New Reviews: June 2, 2003
Reviews by Matthew J. Forss
Ark 21 Records
Egyptian vocalist/composer, Amr Diab, continues his successful string of
hit albums, with his latest release, Allem Alby. Amr blends Western beats
with traditional Arabic beats and percussion for his signature sound.
Additionally, Amr does not shy away from incorporating some electric guitar solos.
However, fans of contemporary Arabic music should definitely check out Amr Diab.
Global Soul showcases the worldwide influence of African-American
musical elements. Various styles of neo-soul, neo-hip hop, R&B, jazz,
blues, and rap music are included on this remarkable compilation. Artists
such as Melgroove, Tasha, Melanie Renaud, Saf Sap, and others represent
nearly a dozen different countries. Overall, Global Soul is another fine
recording produced by Putumayo Records that continues in their quest for
Rumba Flamenco is a very unique and local type of music that originates
from northeastern Spain and southwestern France. The historical roots of
rumba flamenco music stem from Gypsy melodies, North African rhythms, and
Latin fusion. One of the foremost performers of rumba flamenco was Peret.
Other musicians featured include Ziroq, Eric Fernandez, Energipsy, Wafir and
Ricao. Passionate guitar stylings, sensual vocals, fiery percussion and cultural
importance of flamenco music in general, should interest any fan of flamenco
An Afro-Portugese Odyssey
The Portugese-speaking countries of Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola,
and Mozambique have a rich and unique musical lineage. Various Brazilian, African
and Latin tinged musical styles reflect the musical nature of the Portugese-speaking
people of the Palop countries (African Countries with Portugese as the Official Language).
Artists such as Paulo Flores, Bidinte, Ze Manel and Mabulu, among others, represent
a small cross-section of the Afro-Portugese diaspora. A must-have for any fan of
beautiful, Afro-Portugese music!
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, titled:
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.