Bop & Beyond-Various: Metro

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

Femi Kuti – Africa Shrine UWe MK2 Music

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

Cyprus Thing Vol 1 : Various Olive Tree

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.

Graham Radley

Nu Latin-Various: Manteca

Compiled by Gerry Lyseight so you know it’ll be good this a double CD of 28 tracks that throw us straight into dance action with the brilliant Eat Static and ‘Love Truncheon’. Things move through styles from Ibrahim Ferrer (In Birmingham November 5th) to Delinquent Habits, with tracks also from Ska Cubano, Snowboy, Omar Sosa and Bobby Hutcherson amongst many more tasties.At a time when Latin Line dancing is taking off (you could easily see that one evolving out of the salsa classes) then it’s good to get raw & dirty on the dance floor and celebrate great music. Graham Radley

Women Of Latin America ‘Various’ Putumayo

Female voices from Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Peru & Mexico. This fairly laid back collection opens with a new name to me, Marta Gomez from Colombia, with ‘La Ronda’ a gentle Afro-Peruvian influenced rhythm. Also here are tracks from Jacqueline Fuentes, Monica Salmaso, Mariana Montalvo, Tania Libertad, Susana Baca, Lila Downs, Belo Velloso, Lhasa and Toto La Momposina. I especially like Brazilian singer songwriter Adriana Calcanhotto’s ‘Justo Agora’, such a lovely voice. Graham Radley

Essential Afrobeat – The Very Best Of Afrobeat: Family Records

Afrobeat was brought to us first by Fela Kuti and his Africa 70 band (Dele Sosimi, who has compiled this album, worked with Fela Kuti as his musical director for a period of time). Now thankfully it is stirring up UK dance floors again with this tasty triple CD compilation giving a varied look at the history, influences and future. We have of course Fela Kuti & Femi Kuti plus Tony Allen, Orlando Julius, Hugh Masekela and Salif Keita. The DJ take on Afrobeat comes from Fatboy Slim and DJ Food while one of the discs is an ’Afro Chill Mix’ which includes Antibalas ’Elephant’ The Meters ‘Just Kissed My Baby’ and Afro Dizz with ‘Kalakuta Show’. 51 great tracks in all, feet don’t fail me now!

Graham Radley

Nois4 ‘Gente’ Candid Records

Monica Vasconceles, Ingrid Laubrock, Ife Tolentino and Chris Wells formerly known as As Meninas but now going out as Nois4. Recorded in San Paulo this follow up to ‘Bom Dia’ features a guest appearance from Guinga who contributes a couple of tracks plus guitar on 3 tracks and vocals on another, the superb ‘Com a Perna no Mundo ’. As wonderful as all the composite parts are it’s Monica Vasconceles’ gorgeous, warm vocals that frame the musical picture and make the magic work. Great release. Graham Radley

Astral Travelling Since 1993