New Reviews: July 12, 2001

Light Through The Leaves: Traditional Irish Wind Instruments

Light Through The Leaves is an incredible album that showcases traditional Irish wind instruments in America. The music for this recording was obtained from several field trips that were conducted in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States in the late 1970's. Eight musicians are featured on solo wind instruments, including uilleann pipes, tin whistle and flute. As with most Rounder recordings, the sound quality is superb. Additionally, the tunes are very catchy and fluid in form. Vocals are not present. An 18-page booklet details each musicians' musical background, while also detailing the history and styles of Irish music in America.

Maya Irafama
Macire Sylla
Trace Records

Macire Sylla is a female vocalist hailing from Conakry, Guinea. She does not hesitate to combine traditional and contemporary musical elements on her newest album, Maya Irafama. The songs originate from the Soussou traditions of West Africa. Jazz, pop, rock and reggae-like beats and influences comprise the majority of the album's sound. The instruments on Maya Irafama include drums, bass, guitar, flute and saxophone. Macire has a good voice that accompanies the catchy tunes. Her voice is comparable to Angelique Kidjo from Benin. Additional background vocals on a few of the songs add wonderful harmony. As a bonus, the liner notes fold out into a 9" x 14" poster of Macire Sylla. Fans of West African popular music will certainly enjoy Macire Sylla's music.

Descarga Santa
Julio Padron Y Los Amigos Sta. Amalia
Real Rhythm Records

Descarga Santa is Julio Padron's first recording project with his own group. Julio Padron is a very talented trumpet player from Cuba. Cuban jazz rhythms comprise the musical soul of this album. Son, salsa, timba, jazz and latin percussion elements combine to create a delightful musical fusion of incredible proportions. The majority of the songs are instrumental, however, vocals by Adalberto Y Su Son, Aramis Galindo and Moraima Marin complement a few of the songs. Additionally, a booklet with other fine Real Rhythm recordings is included. Overall, Descarga Santa is an excellent album of Cuban jazz.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.