The Hot List: November 9, 1999

A Taste of Chanukah (Rounder) was recorded live at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, featuring Theodore Bikel of Fiddler on the Roof stage fame. Combined with the Boston Community Gospel Choir, humorist Chana Segal, and others, this is a festive recording that can be enjoyed year round.

New World Party (Putumayo)welcomes the year 2000 with energetic, upbeat sounds from Brazil, R&B, Latin soul, and African Rap.

Fans of Scandinavian music are in for a real treat with five new releases from NorthSide. Swedish quartet Vâsen are back with gront, the follow-up to their 1997 success Whirled, while Bjôn and Totte from Hedningarna and Ola from Swap have been keeping their collective selves busy in Boot, creating swirling trancelike atmosphere on Virvla. Ale Môller is a Swedish folk master whose lastest release The Horse and the Crane is acoustic yet powerful. And what would the holiday season be without a benefit album? Balkans Without Borders is produced by Zoetek World Radio, and re-creates Balkan music as rock, techno, thrash, and everything in between, while benefitting Doctors Without Borders. For those eager to sample these sound without spending a huge amount of money Nordic Roots 2, like the first volume, features many of NorthSide's best and brightest, and is still "cheaper than food."

A while back, I reported on the merger between Claddagh Records and The Atlantic Group. The Cheiftains' Collection is one of the first releases to come out of this union. A collection of recordings by the band from the 1960's and early 70's, the band was in fact formed exclusively for Claddagh.