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New Music Discoveries

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Lura © N’Krumah Lawson Daku 2018

This week’s Rhythm Planet playlist showcases an eclectic array of new releases and rediscoveries that deserve some love. I’ll highlight a few here in the post, but see below for a list of all of the music in the extended playlist or just give it a listen!

Malian superstar Salif Keita is out with a new album called Un Autre Blanc (Another White Man) that he says will be his last. The title refers to the fact that Keita is an albino, an African with white skin. Other African music includes tracks from Gabon’s Pierre Akedengué and a reissue of the classic album from Egyptian artist Ali Hassan KubanFrom Nubia to Cairo. Rising Ethiopian singer Minyeshu sings a wonderful song from her new album Daa Dee.

Portuguese/Cape Verdean singer Lura keeps the spirit of the late Cesária Évora alive with her beautiful renditions of sad mornas and the upbeat funaná and coladeira for which the Cape Verdean archipelago is known. Lura was studying sports education in Lisbon when Juka, a successful singer from São Tome, asked her to sing with him. She resisted, but finally was won over. Her deep, sensual voice is part and parcel of makes Cape Verdean music so unique. We hear from her latest EP called Alguem di Alguem.

Salif Keita (Photo by C. Thomas Dorn)

On other world music fronts, we hear the trance-inducing music of Tunisian-born, France-based singer/oud master Dhafer Youssef from his new album Sounds of Mirrors. Another oud master is there, too—Turkish musician Ozan Aksoy, performing an instrumental he calls “Hope.” Haitian-American singer Malou Beauvoir sings the song “Papa Loko” from her album Spiritwalker, which calls for unity through spiritual awakening.

Moving on to jazz, we feature The King and I’s lovely song “Hello Young Lovers” from pianist Alan Pasqua’s latest album plus Rubén Blades’s new album with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Vibraphonist Joe Locke and singer Raul Midón together perform a powerful song called “Motherless Children.” French pianist Dexter Goldberg plays a cut “A Chord Into Me” from his new album, showing his piano artistry as well as his gift for puns (ahem). The latest from Hard Rubber Orchestra features the late trumpet wizard Kenny Wheeler with U.K. singer Norma Winstone. We include a song from Israeli guitarist Gilad Hekselman dedicated to Milton Nascimento, called simply “Milton.”

Malou Beauvoir (Photo courtesy of Laurence Laborie)

Latin music includes one from Cuban superstar José Alberto “El Canario” with Septeto Santiaguero as well as the Hip Spanic All Stars’s tribute to a classic 1960’s Chevrolet, “In My 64.” And not to forget Brazil, we hear a singer named Roberta Sá from Natal in the north of Brazil, whose fetching sound has made me a new fan.

I hope you enjoy this first playlist of the year.  Stay tuned for more next week!

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 1/22/19

  1. Alan Pasqua / “Hello Young Lovers” / Soliloquy / Alan Pasqua
  2. Rubén Blades and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra / “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” / Una Noche Con Rubén Blades / Blue Engine Records
  3. José Alberto “El Canario” & Septeto Santiaguero / “No Me Voy a Disgustar” / A Mi Que: Tributo a los Clasicos Cubanos / Los Canarios Inc.
  4. Hip Spanic Allstars / “In My 64” / Old School Revolution / Hip Spanic Allstars
  5. Dhafer Youssef / “Humankind” / Dhafer Youssef: Sounds of Mirrors / Anteprima Production
  6. Salif Keita / “Syrie” / Un autre blanc / Naïve
  7. Gaye Su Akyol / “Bir Yarali Kustum” / Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir / Glitterbeat Records
  8. Lenka Lichtenberg / “Peace Is the Only Way” / A Woman’s World: Songs of Resilience and Hope / ARC
  9. Ali Hassan Kuban / “Hanwil Tanza” / From Nubia to Cairo / Piranha Records
  10. Joe Locke (featuring Raul Midón) / “Motherless Children” / Subtle Disguise / Origin Records
  11. Out of Nations / “Tribute to a Time” / Quest / Riverboat Records
  12. Anne Sajdera / “New Year” / New Year / Bijuri Records
  13. Malou Beauvoir / “Papa Loko” /  Spiritwalker / Panthera Music International
  14. John Petrucelli / “Scallop Shell of Quiet – Live” / Presence – Live / John Petrucelli
  15. Jack Gates / “Metropolis” / Ocean Blues / Whitegates Music
  16. Ozan Aksoy / “Hope” / Ozan / Ozan Aksoy
  17. One O’Clock Lab Band / “After the Rain” / Lab 2018 | The Rhythm of the Road / North Texas Jazz
  18. Marco Pignataro / “Alfonsina y el Mar” / Almas Antiguas / ZOHO
  19. Pierre Akendengue / “La Couleur de l’Afrique de ma Chanson” / La Couleur de l’Afrique / Lusafrica
  20. Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita / “Fatiliku” / Transparent Water / OtáRecords
  21. Minyeshu / “Yikerta” / Daa Dee / ARC
  22. Lura / “Nina” / Alguem di Alguem / Lusafrica
  23. Hard Rubber Orchestra / “Movement III” (featuring Norma Winstone) / Kenny Wheeler: Suite for Hard Rubber Orchestra / Justin Time Records
  24. Gilad Hekselman / “Milton” / Ask for Chaos / Motema Music
  25. Roberta Sá / “A Vizinha do Lado” / Braseiro / MP,B / Som Livre
  26. Dexter Goldberg Trio / “A Chord Into Me” / Tell Me Something New / Jazz & People