Fawzy Al-Aiedy - Oud Aljazira (1999)

«The ancient music of the Middle East has been given a modern twist by Iraq-born and Paris-based oud (lute) and oboe player and vocalist Fawzy Al-Aiedy. Affectionately known as the "Sultan of swing," Al-Aiedy continues to bridge the traditional music of the East and the improvised sensibility of the West. Hailing from the Iraqi harbor city of Bassorah, Al-Aiedy studied violin and singing at the age of 14. His dreams of studying music abroad seemed to dissolve after the Ba'ath took control of Iraq and issued an edict prohibiting Iraqi citizens from leaving the country. Pleading to Saddam Hussein for permission to leave, he instead found himself drafted into the Iraqi army. After three months of basic training, he was transferred to the military's music division. Allowed to travel to Europe in 1971, Al-Aiedy settled in Paris and began to study the oboe. He released his debut album, Silence, five years later. His subsequent releases have focused on interpreting the music of the era depicted in the book 1001 Arabian Nights. While most of his albums have been directed at a general audience, Al-Aiedy has recorded several albums for children.» (AMG)

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Moussu T e Lei Jovents - Home Sweet Home (2008)

«Co-founder of Massilia Sound System, Moussu T, returns with Home Sweet Home, the third studio album recorded with Lei Jovents [Blu on guitars, banjo and Ciotadin viola, Zerbino on drums, washboard and percussion, and Jam de Silva on percussion and berimbau]. As with previous recordings, this new album features several Moussu T tracks with more personal themes [La Cabussada, Le Divan, Il fait beau…]. It's a safe bet that had Jali, Gari and Lux B not left the group this summer, the name of the album would not be what it is. Calling it Home Sweet Home in English marks this album out from Massilia productions, but the lyrics and the music hold true to the original spirit of the group. The rhythm may be more discreet, more minimalist and it does flirt with the blues, but the feel is the same. Massilia played with their whole neighbourhood in mind, whereas here, the focus is just the road, Moussu's road 'the one we leave to head for the horizon, but since the world is round, we end up right where we started!' he sings in the intro to Ma Rue N'est Pas Longue. As always with Moussu T the local and the global dance together. A dance with clear African-American influences, a dance which pays tribute to the Marseilles of the 1920s, the Marseilles of Banjo – the novel by Jamaican author Claude McKay. This Marseilles, which before its love affair with ragga and hip hop began, had long absorbed the music of the new-world sailors, largely descendants of slaves, who came ashore and passed their time in the old part of town, by Panier. A Marseilles which embodies all the passion of Moussu T, the free-spirit who has chosen to live in La Ciotat, all the better to gaze upon Marseilles, his beloved city.» (Mondomix)

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Spiteri - Spiteri (1973)

«An amazing band that recorded in London in the 1970’s and had the British all excited about Latino Rock. But of course, it was one of those items nobody could get hold of, despite asked for it in every store you ever went to.

Even in London where, by chance I came to live, nobody had heard of them. I never got the chance to hear the record either in Venezuela where most people get rid of their vinyls as soon as the cd player appeared (a Venezuelan tendency: new always means better!!), or in the country in which it was recorded. And then, a decade and a half later, I open the usual padded envelope holding a CD to review and it that word that had escpaed my lips so often but I'd never seen in print: Spiteri. At first I thought I'd misread it, but there it was, the very same band that has been evading me all this time, that magical cd, recorded in London, by two Venezuelan brothers (Charlie and Jorge). This album, originally recorded in 1973, released in Venezuela but never in England, has now been re-released by one of the most exciting Latin Music labels today: Vampisoul.

It would be too good to be true that this album lived up to the legend, but the bare truth is that it does. It's a beautiful combination of psychedelic rock with Venezuelan folk music, a sound so fresh, so unique, so vibrant, that it is pure Spanglish bliss in a totally insane way that could only have been produced in the 1970s. It was way ahead of its time in terms of musical vision, a true fusion album when only very few musicians were daring to attempt it. It combines Afro-Venezuelan rhythmns with English melodies in a daring way, enhanced by a musical understanding and skill into something truly innovative and rare.

According to the CD booklet Spiteri was Britain's answer to Santana. Unfortunately, while Santana's appearance at Woodstock launched his career into the maintream music market, Spiteri never played at Glastonbury. They also only ever recorded one album. After listening to it, it leaves you wondering what would have happened if they had been given the exposure or stayed together as a band. One of those things we'll never know. And so this one gem makes its mark in history as a collectors' 'must have' and an album that could have been.... but never was. Still, never too late to enjoy it!» (Candelalive)

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Nathalie Natiembé - Sankèr (2005)

«The raw songs of Nathalie Natiembé are typical of the Reunion island. Adopted by Possession after a youth spent in the streets of the center of St-Denis, Nathalie Natiembé cannot remember not singing. In 1998 she throws herself body and soul into writing. Nathalie Natiembé works in depth with the creole language. She draws strong emotions from words, digging deep into their essence. This exercise has in fact brought her around to her Mozambican origins in March 2001, during a tour that became significant on a personal level.

When Nathalie Natiembé crosses many people bearing her name in Catembé, in the south of the country, she finds out that her family extends outside of Reunion to the lands of Africa. With the Sankèr album, Nathalie Natiembé delivers her vision of what Maloya could become. Surrounded by musicians from the Indian Ocean (Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar), she confronts this genre typical of Reunion and opens it to new horizons... thus finding the heart of it.» (Mondomix)

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