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Album Reviews
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

Elegancia Tropical (Polen Records)

 Echoes of old Colombian rhythms can be heard within Bomba Estereo’s glow-stick electronica and synthetic beats. Elegancia’s tempos run from cool to fiery in colorfully textured dance club mixes. The Bogota-based group has
Album Reviews
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012

Somewhere is Here!

 Israel has been a destination for Jews from many lands and the nation’s multiculturalism is explored by the acoustic guitar duo Isra-Alien. Oren Neiman’s roots are in jazz and Gilad Ben Zvi are in rock, but their music, while echoing
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012


The music on LiveSplashes begins with the mysterious tinkle of a vibraphone and dives into liquid grooves composed from Third World and jazz influences. The members of Moscow's Exit...
Album Reviews
Friday, June 8, 2012

Twelve (In + Out)

She was born in Azerbaijan but raised in Rotterdam—and that was a lucky thing for jazz musician Amina Figarova. Figarova was fortunate to grow up in a country where jazz is respected as an art form and the scene continues to thrive. Twelve gives no hint...
Album Reviews
Friday, May 4, 2012


Sara Erde began by rapping with Neneh Cherry and now pairs her urban contemporary vocals with the Andalusian cry of Alfonso Cid in Caramelo. The NYC group brings a jigger of jazz, a touch of klezmer and a heaping serving of flamenco to hot R&B...
Album Reviews
Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

Return from the Unknown

Incredibly, Rick Drumm is actually a drummer. The music industry veteran recently survived chemo for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and decided to focus on “attaining some unfulfilled musical goals.” One of them was making a CD inspired in some way by his...
Album Reviews
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012


Chicago's Kmang Kmang sometimes sound like the unanticipated convergence of alt rock and ECM jazz—with a world of other influences distilled into the mix. At the group's core is Barmey Ung, a Cambodian American who studied classical...
Album Reviews
Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

Dark Lady of the Sonnets (TUM)

Wadada Leo Smith came out of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Music in the 1960s and soon established himself alongside Anthony Braxton and Leroy Jenkins at the forefront of free jazz. Detroit percussionist Pheeroan akLaff has...
Album Reviews
Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011

Can't Sit Down (World Village)

On his latest CD, the reigning king of zydeco works within the fixed points of his Louisiana musical tradition—the influences of blues, country and R&B, and the occasional French vocal—and rocks up the mix for maximum contemporary party appeal...

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