The Hot List: October 2005

Reviews by Paula Kirman

Here is a rundown of some of the most exciting and important World Music releases in the past little while.

Mercedes Sosa
Corazón Libre
Universal Classics
Sosa's latest album is full of the heart and soul she puts into her singing and choice of songs. Political lyrics set to folk music that draws heavily upon traditional Latin American styles, with some excellent guitar work. Joan Baez did the cover illustrations. One of the year's most intriguing World releases.

Paris Combo
Koch Records
French cabaret music never sounded so current and alive. These songs have definite swing.

Waldemar Bastos
Times Square Records
Songs about life, love, and politics from one of the World Music's most important voices. Latin/Cuban feel with words that have meaning.

Baka Beyond
Rhythm Tree
March Hare Music
An ethereal release of the sounds of musicians from the Cameroon rainforest. This album was recorded both in the UK and Cameroon.

Boubacar Traoré
Kongo Magni
World Village/Harmonia Mundi
From Mali, this virtuoso guitar player relies on emotion, simplicity, and excellent playing. This is African blues at its finest.

Rachid Taha
Arabic Rai music with rough edges. Worth a listen for the cover version of The Clash classic "Rock El Casbah" ("Rock the Casbah") alone.

Kiran Ahluwalia
Kiran Ahluwalia
Ahluwalia writes and performs ghazals, a form of Indian classic music with poetic lyrics. Her singing voice is clear and strong, and her self-titled album has a very modern feel to it.

Oliver Mtukudzi
Heads Up
African rhythms with a strong back-up band. both instrumentally and musically. Lots of songs that resonate with Shona culture.

Krishna Das
All One
Yoga chants that run in a cycle from very slow and Indian-influenced, to faster, more Western arrangements. The tunes are extremely addictive.

Seu Jorge
Wrasse Records
Pop with a samba flair. An actor as well as a musician, with Brazilian rhythms.

Bantu feat. Ayuba
Fuji satisfaction
Piranha Music
Adé Bantu is best known as part of Brothers Keepers. Fuji is a Nigerian style that incorporates funky hip-hop. This is a danceable, AfroBeat recording.

Badi Assad
Universal Classics
Badi Assad is Brazil meets the World as this vocailist, guitarist, percussionist, and songwriter fuses the sounds of her culture with contemporary writers and influences.