50 essential CDs from around the world

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Otis Westinghouse
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50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:55 pm

This month's Observer Music Monthly (again!) has a general focus on 'music from around the world' (a mouthful, but it sounds so much less absurd and demeaning than that other term). CSS on the cover, interview with Tinariwen including amazing photo of them standing as if still in the Malian desert but in reality in front of a decrepit and deserted tower block in Glasgow's Gorbals. Handy list of '50 essential CDs', carved up into continents:

http://music.guardian.co.uk/world/story ... 27,00.html

Some of these I know and love (Amadou and Mariam, Ethiopiques, Toumani Diabate, Juan Luis Guerra), some are vaguely familiar, and many are totally unknown. In general, some very promising ways to expand one's musical horizons.
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:56 pm

Tinariwen deserve a mention from Africa, as do the exceptional Ghana Soundz CDs put out a few years ago, as well as the Ethiopiques series. Ojos de Brujos are pretty damn good.
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:43 pm

Ghana Soundz not on this list, but sounds promising. Where to begin? Anything viewed as 'exceptional' is of interest.
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:35 am

I am woefully ignorant of a great many on this list. It seems to be a good starter for someone like myself and it appears to have the endorsement of two posters with much stronger exposure to the 'wide world' of musical forms and styles and instumentation. Will gladly use it as a guide as I try to explore other genres and continents- I can see a visit to Brooklyn and lower Manhattan for some record store explorations on the horizon.
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:44 am

Funny that, thought 'interesting topic!' and then realised I'd posted it. Annoyingly I've done little to explore my limited knowledge of much of this. I then recall that 2008 was pre-Spotify, which has made a big difference regarding the ease of exploration. At the time I'd have thought 'oh yeah, Yasmin Levy singing in Spanish, heard about that, must check it out', whereas now I'm listening to it as I type, and it's fabulous (exactly as you'd expect, a real mash-up between Spanish and Israeli/Jewish music. The Ladino (15th Spanish spoken by the expelled Jews of Spain and still a living language) is fascinating.

Thanks for reminding me!
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:58 am

As the song says there 'is gold in them hills' or in this case those back threads. Just as you lead me to these recordings, you equally lead me to Spotify, and I, too, am using that tool to track down many of these suggestions. Happy hunting!
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:57 am

Otis, you could not be more spot on about Ms. Levy. That album "Mano Suave" is powerful. She seems possessed of a voice that was created to give voice to longing and despair- richly layered in its tone and texture. I knew nothing of her or of a language called Ladino and that it still exists today. The diaspora still continues to educate me as does this thread. Muscular welding of the Spanish guitar with Middle Eastern tabla and other string instruments- it works wonderfully. I wish I knew the words. I can hear this being performed in the synagogues of Toledo and Seville.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:52 pm

And people seem to rave even more about one that followed, La Juderia. Also in Ladino, celebrating, it seems, the Jewish quarter of Rhodes where Ladino was spoken:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Juderia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladino_language

She's something else. Need to explore more of this list!
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:58 pm

I am with you on that one. Will be exploring more of those fifty.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:31 am

Have been listening to #11 on Spotify- "The Best of the Ethiopiques". Swinging sounds from Addis Abba in the 60's and 70's indeed! I have been struck by how many times I hear references to earlier Santana songs or other latin rhythms, or certain Dave Brubeck themes, in many of the songs. There is a very ebullient, jazzy feel to the music.
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:01 pm

Great album. Liner notes by Elvis. Beautifully used in Jarmusch's Broken Flowers. Full of memorable tunes and rhythms. Gorgeous stuff.
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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:48 am

Did not know either of those two facts about this album and I loved that movie and usually pay attention to the sound track of a film. Thank you. A Fun, Fun, Fun record.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:55 am

# 48 Zakir Hussein "Making Music"- something about the sound of the tabla at 6am and your wife practicing her yoga. I can almost imagine her back in the Laurentian Mountains, north of Montreal, in her youth at a retreat. The subtle rhythms of this tabla player and her movements are quite invigorating. Now if I can just master the Eagle pose and hold a plank.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 50 essential CDs from around the world

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:02 pm

Jack of All Parades wrote:Did not know either of those two facts about this album and I loved that movie and usually pay attention to the sound track of a film. Thank you. A Fun, Fun, Fun record.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_Flowers#Soundtrack

It's the tape/CD that Murray listens to as he drives. It is at odds with the surroundings but fits the tone of the film perfectly.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more


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