New Reviews: September 20, 2004

Reviews by Paula E. Kirman

Various Artists
World 2004
Wrasse Records

World 2004 is a double disc compilation. The fifth in the series, it is a collection of picks by Charlie Gillett, host of BBC's "The Sound of the World." With tracks from 28 countries, numerous languages, and a variety of different styles, there should be something to pique the interest of all World Music enthusiasts. Gillett picked songs from both established and emerging artists, based upon listener favourites, popularity, and artistic merit. Definitely one of the year's must-haves.

Carl Bastien/Stone County Players
Extra Lovin'

Known in Montreal mostly as a prolific album producer, Stone County Players is Carl Bastien's current pet project. An English-language album (with a prominent French accent), Extra Lovin' is at once experimental and rooted in the roots-rock to which Bastien grew up listening. It's singer/songwriter music with an acoustic bent, and his flair for production definitely comes through in the sound.

Moksha Ensemble
Lady Sun

The Moksha Ensemble is a multi-member mix of musical styles and instruments. Heavily leaning in the genre of Indian classical and contemporary music, Moksha fuses these ethnic sounds with Western influences such as flamenco and jazz. The results are both exciting and accessible. Lady Sun, the band's latest album, demonstrates why Moksha is such a hit on the ethnic music scene in Edmonton, Alberta (the band's home) and beyond. Indian percussion provides the backbeat to the fusion. One of World Music's undiscovered gems.

Various Artists
Nuevo Latino
Putumayo World Music

It's new. It's Latin. It's from Putumayo. It's fantastic -- who would expect anything less from the Putumayo Presents series of World Music samplers. Featuring 11 new songs from 11 new Latin artists, the countries represented on Nuevo Latino include Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and other countries from both South America and Europe. Even France and the U.S.A. have a voice on this ground-breaking collection. Very satisfying!

Paula E. Kirman is the Editor and Webmaster of Inside World Music.