The March 2015 (#106) issue includes our regular Top of the World CD with ten tracks from the best new releases from around the world. The CD also includes five tracks selected by American jazz singer and three-times Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, who discusses her choices with Jo Frost.
The Top of the World CD includes brand new tracks from Songhoy Blues, Punch Brothers, Criolo, and many more.
Pick up your copy here, at selected WHSmiths stores and all good record retailers.
Top of the World 106
Songhoy Blues – Music in Exile on Transgressive Records
First heard as part of the Africa Express Maison des Jeunes project in 2013, Songhoy Blues are the new sound of Mali, set to become West Africa’s biggest export since Amadou & Mariam.
Punch Brothers – The Phosphorescent Blues on Nonesuch Records
The progressive bluegrass quintet put together a series of vignettes on the theme of connection that dips in and out of various genres, all while managing to still sound like the band we love.
The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band – 21st Century Molam on Paradise Bangkok
Classic Thai sounds get a 21st-century update, ready for the dance floor.
Criolo – Convoque Seu Buda on Sterns Music
The Brazilian rapper returns with a diverse album that sees him sing just as much as much as he raps, which is sure to fuel Criolo’s growing stature, both in Brazil and around the world.
Boubacar Traoré – Mbalimaou on Lusafrica
The first album in four years from this much loved Malian singer and guitarist finds him on familiar ground, but demonstrates he can still make music tat has the power to engage.
The Unthanks – Mount the Air on Rabble Rouser Music
The first studio album in four years from the Northumbrian folk band proves that they are a seemingly fearless ensemble who wear their art lightly and keep their heart lively.
Pascuala Ilabaca y Fauna – Busco Paraiso on Petit Indie
Chilean singer-songwriter and accordionist Ilabaca puts together a varied album with jazz, indie and rock elements.
Verckys et l’Orchestre Vévé – Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 on Analog Africa
Verckys and his band brought a raw energy, vibrancy and sheer funkyness to the Congolese rumba scene.
Leveret – New Anything on RootBeat Records
The English squeezebox and string trio share a repertoire of traditional and original tunes, responding to each other in an almost improvisatory manner for this beautiful debut album.
Louis Sarno – Song from the Forest OST on Tondowksi Films
The extraordinary recordings from the film that documents Louis Sarno’s travels to the Central African Republic are pure, beautiful, unmediated and almost quite unlike anything you’ve heard.
Plus Dee Dee Bridgewater’s playlist
“She just has such a wonderful stage presence, and she’s so beautiful to watch. She’s got an aura about her. I’m so proud of what’s happening for her now with World Circuit.”
“You can’t imagine how amazing [working with Manu Dibango] was for me… Manu”s a lot of fun… and he’s extremely knowledgable about jazz music and a very versatile musician.”
Rokia Traoré – ‘Tounka’
From Tchamantché on Nonesuch Records
Bridgewater first came across Rokia’s music while living in Paris and coincidentally bumped into Rokia’s cousin while in Segou. Sadly Rokia wasn’t available to guest on Bridgewater’s Red Earth album.
Oumou Sangaré – ‘Moussolou’
From Moussolou on World Circuit
Oumou was one of Bridgewater’s guides during her time in Mali and features on her Red Earth album. She calls the Malian songbird “mon énergie,” and describes Oumou as being like a sister to her.
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba – ‘Bassekou’
From Segu Blue on Out Here Records
“Bassekou is nothing short of extraordinary,” says Bridgewater, and she’s also a huge fan of his wife Amy Sacko who reminders her of Abbey Lincoln.