Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
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The Rough Guide To The Music of Mali / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Rough Guide To The Music of Mali

World Music Network

No shortage of options here in terms of artists and to prove that we get Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Amadou & Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Rokia Traore, Vieux Farka Toure , Tinariwen and Afel Bocoum. Excellent selection of artists and of course superb music.

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Graham Radley, 07/08

The Rough Guide to Ultimate Musical Adventures / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Rough Guide to Ultimate Musical Adventures

World Music Network

Thirteen tracks that open up brilliantly with Cuban Cowboys (El Capitan) and closes equally brilliantly with Dengue Fever’s ‘We Were Gonna’  Along the way there are tracks from Ravi Bal & Daljit Mattu, Francis Beeby, Ozomatli, Wayne Gorbea, Rhany, Sami ali, Idan Raichel’s Project, Jolly Mukherjee & Sridevi, Tribali, Geraldo Pino & The Heart Breaks and Corey Harris with Ali Farka Toure - now that’s what you call a compilation CD!

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Graham Radley, 06/08

The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa & Middle East / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa & Middle East

World Music Network

15 tracks with the opener from one of my favourites, Gigi with 'Enoralehu' further African tracks include Kekele, King Sunny Ade, Oliver Mtukudzi and Baaba Maal while the Middle East tracks include Ofra Haza, Amr Diab and Mariem Hassan. Good collection.

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Graham Radley, 04/07

The Soul Of Disco Vol. 2 / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Soul Of Disco Vol. 2

Z Records

Joey Negro and Sean P are back with another selection of disco delights. The sleeve notes estimate that to buy the originals featured here would set you back over £2000! With the likes of the northern soul favourite 'How Can I Tell Her' by Curtis Anderson, Sparkle's funky New York styled 'Let Yourself Go', the awesome 'Can I Take You Home' by Mel Shepperd and Sabatta's George Kerr produced 'Man For My Lady' you know this is the real deal. As if that wasn't enough you also get the remixed version 'Movin On' from GD & The Big J, here credited as 'Summer Groove' by The Joneses, Charles Mann's 'Sho Nuff No Funny Stuff Love' and a great version of David Bendeth's 'Feel The Real' by Adrenalin. The standouts for me though are the killer groove of 'We Had Enough' from Arnie & The Lovlettes and Vance & Suzzanne's 'I Can't Get Along Without You' as sampled on the house track 'Eyes Of Love' by Brother Of Soul (Guidance 2000).

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Andy Allen, 07/06

The Sound Of Sound / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Sound Of Sound

Luaka Bop

Featuring Shuggie Otis, Moreno + 2, Domenico +2, Kassin + 2, Eddie, Os Mutantes, Jim White and Los de Abajo, plus exclusive unreleased tracks from the Godfather of Brazilian soul Tim Maia (Que Beleza and Bom Senso) this is Luaka Bop doing what they do so well, mixing it up and making it special. Great.

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Graham Radley, 02/08

The Timeless Interpretations / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Timeless Interpretations

Dopeness Galore Records

This formula has been tried on a number of occasions over the years: some albums have produced some classy new interpretations, but, more often than not, remixing jazz classics hasn't quite come up to scratch. Dopeness Galore have already released the excellent compilation "Timeless Finest Jazz" which gave us a taster from the massive back catalogue of Timeless Records, and now they've brought in the remixers. I am glad to say that here are some of the best re-works to date. Domu's broken beat version of "Nerada" works a treat, as does Alex Attias' remix of Art Blakey's Kenji's Walk, which goes back to his Bel Air Project days. The combination of Mark De Clive-Lowe and Bembe Segue as The Politik was always going to be a winner and I.N.T produce two tracks, one with Rich Medina and the other with Melodee, which will keep the heads happy. I'll leave you to check out the rest in your own time.

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Simon Harrison, 08/06

The Wants List Volume 2 / Various Artists

Various Artists - The Wants List Volume 2

Soul Brother Records

The second edition of Soul Brother's 'The Wants List' delivers another 18 in demand rare groove / 2 step soul tracks to end the frustrating search for many a collector. As you would expect, everything here is quality from the album's opener Kellee Patterson's version of 'I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little Bit More', through to the finishing cut 'When We're Making Love' by Denise LaSalle. In between we're treated to classics such as 'World In A Crisis' from Barbara Mason, Edna Wright's 'Oops! Here I Go Again', 'Shake It Up' by The Vibrations, Michelle Wiley's 'I Feel So At Home Here' and 'Unwanted Company' from Jeannie Reynolds. It's also good to see Samuel Jonathan Johnson's 'My Music' included. This has long been a favourite of mine, a great quirky soul stepper with an almost mystical feel, taken from the 1978 Columbia album of the same name. One that was actually on my 'wants list' was 'Sho' Nuff' by the sweet male harmony group, Sly, Slick & Wicked. This is a fantastic tune originally released on People Records in 1973 and sounds like The Lost Generation.

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Andy Allen, 09/05

The World's Rarest Funk 45's, Vol. 2 compiled by Quantic / Various Artists

Various Artists - The World's Rarest Funk 45's, Vol. 2 compiled by Quantic

Jazzman Records

Will Holland, aka Quantic has been exploring the world of deep funk for some time now to critical acclaim. With this project he dusts off some obscure funk 45’s from back in the day to give them new life. There are a few moments that merit your attention. The disc starts off with “Clap Your Hands” by Reginald Milton and the Soul Jets. A deep funk track with heavy drums, a thumping rhythm guitar and nice horns to match, the youngsters on the vocals don’t do the song justice however. The vocals on “Baby Don’t Cry” by “The Third Guitar” are a lot better. Armed with a tight groove that could easily be placed on a James Brown record, this is easily one of the best cuts on the disc. This was also the track sampled by Large Professor for the Main Source classic “Looking At The Front Door”. The problem with this disc is that hardly any of the tracks stand out from the pack. I kept waiting for something to knock me off my feet and never found it. That being said, this is still a solid disc that should please fans of the rare groove sound. Quantic has done a nice job of assembling a collection of songs you would have a difficult time finding on your own. Certainly worth your time checking out.

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Reg Dancy, 02/08

Theo Parrish's Black Jazz Signature / Various Artists

Various Artists - Theo Parrish's Black Jazz Signature

Snow Dog Records

Detroit's own DJ/Producer Theo Parrish mixes a stunning collection of Spiritual Jazz recordings from the defunct Oakland Ca. label Black Jazz Records. Founded by pianist Gene Russell, the label served as an alternative to traditional jazz by creating politically motivated yet spiritually infused Jazz compositions to reflect the climate during the mid seventies uprising Although they only existed for six years they created a timeless collection of music from an impressive group of musicians. The disc kicks off with "Trance Dance" from pianist Doug Carn. Unsung guitarist Calvin Keys rhythmic playing offers a glimpse of his immense talents on "Criss Cross". There are two compositions here from famed pianist Walter Bishop Jr, "Blue Bossa" and "Those Who Chant". Both are strikingly good but I'll give the edge to the latter.It starts off with a stirring piano solo before soaring into a spirited session between Bishop and his accompanists. Overall this is a superb compilation that sheds light on a label that made conscious music during an important period and the result is pure unbridled joy.

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Reg Dancy, 09/14

Think Global 'Acoustic Brazil' / Various Artists

Various Artists - Think Global 'Acoustic Brazil'

World Music Network

Brazilian music late night style with an unplugged approach and artists that include Orquestra Imperial, Mongol, Maria Bethania, Chico Buarque, Marcos Sacramento and Paulo Moura. The CD is released in association with Oxfam giving a voice to end poverty and defend human rights, let’s see the major record companies lend their weight to the campaign as well.

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Graham Radley, 06/08

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