Njava - Vetse (1999)

«One of the most exciting bands from Madagascar, Njava has been attracting international attention since their crowd-rousing set at the WOMAD Festival in 1995. Njava is mostly comprised of siblings — two sisters and three brothers — from the south Madagascar's Antemoto tribe. Njava brings a modern sensibility to the traditional music of their homeland. Initially an electric band, Njava began focusing on traditional music after moving to Brussels, Belgium, in the early '90s. Their debut album, Vetse, was released in 1999 and produced by influential Japanese producer Makoto Kubota. On Vetse, the group’s five siblings – Monique "Monika" Rasoanirina on vocals, Gabrielle "Lala" Raharimahala on vocals and percussion, Theogene "Dozzy" Randriamanpionana on guitar, marovany, and vocals, Patrick "Pata" Randriamanjava on percussion and vocals, Maximin "Max" Randriamanjava on bass and vocals, and Serge "Luc" Rakotomalala on guitar, percussion and vocals – blend fluid guitar melodies, native percussion and beautiful harmonies in an earthy yet sophisticated mix, striking a fine balance between old and new on their debut release.» (AMG)

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Jimmy Cliff - The Universal Masters Collection (2001)

«A fine songwriter and gifted singer with charisma to burn, Jimmy Cliff is one of the most talented musicians to come out of Jamaica. His best work was done with legendary producer Leslie Kong, and several of those songs are available here, including "Wonderful World Beautiful People," "You Can Get It if You Really Want It," "Many Rivers to Cross," and "Vietnam," all of which are indispensable classics. Following Kong's death in 1971, Cliff seemed to lose his focus and drifted in and out of different styles, never quite finding his earlier touch. While he is too good a performer to ever be less than professional, the second half of this disc doesn't quite match up to the material done with Leslie Kong.» (AMG)

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