet. We intented to stay a week and ended up living to tell about a hurricane. At least you could say the biggest storms in our marriage happened on our honeymoon. After returning I searched for music to remind me of our fun filled days on the sun soaked sands. This music takes me back to where I want to be. If you haven't been to the Islands you will want to get some plane tickets, make some relevant excuse and get out of the cold. Take this CD with you on a car trip for a fun relaxing carefree trip.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sit in the sun, sip a Mai Tai...Aah!
    It doesn't get much better than this. I love this album in the hot, hot summer. And it's great for chasing away the "no sun ever, winter blues" in Pittsburgh. This music makes me feel, happy and sexy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Instant vacation
    This is a fine representation of island music and another home run for the folks at Putumayo! Put this on and I guarantee it will definitely help the winter doldrums. If you've been to the islands, you know what I mean, it will take you back. This is the real deal, not Jimmy Buffett ideal, (don't get me wrong , he's great although getting a bit commercialized) this is what you need for hosting an island themed party. Everyone loves it because it's so different. Exotic, but not over the top; It dosen't matter if you don't understand the lyrics, the music moves you at a more basic level that transcends language.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Island Escape!
    I heard this at my favorite coffee shop (The Coffee shop in Thornton Park - Orlando, FL) and had to have it. This is a great mix of island music that will transport you to the islands. Reminds me of days spent island hopping! After 'discovering' this Putumayo blend, I have ordered Calypso and other cd's. They are wonderfully relaxing to listen to while trapped at work dreaming of an island adventure! Great for the body and soul! ... Read more


    9. Oyaya
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001XANN0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7478
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Over the years, Benin-born singer Angelique Kidjo has mixed her native African music with elements of other styles. While 1998's Oremi looked at the music of the United States and 2002's Black Ivory Soul found Kidjo tasting the fruits of Brazilian music, the third installment of Kidjo's New World trilogy, Oyaya!, is her take on Caribbean music. Here she retraces old slave trade routes to connect African root music styles to such offshoots as salsa, bolero, meringue, calypso and ska. Of the 13 originals, Congo Habanera is a particularly potent combination of salsa-fueled grooves, watery highlife guitars and African drumming. Singing in French, Fon and Mino, Kidjo's world-class voice can be keening and hard-edged ("Bissimilai") or coy and gentle ("N'yin Wan Nou Wé"), often juxtaposing the two extremes in the same song ("Bala Bala"). Angelique Kidjo continues to crest with Oyaya!, again proving that everything is within reach of her considerable talent. –-Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is joyous!
    With the current predeliction for over produced American Idol-esque screeching it's wonderful to be reminded of people who know their craft and continue to explore it like Kidjo. This album is a wonderful pop vocal album, period, and I hope it gets more exposure than the world music bin. The rythms are great, her voice is so clear and strong, every song is a delight! She is an African exploring the Carribean, but her emotion speaks to everyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Joyous, exuberant
    "Oyaya" is the Yoruban word for joy, a fitting title for Angélique Kidjo's new album. _Oyaya!_ is a high-spirited album. It is impossible to listen to it without moving, even if I'm only dancing in my chair. The third in Angélique's series of albums exploring the influence of African music in the diaspora, _Oyaya!_ takes on Afro-Latin/Caribbean music. Even more than the previous 2 albums (_Oremi_ which explored American music and _Black Ivory Soul_ which explored Brazilian music), _Oyaya!_ blends the music rather than using it as an influence. I'm not sure which countries or styles of Caribbean music; her website mentions salsa, calypso, meringue, and ska. But it doesn't really matter. What matters is that it makes me smile, it makes me dance. Angélique's voice is as beautiful and sensual as ever, and so is the music. If you like dance-y Latin music, give this a try.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Own this cd!!!!!
    This is a excellent cd!!!! The Afro-Caribian rhythms are real. If the first track does not get your feet moving...your dead. AK's voice is supreme "congoleo". The Latin guitar textures, and horn arrangemets are pure. Producer Steve Berlin who has worked with Los Lobos pulled this cd all together. This cd is a slight departure from AK last release. Having lived in West Africa for 3 years this brought back memories of the the taxi rides, street food and "gumbe". May this cd get AK wider expose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Sensational
    Oyaya! is a lush kaleidoscope of sound pulsing with the irresistible Latin rhythms of the Caribbean. For this CD, Angelique journeyed to the Caribbean to bridge the links between African and Caribbean music. What she delivers is a vibrant masterpiece that effuses joy and hope in every recording. The musicianship on this CD is astounding and will leave you clamoring for an encore. I have been playing this CD in my car for about a month and cannot pull myself to remove it from my CD player. If you are an Angelique fan (even if you're not) this CD is definitely worth adding to your collection. ... Read more


    10. Raise Your Spirit Higher: Wenyukela
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00014X8AY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5651
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It's been 17 years since Ladysmith Black Mambazo's gorgeous vocalharmoniespoured the foundation for Paul Simon's landmark 1986 albumGraceland, an album that catapulted the South African a cappella gospelgroup into the international consciousness and led to worldwide stardom, aGrammy, film soundtracks, and candy commercials. Fans of the group'sintricately arranged vocal landscapes will be pleased to know thatall that ensuing attention hasn't diluted the group's appeal. Their latestCD, Raise Your Spirit Higher, is as strong as anything the group hasrecorded in its now 30-year career. Ladysmith has always defined itself bymerging Christian gospel music with a native South African musicaltradition called isicathamiya, which was developed by mine workers who sangto entertain themselves after their grueling work. That tradition continueshere, with several tracks like "Uqinisul' Ubada(Lord is the Light and Truth)" and "Udidekil' Umhlaba (Lord's Work)",devoted to Christian themes. Since the group sings in their native Zulu,however, Ladysmith's international appeal has always been in the stunningvariety of sounds they are able to produce with their voices alone, andRaise Your Spirit Higher is no exception. The percussive clicking soundson "Selingelethu Sonke" and Wangibambezela" are otherworldly, and thegorgeous call-and-response between leader Joseph Shabalala and the group on"Wenza Ngani?" shows that the group's polish hasn't lost anything since"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes." The most moving track on the albumthough, is the closing "Tribute", sung by Shabalala's grandsons in tributeto their grandmother, tragically murdered in 2002 during the recording ofthis album. --Ezra Gale ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD
    This CD is one of the best that I have ever heard. The way that they sing really speaks to me. Hearing those harmonies run together to from a wall of sound that is like nothing that I have ever heard before, and it moves my soul to places that I thought were long ago killed. This CD is an uplifting event that everyone should take the time to purchase and enjoy for the rest of their lives.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ladysmith Black Mambazo is B A C K !!!!
    Yes, LBM is back in full form. Somehow they "un-Simonized" themselves and have returned to what they do best -- Purely African, Zulu, impeccable acapella singing that cannot be more "purrrrfect." When I decided to collect this group's albums, I found myself disappointed as they seemed to stray more and more away from their roots. But now they have returned in full glory. The excellent engineering on the album augments the beauty of their soothing harmonies and gently pressing presentation. LBM, if you read this, I have a request: Please, do an album like this at least once every year! ... Read more


    11. Sabla Tolo: Journeys into Pure Egyptian Percussion
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00004TRU5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4281
    Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    If you think belly-dancing music is simple, this CD from Cairo-bornpercussionist HossamRamzy, the leader of Pharaoh's Egyptian Ensemble (he also toured with RobertPlant and Debbie Harry), will correct that assumption. Ramzy is a master of thedarbouka, the Egyptian version of the tabla; the title of this CD isactually an inverted play on words for "solo tabla." It contains about 45minutes of intricate and ingenious pre-Islamic, Arabic, andworld-beat-influenced solos and rhythms. With other percussion instrumentssupporting the darbouka, Ramzy creates a fresh, fertile crescent of soundstretching from the Nile to the Middle East, Morocco, and beyond. The track"Brazilian Pearls" features samba-fied grooves thrown in for good measure. Aninformative booklet details the rhythms of these Saharan syncopations, from"West Naima (Naima's Hip)" to "Samya's Solo." With stealth and skill, HossamRamzy shows us the legacy of his land through the belly dancer's hypnotic hips.--Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tabla Solo- Totally irresistable rhythms!
    This is a collection of intoxicating, energetic music that is impossible NOT to dance to for anyone who's moved by Ramzy's driving beat. There are a variety of types of rhythms and the included information sheet explaining their different names. There is a plethora of pleasurable musical knowledge and feeling in this CD. Ramzy is a master of Middle Eastern Rhythms. I especially enjoy the inventiveness of his OWN original rhythym patterns now added to the dance vocabulary that are included with the traditional basic rhythms. Happy dancing and listening enjoyment!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It simply rocks
    A "tabla solo" is a piece of music that is played on drums only. Hossam Ramzy is a virtuoso of the tabla, and his new drum solos are fun, engaging, sharp, innovative, with a lot of humour. I think Hossam Ramzy named this CD "Sabla Tolo" because he took a regular tabla solo and twisted it, adding unexpected combinations that would surprise anyone used to listen to Arabic music.

    Some of the tracks contain latin-inspired drums, but the overall feeling of the drum solos is still arabic in feel, and the outside influences blend nicely in the pieces without taking over.

    Hossam Ramzy's drums are gifts to the bellydance community. Thank you Mr. Ramzy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Got me back on my feet!
    Extraordinary! I performed 2 or more nights a week in clubs and restaurants for over 20 years and the "drum solo" was always my favorite. After 4 years off for medical reasons I recently started teaching but that "zing- grab-gotcha!!" that I got from my music just wasn't there till I put this in the CD player. Wow almost got a speeding ticket -this is the best drum work I have ever heard. Got to get it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ramzy Raqs!
    This CD is AMAZING! You wont find anything like it, unless it's by the same guy. Great for dancing! It's very hard to stay still while listening to it! For dancers, the music ranges from intermediate to complex. Advanced dancers will find a challenge here! One song in particular is a great drum solo, even for intermediate to advanced beginners. I'm creating a choreography to it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars **SHAKE IT, BELLYDANCERS!**
    The entire CD is an inspiration to me as a bellydancer. I can't help but want to dance when I hear the music and it gets the creative juices flowing for making up choreography! All tracks are fun, funky percussion - perfect for hip shaking and shimmying. A must for any serious bellydancer's music collection!!! ... Read more


    12. Amassakoul
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0006213NU
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2430
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    Amazon.com

    It's a long way from the Mississippi Delta to the Sahara Desert. But somehow the snaking blues lines and hypnotic guitar figures of bluesman like John Lee Hooker resonated with the members of Tinariwen, who set aside traditional Touareg instruments two decades ago to play electric guitar. The follow-up to 2000's spellbinding Radio Tisdas, Amassakoul again features galloping rhythms, desert wails and, of course, electric guitar--up to four guitars snarl, burr and howl to create the spacious interlocking desert blues groove that is this group’s calling card. Eerie call-and-response vocals draw listeners in as well, conjuring up visions of a night around the campfire in the open desert air. This album also reveals that Tinariwen is more flexible than would be originally thought--the blues riffs are more varied and the music is augmented with more complicated arrangements and better production values. Another stunning effort, Amassakoul finds the band honing its art and spreading its wings musically to great effect. –-Tad Hendrickson ... Read more


    13. The Best Best of Fela Kuti
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $22.99
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    Asin: B00002ZZ2P
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4762
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2000

    There is nothing subtle in the roiling Afro-funk of the late, great Fela Kuti. His twitchy, stomping rhythms are up in your face, his brass section sounds ready to skirmish with the JB Horns, and his confrontational, politically charged lyrics make modern punk or hip-hop sound like parlor chatter. This phenomenal collection from an artist easily the equal of Marley, Hendrix, or Dylan is nothing less than essential. --S. Duda ... Read more

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Global Superstar's Epitaph
    When Fela Kuti passed away a couple of years ago, Africa lost perhaps it's paramount musical artist. The death was AIDS related and served to further underscore the deep tragedy of that disease's stranglehold on the continent. Many governments in Africa were in official denial of it's spread, as the World Health Organization was to find over the years to it's horror. This is precisely the sort of thing that Fela railed against throughout his life. He was the most visible artist in Africa partly because of his constant struggle with the successive governments in his Nigeria. At one point, he fenced in his home and yard and proclaimed it to be the independant nation, "The Kalakuta Republic". Suffice to say, this didn't increase his popularity with the authorities. Thoughout his life he was beaten, imprisoned, and burned out of his home. His mother was thrown from a window, and eventually died as a result. So, if he was often a difficult person, it's all but impossible not to sympathize with his plight. He was uncompromising, but always positive. He cared. Western ears were, for the most part, introduced to Fela's music through his Fela Ransome-Kuti and Africa 70 as a result of a collaboration with Cream drummer Ginger Baker. At the time, the only other music stars from Africa that got any exposure here in the States were Miriam Mekeba and Michael Olatunji (now Babatunde Olatunji). Yers later, fela re-christened himself Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, "the one who holds death in his pouch". He married prodigiously, once marrying twenty-seven women at once. And most of them performed in his act, often swelling the number on stage to fifty or more. Though he was adept with many instruments, those who saw his concerts will mostly recall his prowling the stage, or even the audience. Just about all of Fela's recordings convey the spirit of his live performances, because the pretty much were just that. No studio wizardry, no overdubs. MCA has put together a splendid package here, with over two and a half hours of the very best of this unique artist's oeurvre, and attractively priced to boot. The material covers the yers from 1972 to 1989 and includes "Shufferin' and Shmilin'", his best known song about the violent struggles between Christians and Muslims in Africa, something he felt, correctly, was not indiginous to Africa at all, but brought there by Europeans and people from the Middle East. If anything, the song is even more relevant today than when it was recorded in 1978. It should also be said that both his father and grandfather were Protestant ministers. Another standout track, is the cutting "Zombie", a song in protest of the accesses of army troops. This was, of course, the song which precipitated the seige and destruction of Kalakuta. Three of the thirteen cuts are edited down to a more manageable size, but they're lovingly shortened and you won't notice a thing. Especially during those years, most African music was released as what we would call a 12" single, one song on each side, often close to a half hour each. In spite of the minimal editing, there are no short tracks here. Though all of the songs are social or political commentary, Fela's special humor is endearing. Whether the lyrics are biting or not, there is always an undercurrent of tongue-in-cheek. He makes some great noises as he's singing as well. This is an excellent compendium, well suited to the needs of longtime fans, or as a perfect introduction to the art of this eloquent man, who though less well known, is as important a voice for social protest as Bob Marley was. Essential listening, pretty damn good for dancing too.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Whoah... wait a minute here folks!
    I suppose everyone will hate me for saying this, but this album should NOT be compared to Marley or James Brown. This is quite standard Afro-pop stuff! I bought it after reading the reviews here and was hoping for a little of the joy that I've gotten after discovering truly incredible African artists. I'm sure there is a lot of history here & Fela Kuti may be a pivotal figure in African music, but to my ears it is a long long way from having the importance MUSICALLY of Marley or Brown. Politically, if you know African politics, maybe it has incredible sentiment. Just be a little cautious in listening to the overwhelmingly positive reviews here. For those of you who love it... great! To my ears he's closer to Kenny G than the truly funky highlife & guitar rhumba bands.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shakara (Out of print??)
    Fela Kuti is the man, and this compilation is a good overview of the man; however, don't let the "best of 2000" label lead you to believe that all his individual albums aren't all wonderful in their own rite. In particular, the Shakara/London Scene 2-album-in-one, which boasts the first two songs on this cd. Incidentally it disappeared from Amazon for a while and now comes up as an import, but if you can get your hands on it don't hesitate.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a matter of taste
    The problem with all 'best of' compilations is that everyone's taste differs- I'm no expert on Fela Kuti, but from the 4 or 5 albums that I have I noted several songs that are better than the ones included on this record. However, as an introduction to Fela, you can't go far wrong with this- songs such as Lady, Water (he no get enemy), Zombie, and my personal favourite (though no doubt many will disagree with me) Gentleman are simply sublime examples of this type of music- the songs generally start with a simple riff, for example on a saxophone, and are driven along by a pumping bass. After building you up to a state of high excitement, Fela's (usually witty/cutting) vocals come in, delivered in his magnificent bass tones. Absolutely fantastic. However, as mentioned above, if you've got the time and the money, don't get this album- get the individual albums, which all seem to be coming out in remastered form.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterful compilation for a Master
    A great sampling of one of top 10 musicians from the 20th century. ... Read more


    14. Egypt
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00024BHCO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2046
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    African music heads have done a bit of grumbling over the years about Youssou N'Dour. They take issue with the great singer's choice to record high-energy mbalax music, which mixes African and Cuban rhythms, for his Senegal homeland fans while recording (lesser to some) modern global pop for his European and American releases. N'Dour continues to do the crossover thing on Egypt, but rather than draw upon Western pop song constructs, he dives into Arabian and Egyptian orchestra music complete with strings, flutes, and percussion. In the past, the singer's voice often had a keening quality that allowed him to soar over his working band, the great Super Etoile, but here N'Dour smoothes over the rough edges to render some of his most delicate and subtle singing to date. Providing strong support, the orchestra sounds lush and dynamic throughout. The only real complaint here is the relatively short 41-minute running time of the album, but there's still plenty music for purists and popsters. --Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Stirring sojourn under the sheltering sky
    This CD is quite a departure from his mbalaax and Peter Gabriel oriented world music pop. Instead, Youssou infuses this CD with the flavours, the scents the rhythms of Egyptian traditional and orchestral music, creating a captivating percolation of North African textures that transport the listener through the sand storms of the northern Sahara to arrive in the oasesin sight of the pyramids. The music is thus more hypnotic and angular than his pop stuff, and it is refreshing not to hear an American or British voice breaking through. This is all this amazing Senegalese working with a sympathetic clique of like minded percusiionists, string and flute players and guitarists.
    It is a Nonesuch recording, so the integrity of the natural sound is presented so purely that it is an aural wonder to listen to, and marks a significant departure from anything else he has done. The songs are a combination of prayers, "Allah,", Epictatan morality injunctions "Mahdiyu Laye," historical encomiums "Baay Niasse", and wise entreaties designed to bring you to a place of peace "Touba - Daru Salaam". They are in each case a reflection of Senegal's Sufi tradition, and Youssou treats them with respect and passion. He quotes the Sengalese patriot Mamadou Dia: "Love, in Islam, is not intellectual, but visceral." and that is so much to how the subtlety in this collection is delivered. Youssou handled the production in Dakar and in Cairo, and the sympatico he evokes among the usicians works so seamlessly, they are as one throught each track. I think you'll find this CD is one of his most satisfying ever. ... Read more


    15. Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms, Vol. 1
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005A8LX
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6042
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    When Sting collaborated with Cheb Mami on the Brand New Day track "Desert Rose," he created a surprising demand for Arabic crossover pop. This collection provides a suitable next stop for those whose taste was whetted by that collaboration. Egyptian singer Natacha Atlas opens the album with "Mon Amie la Rose," a maudlin little French tune she twists through her wringer until it is utterly transformed. "Desert Rose" turns up as a frisky remix by Victor Calderone, while Rachid Taha and the trance choir, B'Net Marrakech, appear in the compelling, orchestrated "Qalantica." Mami is heard on his own on one tune, but is eclipsed by the gut-shredding Khaled, the undisputed king of Algerian rai. The harder-edged electronic outings are standouts, while the tracks that are the Arabic equivalent of adolescent pop don't hold up nearly as well. This compilation, however, mostly eschews the dross in favor of tunes that go the distance.--Christina Roden ... Read more

    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS CD NOW!
    This CD is perhaps the most beautiful and accessable CD of Middle Eastern music available in the west. I first heard this CD while with one of my Arabic friends, and I fell in love with it instantly. This CD covers a variety of styles, ranging from world fusion to Egyptian pop to Algerian Rai and almost everything in between. The name of this CD comes from the song "Desert Rose", which features Sting with Cheb Mami. A particularly haunting remix of this song is featured on this CD.
    There is a definate slant towards Rai on this CD. Aside from Cheb Mami, this CD also features superb selections from such legendary names as Khaled (THE King of Rai), Faudel, Rachid Taha, and another track from Cheb Mami. Theres also another western fusion, from Soraya, which I found to be particularly beautiful and moving.
    This CD also features two songs from two of the greatest female musicians of all time: Natacha Atlas' "Mon Amie La Rose" and Amina's "Dis Moi Pourquoi". Both of these women possess hauntingly beautiful voices, and both give excellent performances on this CD. Theres also an excellent song from the Trans-Global Underground.
    Rounding out this CD are some excellent selections of Arab Pop music. Hakim's "Esma Yalli" was particularly good, and prompted me to go out and buy his newest CD. Latifa's "Inchallah" was also very good. The other songs ("Chie Begam" by Andy, and "La Titnahad" by Kazem al Saher), were also very good. Over all, all of the songs on this CD are worth listening to repeatedly. This is such a great CD that I can't recommend it enough. Just go out and buy it, then buy the sequel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Arabic-influenced music
    I truly enjoy this album and disagree with those who do not feel it was worth the investment. Definitely a great introduction to Arabic cross-over music for those with a western palate. The song "Mon Amie La Rose," originally by Françoise Hardy, is so moving. Definitely check out the sample above. Natacha Atlas is divine. Several of the other songs like "Inchallah" stand out. But more than that, the compilation is pleasant and has good energy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intoxicating and Exotic
    Make an appointment for a massage and bring this CD along!
    You can almost taste the exotic spices of the Middle East while listening to it .
    I'm a Latina and have always loved Middle Eastern music!
    I find it exotic, sensual and intoxicating!
    My favorites in this CD are :

    MON AMIE LA ROSA = TOTALLY exotic and sensual !

    INCHALLA = This one goes deep into the soul with its happy energy !

    ESMA YALLI= Wow! I'd love to have Hakim sing this one for me
    on my birthday! While I dance with veils in the deserts of Egypt!

    QALANTIGA= Rachad Tahib has SUCH a manly sensual voice!Sexxyyyy!
    Plus the music is full of aroma and exotic spices!I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one!

    This CD is wonderful ! I wish I could understand the Arabic language !It sounds beautiful to my ears !
    Thank you to all the singers that contributed to this CD!
    BUY IT you're going to love it! I must had been from the Middle
    East in another life!!!!!No wonder I LOVE this music!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great for parties.
    This is a fun CD. Dancing to Arabic new music. Good selection. Great for parties.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    Not very thrilling or exciting. So, try to listen to all the songs first before you make the investment. My sincere suggestion. ... Read more


    16. The Very Best of Cesaria Evora
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006F2N7
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3633
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Best Of
    This compilation is very lively and danceable, it mainly reflects the latest works of Cesaria Evora (Cafe Atlantico and S. Vicente di Longe), which are lighter and sweeter that the earlier ones. But what I like best about this CD is the inedited song Fidjo Maguado, a really amazing morna by Jorge Monteiro.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The rightful queen of World Music
    Okay, that's a subjective opinion, and I'll probably change and name somebody else as queen of world music someday...I'm fickle that way.

    However, Cesaria Evora is one of the most distinguished and worthy singers of world music around. She centers often on the Cape Verdean sound, but there is much of Brazil and of Portugal roots here. The variety represented here actually represents her as international in scope.

    I don't always recommend "Best Of" albums highly, but this is truly a terrific introduction to a woman who not only masters each style she sings, but obviously is loving every moment of it, and her enthusiasm for what she's singing is contagious.

    You don't get the lyrics in the program notes of a "Best Of" album, and I personally don't believe understanding the lyrics is that important to the enjoyment of the lady's singing.

    Most highly recommended. ... Read more


    17. Red & Green
    list price: $22.98
    our price: $18.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007PLKZC
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3443
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    Amazon.com

    Malian superstar Ali Farka Toure is often described as a bluesman. Although he was certainly inspired by the recordings of John Lee Hooker, he was also saturated from birth in centuries-old parallel traditions that had evolved in his homeland. Incontestably one of the world's greatest guitarists, Toure's implacable sense of rhythm is equaled by an intuitive yet extroverted grasp of modal melody. As he is now semi-retired, the reissue of these long out-of-print recordings is a special cause for celebration. Known only by the color of their album sleeves, Red and Green were the final two of seven vinyl LPs released by the French Sonodisc label between 1975 and 1988. Both are uncompromisingly acoustic; Toure¹s wailing, moaning voice and picking are supported only by backing vocals, calabash (shaker) or ngoni (a four-string guitar.) But these simple forces offer oblique insights into the early development of an increasingly private, ever-more-elusive genius. --Christina Roden ... Read more


    18. Tekitoi Who Are You (Bonus Dvd)
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00069FKLO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 20748
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    19. Broken
    list price: $12.99
    our price: $12.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002CHHLG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1243
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    20. African Lullaby
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JCRJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7889
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    As with other Ellipsis Arts releases, African Lullaby is more than a stellar music collection. Its delightful liner notes provide ample context for these "love songs for children" and the collection's innovative earth-friendly packaging is a work of art unto itself. Commencing with the bewitching Zulu harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, "Thula Mtwana" sets the tone, creating an atmosphere of warmth, safety, and peace, and is followed by a baker's dozen that reflect the gentle rhythms of an abundantly diverse continent. "Kounandu Deni" marries the dancing melody of Malian guitar and African harp with lyrics of paternal providence. Broadway's Sarafina! and The Lion King cast member Ntomb'khona Dlamini wails soulfully on "Thula Thula," and "Chitsidzo" is a mystical reverie of parental love and spousal longing accompanied by the intense beauty of a mbira (thumb piano). Standing head and shoulders above others in its class, African Lullaby is testimony to the awesome power of music. --Paige La Grone ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!
    I wanted to give my three children (6, 5, and 3) a taste of African music and this cd was quite the find! They love it and request it often.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for parents too....
    I love this cd!!!. It has such a peaceful and melodic sound with different rythems and chants. It's a definate for any child's collection. It's amazing what an effect it has as well, usually within the first few songs, my baby is snoozin'.. and I'm relaxing as well. If you want a true taste of world music made especially for children this does the trick. You really get a sense of tradition and culture - You won't be dissappointed

    5-0 out of 5 stars African Lullaby
    This is the most amazing CD we have bought in the recent past! It's become an instant favorite.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Only night time CD for a year
    My daughters (ages 6 & 3) love this CD. I bought it a year ago and the two times I've tried something else at bedtime, they've demanded this be put back in. I even used it to go to sleep on a 13 hour flight to New Zealand. Very relaxing and great for everyone!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Both my kids love this CD
    Both of our children, a 4yr old girl and 2yr old boy, grew up listening to this CD from the days they were born. Of all the CD's we own, if you ask either one what they want to here at bedtime, they'll both still say "Tu-lah" ( they get the name from the first track)

    All of the songs are beautiful, and very peaceful. This is the perfect lullaby CD ... Read more


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