CD Round Up

Dateline: March 31, 2000

These CDs were released from a variety of Labels, and many can be purchased online.

The Alan Lomax Collection (Rounder) is a series profiling the field work of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. The two newest titles in the series are Harry Cox: What Will Become of England? and The Martins and the Coys. Harry Cox was a country singer from Norfolk who sang simple songs about the English way of life. The Martins and the Coys is a bit of a departure for the series, which usually consists of first-hand recordings Lomax made himself. However, this is a performance produced in 1944 for the British Broadcasting Company; a ballad opera featuring Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and other folk legends.

New Orleans is known for its spicy food -- and spicy music. Putumayo, a label known for releasing accessible compilations of a specific region or style of world music, has come out with Zydeco and Lousiana Gumbo. Zydeco is a fusion of French and African music, culture, and language. The album features well-known musicians like Buckwheat Zydeco to up-and-coming star Clifton Chenier. Louisiana Gumbo is as hot as it sounds, with The Neville Brothers, James Booker, Lynn August, and others.

Tsufit is an actress and folk singer who lives in Ontario, Canada. Her Israeli and Eastern European backgroun strongly influence her work, both lyrically and musically. The appropriately-titled Under the Mediterranean Sky (Hummingbird Productions) was regarded as one of the best albums of 1999 from FolkDJ, and international pool of folk music DJs based in the United States.

Cheza is a Swahili word that means "to dance" or "to play." It is also the name of a Canadian band that fuses African music with contemporary sounds. In their sixth year of performing together, the band was founded by Paul Weber, who lived for a short time in West Africa. Their new CD, Shaker (Canal Records) features a variety of languages and song themes.

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