Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections
(Page 2 of 2)

World Music

Diverse Influences Help Artists Produce Beats Without Borders

April 26, 2002|DON HECKMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

"Bollywood: The Glitz, the Glamour, the Soundtrack." It's called "Bollywood," but it's actually the film industry of Bombay, India, which produces more films than Hollywood itself. Most are musicals in which attractive young film stars lip-sync songs to performances by the industry's famous recording artists. The collection features two of the best-known: the sisters Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar.

*

"Haiti: African Heartbeat of the Caribbean." A fascinating look at the rich but often overlooked music of the world's first black republic. The startling diversity of the selections underscores Haitian music's seeming contradiction of retaining powerful African elements while remaining wide open to influences from Cuban son, Dominican merengue, American jazz, funk and soul.

*

"Nigeria & Ghana: Juju, Afrobeat, Fuji." Selections from two of Africa's most musically vital countries, from the early rhythms of highlife to the more contemporary minimalism of Fuji, with selections from E.T. Mensah (the "king of Highlife") to the exuberant King Sunny Ade.

*

"Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Sufi Sounds From the Qwaali King." The great Pakistani qwaali singer is well represented in collections released in the U.S. This group of eight tracks, drawn from eight albums, touches upon Khan's classical repertoire, as well as his more popularly oriented efforts.

*

"Louisiana: A State of Musical Giants." The Mississippi Delta may be best known as the birthplace of jazz, but it is also the home to a cornucopia of other musical styles, including Cajun, zydeco, blues and gospel. All are represented in this collection, which includes (among many others) tracks by Champion Jack Dupree, Dr. John, Beausoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco and Irma Thomas.

*

"Bellydance." Here it is, the perfect soundtrack for tying a scarf around your hips and doing it yourself. Although the music is clearly aimed at accompaniment, the presence of such fine musicians as oud player Rabih Abou Khalil and multi-instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek is an added benefit.

Finally, there is the great, multicolored musical tapestry reaching from Europe to the east, the product of an array of cultures constantly interacting and overlapping with each other:

*

"The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan" (Smithsonian Folkways). The Silk Road, crisscrossing from Europe to Asia, brought trade, art, technology and ideas from one culture to another, with music a prominent part of the mix.

This two-CD collection, produced in collaboration with the Silk Road Project, an international global initiative founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, includes 47 tracks embracing entries from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Mongolia and other Asian and Eurasian nations along the Silk Road. The music is an extraordinary display of sounds and rhythms, of brilliant virtuosity and exotic timbres, of nomadic music, spiritual music and minstrelsy.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|