A Smorgasbord of Sound
On this week's World Music Show (1/28), I feel like I took all the cool sounds and songs from around the globe and put them into a blender and came out with a show worthy of a few hours. Where to begin, oh, where to begin! Ok, how about with a few tracks from the Maylasian singer and ukelele player Zee Avi. Her voice is smooth, deep, sultry and even whimiscal. And her songs evoke a bit of magic, too.
From her, we'll transition to a couple of Kids World Music tracks off a few Putumayo CDs--but don't worry, these sounds won't get stuck in your head like a bad musical migraine. You'll hear Guillermo Anderson, who is from Honduras, and the band Atlantick, who are from Trinidad.
A highlight of the first hour will be from a band of Tuareg-Berber musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. The band, Tinariwen, was formed around 1979 in the refugee camps in Libya. After a cease-fire, they returned to Mali in the 1990s. Their style reflects the world around them, so expect to hear the sounds of African Blues as well as Tamashek and Desert Guitars. In that same chunk of music, I'll add some tracks by Latin Playboys and Cafe Tacuba.
To continue the blender theme, we'll move from the Sahara Desert to Portland, Oregon--yep, a mighty trip on a map, but easy musically. I'll play a new track from Pink Martini's latest CD, called 1969, that features the singer Saori Yuki. Yuki does justice to the Bossa Nova sound in a song called "Midnight Bossa Nova." Found in this set of music will be a couple of songs from Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo, doing a song that pairs her with both Bono and John Legend, as well as a track from the band Orchestra Baobab, who are from Dakar.
After hitting the Frapee button on the digital blender in the studio, hour two has quite the sounds in store for you. We'll go from some European grooves that feature German duo who call themselves Jazzamor as well as the Italian band Fiamma Fumana, who play a mix of traditional Italian folk music that mixes with pop and electronica. I'll pair those tracks with a couple of selections from the mind of Alex Gimeno, otherwise known as the man behind Ursula 1000.
To keep that groovy feeling going, I'll hit the digital blend button again and land in Germany to play a song from the band Mo' Horizons, followed by a song from Badar Ali Kahn, who are from both the US and Pakistan.
We'll also explore a new sound sensation, at least for the World Music Show, called Tabla Beat Science. The Tabla is a popular Indian percussion instrument (of the membranophone family), similar to bongos. It's used in Hindustani classical music as well as in popular and devotional music of the Indian subcontinent. The Tabla consists of a pair of hand drums of contrasting sizes and timbres. The term 'tabla' is derived from an Arabic word, tabl, which simply means "drum." Indians associate this drum with the rhythm of the heart. Although the Tabla is an ancient instrument, there are many performers who have updated its sound electronically, such as Karsh Kale and Talvin Singh. It's really an interesting sound to hear.
As you can hopefully tell, this week's World Music Show has really got something for everyone. Tune in, then come back here to tell me what you think. The World Music Show is heard every Saturday night from 10:00 p.m. to Midnight on WCVE Public Radio. You can also follow my updates and musings via Twitter. Look me up @wcveworldmusic.