Show #37: Tom's Top Tunes To Kick Off 2014

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This week Rhythm Planet features some great new albums. Here are some deets…


Manu Chao – Siberie Fleuve d’Amour (Siberia River of Love)

The irrepressible Manu Chao has another great album out, perhaps his best in years. Present are the vintage video game sounds, songs in both French and English, filled with humor, wit, and fun. The album actually came out in limited release in 2004, but sold out instantly, hence the reissue.  The title is kind of playful gibberish but refers to the time Manu first arrived in Paris;  it was so cold there he thought he was in Siberia.


Angelique Kidjo – Hello

The Benin-born singer new album features a bunch of Benin women’s choirs, and plenty of high-energy African music. She has been a champion of human and women’s rights in Africa, and has a new book out as well called Spirits Rising. She has an upcoming date, already sold out, at the Los Angeles Public Library.


The Bahama Soul Club – The Cuban Tapes

This Berlin-based band is about the least Teutonic group I know of. It’s a cool collection of tropical grooves with a Cuban, clubby twist.


Nanny Assis – Folhas Secas (dry leaves, autumn leaves)

Sweet new album by a Brazilian singer who’s recently moved to the East Coast.


Alaide Costa – Mana Chegou

An early but little known bossa nova singer. Her voice captivates me.


Salwa Abou Greisha – “Wainek” from Arabic Cafe

An Egyptian singer pairs with Mohammed Fadl’s great orchestra on a new Rough Guide compilation called Arabic Cafe.


Laura Mvula – “Little Girl Blue” from 12 Years A Slave soundtrack

The incomparable British singer does a great job on this Nina Simone classic.


Dhafer Youssef – Sweet Blasphemy

Tunisian-born, Paris-based, singer with a deep and beguiling new album of originals.


Oumaima Khalil – Ya Mariam El Bekr

The Lebanese vocalist is featured on an amazing Hommage to Syria, with a 200 page booklet, hardbound, in something like 7 languages. An amazing achievement!


Next, we remember two great artists whom we lost in 2013: Yusef Lateef and Ibrahim Sylla. Yusef Lateef started his career in Detroit in 1939, playing in big bands. He later branched out, incorporating many world music sounds and instruments from around the world. He composed classical compositions as well, and was a virtuoso tenor and flute player. We’ll feature a 12-bar blues called “P-Bouk”, with Elvin Jones on drums.


Ibrahim Sylla produced hundreds of great African artists and bands over his career. Here we have the great Guinean band Bembeya Jazz National from a 1970s album he produced for the Syliphone label.


Rhythm Planet Playlist: 1/10/14

  1. Manu Chao / Freedom / Siberie Fleuve D’AmourSiberie M’Etait Conteee / Radio Bemba
  2. Angelique Kidjo / Hello / Eve / 429
  3. The Bahama Soul Club / Cooka Racca / The Cuban Tapes / Buyú Records
  4. Nanny Assis / Folhas Secas / Double Rainbow / Blue Toucan
  5. Alaide Costa / Mana Chegou  / Bossa Nova Classics / Master Classics
  6. Salwa Abou Greisha / Wainek / The Rough Guide To Arabic Cafe / Rough Guides
  7. Laura Mvula / Little Girl Blue / 12 Years A Slave / Columbia
  8. Dhafer Youssef / Sweet Blasphemy / Birds Requiem / Okeh
  9. Oumaima Khalil / Ya Mariam El Bekr / Orient-Occident II/Hommage To Syria / Aliavox
  10. Bembeya Jazz National / Moussogbe / Syliphone Years / Sterns Music
  11. Yusef Lateef / P Bouk / Into Something / Prestige