New Reviews: September 6, 2004

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

Joji Hirota & The Taiko Drummers
Japanese Taiko
Arc Music

One of the most majestic instruments of Japanese origin is the taiko drum. Japanese Taiko contains several types of taiko drums with cymbals and gongs for added percussion effects. The accomplished Joji Hirota brings us original music stemming from traditional Japanese drumming traditions. A very innovative album for taiko drumming. Do not miss out on the thunderous tunes of the taiko! A detailed booklet in English, German, French, and Spanish is included.

Majmouat Abde Elhakim
Majmouat Abde Elhakim
Post World Industries

The hustle and bustle of the bazaars in Marrakech, Morocco boasts some of the best musicians in the country. Discovered in 2003, Majmouat Abde Elhakim performs improvisational, traditional folk music on his self-titled release. Many of the tracks incorporate vocals, tambourine, tarija, bender, banjo, and clapping. Some tracks are recorded live. An essential album for traditional Moroccan music fans.

Livio Guardi & Wilson Montuori

The folk music of Italy is rich in texture and tradition. Diomedee is no exception. Diomedee honors the great hero of the Trojan War: Diomedes. The best in Italian folk/instrumental music is presented by Livio Guiardi & Wilson Montuori. Pleasant, easy-listening tracks include ensemble instruments of harmonica, banjo, guitars, bouzouki, ukulele, steel guitar, bass, flutes, and percussion. Vocals are also present on some of the tracks. The entire album contains Mediterranean leanings, with hints of flamenco and lounge Latin music. A highly recommended companion for relaxing evenings at home, on the beach, or on a cruise.

Nijen Antonio Coatti
Alma Music

Nijen and company hail from Italy. However, Shellvibes is not a typical Italian music release. Shellvibes includes music played on conch shells, with other instruments including sax, trombone, contrabass, vibraphone, percussion and guitar. Vocals are also present on some of the tracks. Shellvibes incorporates and crosses many musical genres including downtempo, lounge jazz, rumba, bossa nova, bolero, Brazilian, instrumental, and easy listening. A unique album essential for every world music aficionado!

Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on Mongolian Ethnomusicology, entitled: How Does Music Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that represent dozens of different countries. His general interests include ethnomusicology journalism and researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music of various cultures from around the world. His specific, geographic areas of study include the traditional and popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of 2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.