Sometimes putting two artists together, whether they're from similar backgrounds or from polar opposites, hits the proverbial ball out of the park. While in other instances, mash-ups of artists falls as flat as two-day root beer. Well, luckily, on this week's World Music Show (3/22), the latter won't happen becuase on the docket are great pairings as well as some choice random acts of world musical goodness.
Starting off the show will be some of the random bits, namely some Afro-Portuguese music from Mozambique. The band Mabulu are a multigenerational music collective who are produced by a German who was the first producer to set up a high-quality recording studio in Mozambique. The result of this collaboration is a unique musical dialogue that unites a number of different perspectives. Mixed into this first set will also be a couple of tracks from Honduran artist Aurelio, who sings in the Garifuna tradtion, which highlights African and Caribbean Indian traditions.
Now, for one of the first stellar pairings. The duo of Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate are one of the best pairings of two masters of strings ever put on vinyl or digital. Both of these musicians, when they recorded two albums, were at the top of their game. Farka Toure, who plays guitar, has been compared to many of the greats--and rightly so. On both of his outings with Diabate, he mostly improvised. As for Diabate, who plays the Kora, he can match whatever Farka Toure dished out. We'll hear a song off their last CD together, simply called "Ali & Toumani," before Farka Toure passed away.
Also in that first pairing set wil be songs from Bombino (a great desert blues guitarist from Northern Mali), King Sunny Ade (the king of Juju music) and some Soweto street music from Kid Malume. Keeping that mini-African theme going, we'll take the Way-Back machine to Nigeria, circa 1970s, to hear from Etubom Rex Williams & His Nigerian Artistes. But then, we'll jump back into the future to hear from Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti.
Closing out hour one will be some Random Musings ala Gypsy style by the band Karen Gafurdjanov, who are from Uzbekistan, and from the band Luminescent Orchestrii, who are from Brooklyn, NY. And we'll hear some Greek music from Elly Paspala and then for some odd reason, we'll hear a French song from Eileen--who does a great version of "These Boots are Made for Walking," which sounds better when said in French.
For hour two, the scene looks like a mess of Random Musings, musically speaking--though, it could stretched to include bands like BossaCucaNova (who kick off every World Music Show), and some Timbalada music that features a bunch of drummers, including founder Carlinhos Brown. Then, we'll get some Tabla Beats going on with tracks that feature the band Mo' Horizons and Badar Ali Kahn as well as Karsh Kale.
A nice bonus about this week's show, in hour two in particular, will be a three-song set of interesting rap music from Brazil and from Senegal. And closing out the show will be a couple of great covers from Jamaica's The Jolly Boys (who do a version of the classic song "Ring of Fire," and the New Order song "Blue Monday."
So if this sounds like a good pairing with your Saturday night, then check out The World Music, Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE FM Richmond Public Radio or online at this site. You can follow this show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.