Thursday, October 13, 2016

CD Review: Luisa Maita's 'Fio Da Memoria'

Luisa Maita
Fio Da Memoria

Brazil's Luisa Maita is not new to the world music scene with a few previously-released albums to her name over the last several years. On Fio Da Memoria, Luisa continues in her bossa nova, samba, and contemporary music stylings with some of the best stuff to date. One of the few English songs on the recording, "Around You," is an especially intriguing and catchy song that employs a berimbau-like tone with seductive hooks and breathy vocals for a truly enjoyable experience. The light guitar and percussion work on the jazz-tinged "Ole," suggests the sound of a 1970's James Bond film soundtrack. Luisa's great vocals match the equally-great instrumentation. Each track is different, but sports her characteristic breathy vocal delivery. Fans of Brazilian music with a contemporary edge and classic ambiance will love Luisa's latest offering. ~ Matthew Forss

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CD Review: Alsarah & And The Nubatones' 'Manara'

Alsarah And The Nubatones
Wonderwheel Recordings

Alsarah's latest wanderings through the Middle East and North Africa are appropriately-displayed on their latest recording, Manara. The recording is alive with dancing ouds, throbbing ngonis, punchy trumpet, bubbling bass, and great percussion. The rather contemporary recording contains a good mix of melodies and tones. There is a slight electronic element to some of the songs, but this is not an electronic album. It is pure world music with influences reaching across the Middle East. The Arabic vocals and rollicking percussion are very dance-friendly. In fact, it is difficult to sit still while listening to anything from Alsarah And The Nubatones. For Manara, this is especially so. Fans of a variety of Arabic-infused recordings will love Alsarah And The Nubatones! ~ Matthew Forss

CD Review: Lorraine Klaasen's 'Nouvelle Journee'

Image result for nouvelle journee albumLorraine Klaasen
Nouvelle Journee
Justin Time Records

Hailing from South Africa, Lorraine Klaasen releases a new album of South African music, aptly-titled, Nouvelle Journee. The vibrant album artwork is only the beginning. The music is equally vibrant and rich in musical textures, harmonies, and instrumental arrangements. Lorraine's commanding vocal tone is melodic. The instrumentation is nothing short of amazing, as the accordion, bass, guitars, percussion, piano, and organ provide a slew of catchy arrangements. The rippling guitars on "Ke Tshepile Bafatsi," showcase Latin and Congolese influences. The R&B influences are not forgotten either, as "Home Sweet Home" conjures up images of Southern blues, gospel, and jazz. Though, upbeat music is Lorraine's specialty. Nouvelle Journee is a very classic, and contemporary album that touches the human spirit with a legendary and unforgettable voice. ~ Matthew Forss