Chris May at The Vinyl Factory has done a great job making choices for introducing their vinyl junkie readership to the best of Ethiopian jazz from the 1960s onward. Special thanks to Al Clark for pointing this wonderful link out to me.
I don’t know how I managed to miss Japanese DJ and producer Toshio Matsuura! This album is a real gem, mashing together nu-jazz and fusion while introducing reference points like Magma and Carlos Santana (when he was still on the cutting edge).
Momo Wandel Soumah was a saxophonist and vocalist from Guinea who did a stunning job mixing jazz (especially that of the Charlie Parker and John Coltrane variety) with ethnic music from his region of the world. This session was recorded in 1991.
He passed away in 2003, but left this album as his legacy.
My first introduction to the world of Paul Bowles, as well as the Sub Rosa record label, was through this disc. The combination of stories read by Bowles himself, as well as the artwork and ambiance by storyteller Mohammed M’Rabet, made it wonderful bedtime listening, allowing me to transport my mind to what a hazy, stoned Tangier must have been like in the 1950s and 60s. This aged very nicely.
Kyriakos Sfetsas is originally from Lefkadia an island in Greece, and started this particular band in the mid-1970s in order to expand the boundaries of what Greek traditional music is. Apparently, there is a lot more music of his which has yet to be released. This is as fine an intro to his works as one could hope for.
Much love to Teranga Beat, the Senegalese label which will release this masterpiece on May 25, 2018.
Abu Obaida Hassan had a wonderful career during the 1970s and 1980s making the kids sway in Khartoum, Sudan with his tambour, but by the second decade of this century, Sudanese media pronounced him dead. Thankfully, he is far from it, and courtesy of Ostinato Records, he has a fine retrospective coming out on May 18, 2018.