The Hot List: September 13, 2000

It's catch-up time, and there has been a lot of excellent World Music albums heading our way in this pre-holiday season rush. So, here are some of the highlights from both established artists -- and a few you may not yet know.

The Chieftans (1) & The Chieftans (2) (Claddagh/Atlantic) - Claddagh is in the process of re-released early material from this legendary Irish band, and these are the first two.

Metropolis Blue from Jack Lukeman (Razor & Tie) - Jack Lukeman is a singer/songwriter from Ireland who has been likened to everyone from Bono to Tom Jones.

Himself from Anders Norudde (NorthSide) - A founding member of Hedningarna, this multi-instrumentalist presents an array of traditional and original songs on fiddle, bagpipe, moraharpa and flutes.

Till the Light of Day from Ranarim (NorthSide) - The band may thank ABBA in the liner notes, but Ranarim embraces Swedish music in a more traditional way, with fresh arrangments of ancient ballads accompanied by nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle) and strings.

Latinas: Women of Latin America (Putumayo) - Latinas is an excellent overview of what women in Latin America are doing musically. Regions covered include Peru, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina, with artists such as Susana Baca, Mercedes Sosa, Rita Ribeiro and Nazaré Pereira.

So La Li from Sabah Habas Mustapha & the Jugala All Stars (Omnium) - The follow-up to his last album Jalan Kopo, again the younger brother of 3 Mustaphas 3 is influenced by the sounds of Indonesia, recording on location in Bandung a collection of eleven traditional Sundanese songs.

Paivepo from Oliver Mtukudzi (Putumayo) - Paivepo is the biggest-selling album in Zimbabwean history, and now it is availble in North America. A prolific songwriter and producer/arranger, "Tuku Music," named after his distinctive style (Tuku is Oliver's nickname), is considered an innovative form of African music.

South American Getaway from the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic (EMI Classics) - Classical meets Bossa Nova in this unusual release featuring the twelve cellists from the acclaimed Berlin Philharmonic performing independently of the rest of their ensemble.

No, Russia cannot be perceived by wit from Terem Quartet (Alula) - "New Russian folk music" is what Terem Quartet does best, with accordion, balalaika and domra is full swing.

Must from Harv (NorthSide) - Magnus Stinnerborn and Daniel Sandén-Warg are two young rising Nordic Roots stars, their dueting fiddles ablaze on Swedish polskas, Norwegian gangar, pols and waltzes.

Asi Queiro Vivir from María Ochoa y Corazon de Son (Blue Jackel) - María Ochoa makes Cuban Son come alive, because she is from the very area that Son was born: Santiago, Cuba. Along with her group, she presents the music that surrounded her during her life, giving the music a contemporary flavor.

Maciré from Boubacar Traoré (Indigo/Harmonia Mundi) - If there is any connection between American Blues and the music of West African, Malian musician Boubacar "Kar Kar" Traoré is the link. With songs about daily life, solidarity and political situations, Traoré his acoustic-guitar driven rhythms are based on tradition and oral history.

Cugu from Wimme (NorthSide) - Wimme Saari performs the throat and voice technique of the Lapplander tradition, called yoik (a form of chant). Accompanied by winds, strings and keyboards, Cugu (pronounced TSOO-goo) is an ethereal experience.

Mechmetio from Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria (Alula) - This women's choir which consists of 21 voices from all geographic and cultural regions of Bulgaria, recorded their latest album at the National palace of Culture in Sofia (Bulgaria's capital). The ensemble's choral singing in the folk tradition combines Slavic, Byzantine, Asiatic and Turkish influences.