Wrapping Up 2010 III. World Music

Havana Cultura Session
Danay Suarez
Timbuktu Tarab
Khaira Arby
Little Earth
Rahim alHaj
Ancestors Call
Huun Huur Tu
Natacha Atlas
Seu Jorge and Almaz
Seu Jorge and Almaz
Sotho Blue
Abdullah Ibrahim/Ekaya
Abu Nawas Rhapsody
Dhafer Youssef
El Encuentro
Dino Saluzzi
Assume Crash Position
Konono No. 1
Jazeera Nights
Omar Souleyman
Next Stop Soweto Vol 2. Soultown. R&B, Funk & Psychedelic
Sounds From The Townships 1969-1976
Pomegranates – Persian Pop, Funk,
Folk, and Psych Of The 60s & 70s
The Roots Of Chicha Volume 2
Psycho African Beat

When I do my end-of-the-year evaluations of my favorite music I become aware of how impossible it is to qualify the fruits of my listening experience as being any other than one guy’s enthusiasms. My yearly experience of new recordings is limited and far from comprehensive. When it comes to world music, I’m under no illusion that I’m able to take the pulse of, for example, what’s really going on, musically, in Africa. My sample, so-to-speak, is very limited.

Sixteen recordings are mentioned here and each is superb in their own way. My favorite of last year is Danay Suarez‘s Havana Cultural Session. Start there.

Under the sponsorship of world music maven Gilles Peterson, Suarez has squared cuban music with spiritual jazz in a beguiling synthesis that might be described as Alice Coltrane meets Buena Vista Social Club. There’s also an inflection of hip-hop, nu-soul, and downtempo threaded through her debut EP.

Her melding of diverse flavors reaches a peak in Ser O No Ser, the centerpiece of the record. You can audition the entire record on Soundcloud. Brownsville Record’s outpost for Suarez features a terrific video which brilliantly contextualizes her artistry and its thrust to achieve a transcendent Cuban fusion.



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