Nigerian juju icon King Sunny Ade,
up-and-coming Senegalese singer Cheikh
Lô and the late qawwali giant Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan all have new records in a strong week for world releases.
Also this week, Jai Uttal, the
Indian-influenced American multi-instrumentalist, releases Spirit
Room (Triloka), a best-of culled from his four releases for the
Ade's Seven Degrees North (V2), his first U.S. release since
1998's Odu, features the mellifluous guitars, talking drums and
trademark pedal steel guitar as on "Samba" (
excerpt) that have made him a star in Nigeria as well as
one of the world's best-known non-Western artists. And Lo's Bambay
Gueej (World Circuit/Nonesuch) sees the light of day after being
postponed for several months. The protégé of Senegalese
star Youssou N'Dour (who co-produced the record) emphasizes the Cuban influence that runs through N'Dour's mbalax sound on tracks such as "M'Beddemi." The record features James Brown arranger Pee Wee Ellis on saxophones.
Khan, the most visible proponent of South Asian qawwali, possessed a
uniquely passionate voice he employed for intense devotional music. His
posthumous Dust to Gold (Real World) which includes
"Khawaja Tum Hi Ho" ("Master It Is Only You") (
href="http://media.addict.com/music/Nusrat_Fateh_Ali_Khan/Khawaja_Tum_Hi_Ho.ram">RealAudio excerpt) was recorded in his hometown of Lahore, Pakistan, just prior to his death in 1997.
Other new African releases include South African vocalist
color="#003163">Lungiswa's debut, Ekhaya (M.E.L.T.
2000), while producer Frederic
Galliano remixes such Mali singers as
color="#003163">Nahawa Doumbiaon Frikyawa Collection,
Volume 1 (Six Degrees). The staccato singing of South Africa's Sotho people can be heard on Africa Today: Best Comtemporary Sotho Folk Music. Farther north, Fifth Sun a collaboration of producers Greg Hunter and Amir Abel
Magid present cutting-edge Egyptian pop on Sout el
Leil (M.E.L.T. 2000).
New Latin releases include Historia Viva (Lidires Entertainment)
by Argentine rock star Sandro, as
well as a pair of albums in RCA
International's Cuban Originals series by vocalist
Alfaroand violinist Enrique
Jorrin. RCA also offers Mexican bolero singer
color="#003163">Guadalupe Pineda's Guadalupe Pineda Con
los Trios del Siglo, and the musica de trio of
color="#003163">Julito Rodriguezand the anthology
Homenaje al Trio Los Panchos. Farther south, Brazilian
percussionist Airto releases his
long-awaited Airto Presents: Code Brazil (M.E.L.T. 2000).
Elsewhere, the Native American singer Delhpine
Tsinajinne releases Mother's Word (Canyon). The World
Music Network continues to issue companion compilations to the Rough
Guide series of travel and music books. Its latest titles include The Music of Mali and New Guinea, The Music of Scandinavia and The Music of Hawaii. Music of the Pacific Islands can also be heard on the Rounder reissue, Hula Blues: Vintage Steel Guitar.