Hot New African, Brazilian, French, and Jazz Releases

For this week’s Rhythm Planet show, let’s first explore and enjoy six terrific African albums, beginning with Les Amazones d’Afrique‘s forceful new release decrying the oppression of African women. The track “Dombolo” features the great Angelique Kidjo. Next, it’s Orchestra Baobab, named after the huge African tree, who hail from Dakar, Senegal. You can hear the Cuban influence on West African music in their mellow tropical sound. Three hundred miles off the coast from Dakar, we arrive in the Cape Verde archipelago and hear a wonderful new album from Elida Almeida, full of morabeza, the Cape Verdean equivalent of Hawaiian aloha. A joyful noise if there ever was one. 

A Zimbabwean band new to me called Mokoomba is next. They are touring the U.S. this spring and trying to secure summer dates at the moment. Between April 28 and May 25, they’ll be bouncing from coast to coast with gigs in New Orleans, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle, just to name a few destinations. Click here for full tour information.

Somi, born in the U.S. to Ugandan and Rwandan parents, has a new album out on Columbia’s Okeh label. She adapts a famous Sting song (“An Englishman in New York”) in this track, “Alien.” The final African album featured today pairs Senegalese kora (traditional harp-lute) player Seckou Keita with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, in a felicitous musical combination. 

We change continents and hear the Brazilian superstar trio, Trio da Paz (Peace Trio), featuring guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta, and drummer Duduka da Fonseca. We then head north to Los Angeles, where super drummer Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band have a new CD called, appropriately, A Second Opinion. Finally, a fun song from Paris Combo about a woman looking for a man: “Mon Anatomie Cherche un Ami” (My anatomy is looking for a friend). It rhymes and sounds better in French!

I hope you enjoy this week’s playlist of new delights. 

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 3/31/17

1. Les Amazones D’Afrique / “Dombolo” / République Amazone / Real World
2. Orchestra Baobab / “Natalia” / Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng / World Circuit
3. Elida Almeida / “Forti Dor” / Djunta Kudjer / Lusafrica
4. Mokoomba / “Kumukanda” / Luyando / Out Here Records
5. Somi / “Alien” / Petite Afrique / Okeh
6. Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita / “Fatiliku” / Transparent Water / OTA Records
7. Trio Da Paz / “Sampa 67” / 30 / Zoho
8. Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band / “Dreamsville” / Second Opinion / Fuzzy Music
9. Paris Combo / “Mon Anatomie Cherche Un Ami” / Tako Tsubo / Ta-Dah & DRG






Tom Schnabel