New Reviews: September 7, 2001

Maria Kalaniemi & Sven Ahlback
North Side Records

Remarkable! This release features a seamless marriage of Swedish fiddle and Finnish accordian. With the note of a memory, the bow and bellows in presenting traditional and original tunes together evoke a strong Nordic personality that feeds and emboldens the heart with courage and pride. Jigs and airs in flawless production make this cd a great sound track for a Lars von Trier film.

Peru Negro
Sangre de un Don
Silva Screen Records America

Peru Negro exhibits the outstanding cultural pride of black Peruvians in its presentation of exquisite, exciting dance music. Full percussion, energetic vocals, and virtuosic guitars support the dances of this more than thirty year old ensemble, which is now comprised of members of all ages. Though somewhat similar to Caribbean music, the instrumentation and the stratification thereof is unique; there are instruments made from boxes and others from donkey jaws, while guitars feature rather prominently. The multilingual liner notes are infomative and filled with stories and pictures chronicallying the cultural significance and development of black Peruvian music throughout slave times and into the present. In Peru Negro endures beauty and strength to carry and transform culture well into the future.

The Alan Lomax Collection World Library of Folk and Primitive Music
Rounder Records

This cd is a fine and historic example of Alan Lomax's impressive world field recordings. The extensive liner notes detail each piece very completely, giving lyrics in original language and in English translation, and of course providing many ethnographic insights. Showcasing peasant music from all Romania's regions, with a map illustrating exactly where the respective pieces were recorded, this CD is a must for all lovers of Romanian music and for Lomax collectors.

Reviews by Jenece C. Gerber.