Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino – Concepts In Unity (1975)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino made only two records–Concepts in Unity (1975) and Lo Dice Todo (1976) –but both are classics of the 1970’s New York salsa scene. The recordings came out of jam sessions held in Andy and Jerry Gonzalez’s basement in the Bronx (I’m imagining the Latin version of Minton’s Playhouse), and they have that spirit to them: open, loose, with a lot of space for supremely talented musicians to do their thing. (lapelanga.com)

This release contains the superlative debut album Concepts In Unity, by the legendary Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino. The 16 piece band was composed of the finest New York Puerto Rican & Cuban musicians, who combined their own traditional music with the Latin sounds heard on the streets of New York City.

Originally released in 1975, this timeless album is a Salsa masterpiece in every way–I’d personally go as far as saying that it’s THE most important Salsa recording ever. Why? These legendary musicians took Salsa’s Afro-Cuban and Afro-Puerto Rican roots to the forefront in a way no other artist had ever done previously. Guaguancos, rumbas, descargas and other Afro-Cuban-derived rhythms are all included here. “Cuba Linda”, “Choco’s Guajira”, “Anabacoa” and “Iya Modupue” are glorious masterpieces yet to be equalled. Manny Oquendo, Jerry Gonzalez and Andy Gonzalez (and some other musicians featured here)would go on to form the equally-superb Conjunto Libre several years after recording this masterpiece. INDISPENSABLE!!! (Justo Roteta)

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This album stands alone in the Salsa field because of the excellent mixture of Jazz, Puerto Rican, and Cuban rhythms, with Africa being the “abuelo” (grandfather), of them all. The opening cut, (Cuba Linda), will force you to fasten your salsa seatbelt and go along for one of the best musical rides of your life. It opens with the rumberos jammin’ into the main melody, with the lead singer setting you up for what comes next. Chocolate’s trumpet takes over, while, at the same time, Manny Oquendo’s timbale cowbells go into overdrive, launching the musicians into high gear. The jam goes on until it reaches it’s glorious conclusion. Let me tell you, this whole album is a masterpiece and belongs in the catalogue of every Salsa lover. But don’t take my word for it, listen to it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended. (Charlie Farrar)

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Personnel:
Chocolate Armenteros (trumpet)
Milton Cardona (percussion)
Julito Collazo (percussion)
Noel de Costa (violín)
Alfredo de la Fe (violín)
Marcelino Guerra (guitar, vocals)
Gonzalo Fernández (saxophone, flute)
Guillermi Franco (percussion)
Gene Golden (drums, percusion)
Andy González (bass, marimba)
Jerry González (percussion)
Nelson González (guitar)
Oscar Hernández (piano)
Reinaldo Jorge (trombone)
Ron Libscomb (cello)
Francisco Tan Martínez (harmonica)
Víctor Montañez (percussion, vocals)
Portinho (percusión)
Marcial Reyes (guitar, background vocals)
Ashley Richardson (viola)
Jaime Rivera (percussion. background vocals)
Frankie Rodríguez (percussion, vocals)
José Rodrigues (trombone)
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vocals:
Henny Álvarez – Virgilio Martí – Willie García – Ubatan do Nascimento – Félix Rodríguez – Rubén Blades

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Tracklist:
01. Cuba Linda (Marti) 9.04
02. Choco’s Guajira (Armenteros/Lopez) 6.14
03. Anabacoa (Ramirez) 6.43
05. Adelaida (D.R.) 4.51
06. Luz Delia (Martinez) 3.07
07. Carmen La Ronca (Alvarez) 6.56
08. Canto Asoyin (D.R.) 4.26
09- Canto Ebioso (D.R.) 3.02
10. A Papa Y Mama (Alvarez) 7.52
11. Iya Modupue (D.R.) 8.31

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Swing de Gitanes – Muza (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgSwing de Gitanes refreshing virtuosity creates a unique musical experience derived from the color and excitement of Gypsy music, the elegance of French melodies, the infectious bounce of American swing and the charm of the middle east. The band’s original compositions influenced by the Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and by the Israeli melting pot of music that the members of the band grew up on: Russian folk songs, Spanish- Ladino songs, Greek music and more…
Over its tenth year of varying activity, Swing de Gitanes has been in the forefront of the Gypsy Swing genre in Israel and has gleaned ample praise – with hundreds of performances in the most acclaimed stages and festivals.
The band has three albums under its belt, as well as hundreds of performances, participation in major Israeli music festivals, collaborations with leading local artists and collaboration with leading international Gypsy Swing and Jazz luminaries.  (by swingdegitanes.com)

What a great album … and I will call this music “world music”  Enjoy the beautiful sound of Swing de Gitanes !

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Personnel:
Ori Ben-Zvi (guitar)
Yaakov Hoter (guitar)
Oren Sagi (bass)
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Daniel Weltlinger (violin on 04., 06., 11. + 14.)

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Tracklist:
01. You Made Me Love You (Monaco) / I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Mchugh) 3.36
02. The Godfather Love Theme – Speak Softly Love (Rota) 4.19
03. J’attendrai (Oliveri) 4.22
04. Sweet Sue (Harris/Young) 2.56
05. Montagne Sainte Genevieve (Reinhardt) 4.37
06. Rhythm Israel (Hoter) 2.56
07. Blue Drag (Myrow) 4.18
08. Honeysuckle Rose (Waller) 2.25
09. Honeymoon (Hoter) 3.58
10. Nuages (Reinhardt) 4.20
11. Burning Guatemala (Ben Zvi) 3.32
12. Tchavolo Swing (Schmitt) 4.49
13. Honey Pie (Lennon/Mccartney) 3.12
14. Black And White (Reinhardt) 2.43
15. Danube (lvanovici) 4.33

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Gheorghe Zamfir + Marcel Cellier – Flute de Pan et Orgue Vol. 3 (1977)

FrontCover1.JPGThanks to countless TV ads hawking collections of his music, Zamfir is almost universally recognized as the “Master of the Pan Flute.” While that title may be cause for smirking in some quarters — whether because of its overexposure or a general distaste for easy listening music — it’s true that Gheorghe Zamfir was single-handedly responsible for popularizing an ancient, traditional Eastern European instrument that was in danger of dying out for lack of interest. Made of bamboo, reeds, or wood, the pan flute (also known as the pan pipes or the nai) consists of a series of tubes, each of which sounds one individual note, and are fastened together side by side. It produces an ethereal, haunting sound, and since its construction makes the execution of up-tempo passages nearly impossible, it’s ideal for the sort of slow, tranquil mood music that constituted Zamfir’s stock in trade. At first focusing on Romanian folk melodies, classical material, and original compositions, Zamfir’s popularity in Europe and America led him to cover pop songs, soundtrack themes, and the like, all supported by soft, lush orchestral arrangements.

Gheorghe Zamfir was born in Gaiesti, Romania, on April 6, 1941. Interested in music from a young age, he learned to play gypsy songs on the accordion while tending his family’s goat pasture. At 14, his father enrolled him at the Bucharest Academy of Music, where he switched to the pan flute under the influence of instructor Fanica Luca.

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He immediately displayed a gift for the nearly forgotten instrument, quickly learning to bend pitches and improvise (skills that were rarely associated with it). He went on to study at Conservatory of Bucharest, where he learned music theory, piano, and conducting. While a student in the ’60s, he toured and made some recordings in tandem with Luca; those recordings were discovered by Swiss musicologist Marcel Cellier, who broadcast a radio show devoted to Eastern European folk music. Cellier, who also played the organ, invited Zamfir to Switzerland in 1969, and the two began performing duo concerts together. In the meantime, Zamfir also took over conductorship of the Romanian folk ensemble Ciocirlia, and in 1970 formed his own ensemble. Cellier produced Zamfir’s earliest recordings in 1970-1971, and helped promote him around Europe, which led to several releases on the Philips label.

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Zamfir caught his big break in the English-speaking world when the British religious television show The Light of Experience adopted his recording of “Doina De Jale” — a traditional Romanian funeral song — as its theme. Popular demand forced Epic Records to release “Doina De Jale” as a single in 1976, and it climbed all the way to number four on the U.K. charts. It would prove to be his only hit single, but it helped pave the way for a consistent stream of album sales in Britain, Australia, America, and continental Europe over the next few decades. The biggest of those albums included Solitude (1973), The Romance of the Panflute (1982), and The Lonely Shepherd (1984). Additionally, he scored several films — most notably 1975’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, directed by Australia’s Peter Weir — and had a European hit in 1979 with the theme from the Dutch film Der Verlaten Mijn, a collaboration with arranger James Last. He staged numerous world tours and performed at Carnegie Hall for the first time in 1981; by this time, classical adaptations were coming to dominate his repertoire, which separated him technique-wise from the raft of mostly European imitators that had sprung up during the late ’70s.

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Many of Zamfir’s recordings aimed to create a sense of spiritual tranquility, and some of his compositions were religious in nature. That preoccupation resulted in his exile from Romania in 1982, when he violated official Communist doctrine by declaring at a concert that his music was dedicated to God. He emigrated to Montreal, where Western popular music crept ever more firmly into his choices of material. In the United States, ubiquitous TV commercials for his albums made Zamfir a household name. He played on much of Bill Conti’s score for The Karate Kid in 1984, and that year also performed the theme for Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. Zamfir subsequently settled into a comfortable, consistent recording schedule, turning out new product on a regular basis for a variety of labels. (by Steve Huey)

And here´s the volume 3 of his very sucessful edition “Flute de Pan et Orgue” and if you love the sound of the pan flute, than you shild listen to this really magic sound !

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Personnel:
Marcel Cellier (organ)
Georghe Zamfir (pan flute)

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Tracklist:
01. Balada Sarpelui 4.37
02. Doina: Mai La Deal De Resita 3.36
03. Doina De Jale 6.29
04. Doila De La Domasnea 5.09
05. Doina: Georghe Mina Boii Bine 3.49
06. Doina Lui Efta Botoca 5.05

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Various Artists (Putumayo World Music) – Italian Cafe (2005)

FrontCover1Putumayo World Music is a New York City-based record label, now specializing in compilations of music from various nations, regions, or musical styles which may be classified as world music.

In 1991, on his way home from Bali, Dan Storper stopped in San Francisco, California. In Golden Gate Park, he heard the Nigerian band Kotoja. He was impressed by the music and the way it gathered many different people. He made a compilation of music he had gathered on his journeys and gathered a positive response. This led him to give out his first release in 1993. Storper took the name of his record label, Putumayo, from Colombia’s Putumayo Department where he travelled in 1974, which subsequently came from the name of Putumayo River. The word is said to be the name of a bird (heron).

Every release features the art of Nicola Heindl. Her art is both folky and modern, and, according to the Putumayo website, “represents one of Putumayo’s goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary.”

Typically a Putumayo World Music compilation is presented as a theme under the title “Putumayo Presents:” The themes can be regional (South Africa, Caribbean, Asia), music types (reggae, folk, Latin, jazz) and other themes (lounge, groove, party).

The Putumayo Kids division was created in 2002. Since the release of the World Playground CD in 1999, Putumayo Kids has achieved honors from Parents’ Choice Awards and the National Parenting Publications Association, and has grown to be one of the more important children’s record labels.

Putumayo launched the Putumayo World Music Hour in 2000, a commercially-syndicated world music radio show. Rosalie Howarth of KFOG hosts the Music Hour. The weekly show is heard internationally on over 150 commercial and non-commercial stations.

Putumayo has ten offices worldwide. Their products are sold at a network of more than 3,000 book, gift, clothing, coffee and other specialty retailers in the US. The label claims to distribute their CDs in more than 80 countries around the world. (by wikipedia)

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This is a charming, if ultimately fairly inconsequential, collection of recordings from 1950s and 1960s Italy, along with a handful of songs by a few modern artists whose stylistic roots go back to the postwar era as well. The overall sound may come across as a bit kitschy to American ears — there are lots of accordions and crooning, emotive vocals — but if you spend some time with these recordings most of them will grow on you. Highlights include the quirky Vinicio Capossela’s “Che Cossè l’Amor,” Quadro Nuevo’s jazzy instrumental “Tu Vuo’ Fa’ l’Americano,” and Quartetto Cetra’s slightly cute but really very engaging “Un Bacio a Mezzanotte.” On the slightly less compelling side are Gianmaria Testa’s contributions, the willfully goofy “Dentro al Cinema” and the self-consciously intense (and ultimately self-parodying) “La Traiettorie delle Mongolfiere,” but the high points outweigh the low ones on this ultimately charming collection. Recommended. (by Rick Anderson)

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This review is not correct: Most of the recordings are NOT from the 50´s, … and in the reat booklet you can read, that Quadro Nuevo are from Austria … this is wrong .. Quadro Nueva are from Bavaria (Southern Germany) … but … much more important …

… more recordings from this great label will come !

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Tracklist:
01. Fred Buscaglione: Juke Box (1958) (Beretta/Malgoni) 2.23
02. Quartetto Cetra: Un Bacio A Mezzanotte (1952) (Kramer/Garinei) 2.14
03. Giorgio Conte: Cannelloni (2003) (Conte) 2.55
04. Vinicio Capossela: Che Cossè L’Amor (1994) (Capossela) 4.14
05. Maria Pierantoni Giua: Petali e Mirto (2004) (Martinell/Giua) 3.25
06. Giorgio Conte: Gnè Gnè (2003) (Conte) 3.28
07. Renato Carosone: Piccolissima Serenata (2001) (Carosone/Nisa) 3.23
08. Gianmaria Testa: Dentro Al Cinema (2003) (Testa) 3.43
09. Daniele Silvestri: Le Cose In Camune (1995) (Micelli/Silvestri) 4.16
10. Quadro Nuevo: Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano (2002) (Carosone) 3.57
11. Gianmaria Testa: La Traiettorie Delle Mongolfiere (1995) (Testa/Bertone) 3.29
12. Nicola Arigliano: Carina (2001) (Testa/Poes) 3.17

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Trilok Gurti – The Beat Of Love (2001)

FrontCover1.jpgTrilok Gurtu has recorded his share of instrumental jazz and worked with jazz heavyweights like Joe Zawinul and Pat Metheny, but you won’t find any jazz whatsoever on The Beat of Love. For myopic, narrow-minded jazz snobs who believe that jazz is the only form of music that has a right to exist, the CD’s lack of jazz is a problem. But for broad-minded world music enthusiasts, The Beat of Love is a fine addition to Gurtu’s catalog. Produced by West Africa native Wally Badarou, this album is meant to fuse modern Indian pop with the rhythms of black Africa (as opposed to Arabic North Africa). And the two prove to be quite compatible; on The Beat of Love, African elements sound perfectly logical alongside Indian rhythms and instruments. The voices of well-known African singers like Salif Keita and Angelique Kidjo sound right at home with Indian instruments such as the sitar and tabla drums. But The Beat of Love isn’t just about Indian and African elements — Gurtu combines those things with American funk and electronica.

Of course, the modern pop sounds of India and black Africa are heavily influenced by Western pop and funk, and Gurtu is well aware of that. So if The Beat of Love is a musical tour of India and black Africa, there are also stops in the United States and Europe. And, in fact, the CD was produced in four different countries — not only India and South Africa, but also the U.S. and England. With a lot of help from Badarou, Gurtu sees to it that The Beat of Love is an unpredictable but consistently appealing celebration of multiculturalism. (by Alex Henderson)

Listen to the hypnotic sounds and rhythms of Trilok Gurti !

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Personnel:
Aziz (dholak)
Wally Badarou (bass, keyboards, programming)
Ravi Chary (sitar)
Wasis Diop Composer, Guest Artist, Vocals
Nicolas Fiszman (bass, guitar)
Trilok Gurtu (drums, percussion, programming, shaker, tabla, vocals)
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vocals:
Sabine Kabongo – Jabu Khanyile – Angélique Kidjo

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Tracklist:
01. Maya (Gurtu) 5.08
02. A Friend (Kidjo/Badarou) 4.19
03. Have We Lost Our Dream ? (Kabongo/Keita/Badarou) 4.43
04. The Beat Of Love (Gurtu) 5.14
05. Passing By (Badarou/Diop) 3.18
06. Jhulelal (Gurtu) 4.54
07. Ingoma (Khanyile/Badarou) 3.25
08. Tuhe (Gurtu) 5.34
09. Ola Bombay (Difford/Hallawell/Gurtu) 3.50
10. Dance With My Lover (Gurtu) 4.49
11. Peace Of The Five Elements (Gurtu) 5.02

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Baden Powell – Rio das Valsas (1988)

OriginalFrontCover1An excellent Brazilian guitarist, Baden Powell has played with his share of American jazz greats (including Herbie Mann and the late Stan Getz). But there’s no jazz to be found on Seresta Brasiliera, which was recorded for the Brazilian Caju Music label in 1988 and released in the U.S. on Milestone/Fantasy in 1994.

The title Seresta Brasiliera translates to “Brazilian serenade,” and an unaccompanied Powell embraces the Brazilian serenade style on personal, introspective versions of Pixinguinha’s “Rosa,” as well as songs he wrote with his frequent partner, the late Vinicius De Moraes (including “Velho Amigo,” “Cancao Do Amor Ausente” and “Serenata Do Adeus”).

A melancholy mood defines much of the CD, and Powell’s playing is often as beautiful as it is sad and remorseful. Seresta Brasiliera is an album with little optimism and plenty of soul. (by Alex Henderson)

This beautiful album was later released under the titels “Vialao em Seresta” and “Seresta Brasileira”

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Personnel:
Baden Powell (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Rosa (Pixinguinha) 5.41
02. Serenata do Adeus (De Moraes) 5.14
03. Valsa Sem Nome (Powell/De Moraes) 3.30
04. Primeiro Amor (Silva) 1.53
05. Velho Amigo (Powell/De Moraes) 4.15
06. O Que Tinha de Ser (Jobim/De Moraes) 4.24
07. Cháo de Estrelas (Barbosa/Caldas) 4.51
08. Canção do Amor Ausente (Powell/De Moraes) 3.40
09. Revendo o Passado (Junior) 5.31
10. Valsa de Euridice (De Moraes) 4.45

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World Drummers Ensemble – A Coat Of Many Colors (2006)

FrontCover1For those who think that percussion should be restricted to timekeeping, A Coat of Many Colors may come as something of a surprise. On the other hand, listeners familiar with Swiss percussionist Pierre Favre’s Ensemble and his remarkable Singing Drums (ECM, 1984) will find the idea of a full programme from four percussionists much less of a shock. But what differentiates the World Drummers Ensemble from Favre’s is its broader cultural spectrum.

Drummer Chad Wackerman, best known for his work with Frank Zappa and Allan Holdsworth, has pursued a more fusion-centric direction in recent years with albums like Scream (Favored Nations, 2000) and Legs Eleven (Chad Wackerman, 2004). Afro-Cuban percussionist Luis Conte has contributed across the musical continuum, working with artists like Carlos Santana, James Taylor and Ray Charles. Master percussionist Doudou N’Diaye Rose, who founded the Drummers of West Africa, is considered to be Senegal’s greatest griot drummer. Bill Bruford began life as an art rocker with bands including Yes and King Crimson, but in recent years has devoted himself more completely to his acoustic Earthworks band, featuring woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland in a jazz context that blends complex composition with open-ended improvisation.

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The spirit of Favre looms large over the World Drummers Ensemble, which even delivers an extended version of “Prism from Singing Drums—though that won’t be any surprise to Bruford fans who are familiar with the duet version he performed with drummer Pat Mastelotto in the 1994-95 incarnation of King Crimson. But what makes the World Drummers Ensemble unique is the group’s cross-cultural approach to the compositions—and they are compositions. While everyone has an opportunity to stretch and improvise, these are not bombastic free-for-alls, but organized and orchestrated percussion pieces that range from being purely visceral to surprisingly melodic, in their own way, despite being perpetually rhythm-happy. The fifteen-minute video performance on the DVD side of this DualDisc release (which also has two bonus audio tracks) allows one to see just how orchestrated the music is, revealing the synchronicity that takes place between the four players.

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The mix perfectly mirrors the onstage image on the front cover—Wackerman on the left, followed by Rose, Conte and, finally, Bruford on the right—making it possible to not only absorb the music as a whole, but also resolve and hear what each individual is contributing to the blend. A little over a third of the CD is taken up by compositions by Rose, which range from primitive simplicity to complex interaction. But most strikingly, throughout all the music, rhythm and melody intersect effectively on instruments that many have come to think of in purely metric terms.

The biggest surprises of A Coat of Many Colors are how eminently listenable it is and how captivating its diversity is from start to finish. This album of percussion compositions, perhaps unexpectedly, should attract a broad audience. (by John Kelman)

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Personnel:
Bill Bruford (acoustic and electronic drums)
Luis Conte (conga drums, timbales, cajon, percussion)
Doudou N’Diaye Rose (sabar, gorom babass)
Chad Wackerman (acoustic drums, pitched drums, pitched cymbals)

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Tracklist:
01. Conundrum 1.21
02. Majorette 11.15
03. Prism 12.42
04. Baye Kene N’Diaye 5.04
05. Ritm Kompozisyon 9.09
06. A Coat Of Many Colours 4.48
07. Self Portrait 7.06
08. Sa N’Diaye 7.01

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Doudou N'Diaye Rose

Senegalese master drummer Doudou N’Diaye Rose, who was considered a ‘living human treasure’ for keeping his country’s traditional rhythms alive, has died. The drummer passed away today, August 19, 2015, at the age of 85. Doudou died in a Dakar hospital after being taken ill on Wednesday morning.