This week, we’ll check out some of my favorite albums of 2013. Even with the record industry seemingly in the dumps, there have been some really fantastic releases that have caught my ear. Here are my top favorite picks!
Cesaria Evora: A posthumous release from the Queen of Cape Verdean music named Mãe Carinhosa.
Orchestre El Gusto d’Algiers: This 21 piece cha’abi orchestra is the Buena Vista Social Club of Algiers. Separated by time and war, the mostly-octogenarian musicians–Jews, Arabs, Christians–got together for one last tour and album. Their show at Grand Performances was one of the highlights of the summer. Their album, El Gusto, is privately issued but available.
La Familia Valera Miranda: This is son band from Eastern Cuba, playing soulful, simmering hot music from Oriente Province. They also had a few shows in town over the summer. The name of their album is De Santiago Yo No Me Voy (I’m not leaving Santiago de Cuba).
Joseph Kabasele: Le Grand Kallé: His Life His Music: This is an expansive 2 CD collection and 100+ page hardbound book celebrating the first Congolese artist to fuse Cuban and Congolese music together into what became known as Congolese Rumba. This style started in the heady years after Congolese Independence from Belgium in 1960. There is such optimism in this joyful music, which preceded the assassination of Congo’s first democratically-elected president, Patrice Lumumba, along with the chaos of Katanga’s secession, kleptocrat General Joseph Mobutu and his long reign of the resource rich country.
Rhythm Planet Playlist: 12/20/13
- Boogaloo Assassins / No No No / Old Love Dies Hard / Sicario Records
- Dieuf-Dieul de Thiès / Na Binta / Aw Sa Yone Vol 1 / Teranga Beat
- Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa / Ana Hayou / Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa / Socadisc-Adami
- La Familia Valera Miranda / Potpourro / De Santiago Yo No Me Voy (I’m not leaving Santiago de Cuba) / FVM
- Buika / Siboney / La Noche Mas Larga (The Longest Night) / Warner Music Latina
- Cesaria Evora / Mãe Carinhosa / Mãe Carinhosa / Lusafrica
- Orchestre El Gusto d’Algiers / El Assima / El Gusto / Private Issue
- Dhafer Youssef / Al-Hallaj / Oriental Blues / Network
- Joseph Kabasele / Independence Cha-Cha / Le Grand Kallé: His Life His Music / Stern’s