Despite numerous releases I’ve got to admit to knowing little by French vocalist Isabelle Antena other than ‘Playback’ from her 1986 LP ‘En Cavale’, which was covered brilliantly by Yukihiro Fukutomi in more recent times. Her latest offering, ‘French Riviera’ sees her team up with some of Japan’s top producers such as the aforementioned Yukihiro Fukutomi, Tatsuo Sunaga (Sunaga T), Kazuma Fujimoto (Orange Pekoe) and Jazztronik. The result is a gorgeous bossa laced jazz set which includes the outstanding fusion dancer ‘Brazilian Dorian Dream’ produced by Kyoto Jazz Massive’.
Wonderful Brazilian music as bossa legend Elizeth Cardoso sings material from one of Brazils best known songwriters Ary Barroso. Elizeth was a star orchestra singer on the radio during the 30’s and 40’s but this is one of the last recordings she made before her death in 1990. Gorgeous voice. Graham Radley
Originally released in Brazil in 1997 as a tribute to Aracy de Almeida with classic material from the 30’s & 40’s mostly penned by Noel Rosa. A tasty interpretation with a real feel of the time and place.
Masters at work as the rhythm boys get back in the groove for some chunky dub and funk explorations with guests including Black Thought (The Roots) N¹Dea Davenport, Killah Priest (Wu-Tang Clan) with Gigi, Tricky and Radagon. The equally mighty Bill Laswell is at the controls, listen out for cool version of Here Comes The Rain again featuring Iman Uzuni and Perspective featuring a new, superb voice to me Woyneab Miraf Wondwossen. Worship them. Graham Radley
Another excellent Putumayo collection, this time with the focus on contemporary grooves from france, Turkey, Germany Lebanon etc. Tracks courtesy of Rouge Rouge, Mustafa Sandal, 2raumwohnung, Major Boys feat Aurelia, Issa bagayogo, Zap Mama, Brenda Fassie, Ragheb Alama and my pick Cheb Mami & K-Mel with a remix of Parisien du Nord. Graham Radley
Martiniquan pianist who has guested on over 50 albums, plusfive of his own, giving you a fair insight into the respect he is held in. The style reflects Mario¹s cultural background within a contemporary jazz setting and including some excellent guest musicians topped off by trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Graham Radley
A very different view of Brazilian music with the hip hop crews moving centre stage, a wide range of styles from the mellow 509-E to the altogether wilder Black Gero with lots of inventive stuff along the way. Listen out for Chico Science & Bid, Stereo Maracana and Veiga & Salazar. Superb Rough Guide release. Graham Radley
Double CD featuring material from 1944 to 1960 with the tracks running pretty much in chrological order from Don Byas’s Riffin’ And Jivin’ to Booker Ervin¹s Mr Wriggles. Also here are Dizzy Gillespie (Groovin¹ High + Shaw Nuff) Charlie Parker (Koko + Moose The Mooche) Fats Navarro (Be Bop Romp) Miles Davis (Half Nelson) Lee Morgan (Hank¹s Shout) John Coltrane (Rhodamagnetics) amongst a total of 32 great tracks. Graham Radley
Recorded live at Africa Shrine in Femi’s home of Lagos which is also his rehearsal and recording space as well as being the living embodiment of Fela¹s life and work. The venue has a weekly ŒSunday Jump¹ session, here Femi lets rip with 11 brilliant new songs plus Fela¹s classic ‘ Water No Get Enemy’. Totally infectious music with fire and passion, a perfect mx. Graham Radley
Double CD compilation from this excellent label which is spreading the peace and unity vibe. 29 tracks covering a range of styles with a real chance to discover what’s happening on the urban scene in Cyprus, as with a lot of compilations you probably will not like everything here but I’m sure you’ll discover at least one or two new artists to look out for in the future.