El Rey Del Son Montuno
Tres player and bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez is the father of the modern Afro-Cuban sound. A prolific composer the songs on this album are original versions of Cuban classics, some performed many years later by Buena Vista Social Club, while BVSC's Ruben Gonzalez cut his teeth playing with Arsenio Rodriguez. It is therefore a document of the golden age in Cuban music.
The Best of Tiroro - The Greatest Drummer in Haiti
From Haiti, drummer and percussionist Tiroro has taken on almost mystical status as one of the world's greatest ever drummers. Surprisingly a CD of Tiroro has never been available until now. This album is the definitive compilation with liner notes that gather most information ever written about him.
Imperatriz do Samba
Carmen Miranda is probably the greatest ever female singer of Brazilian music. Before she found fame in Hollywood, Miranda was Brazil's first musical star in the 1930s, recording timeless samba classics. These songs laid the groundwork for what would become one of the world's most powerful and spectacular musical genres. With extensive liner notes, this album charts the Brazilian career of a legendary singer and performer. To understand the roots of modern Brazilian music, and hear the country's most creative musical period, listen to the golden voice of the Empress of Samba, Carmen Miranda.
American Music In The Beginning
The beginning of the 20th century produced some of America's most innovative and pioneering recording stars. Name such as Billy Murray, Peerless Quartet and Harry Macdonough were the revered idols of their day. Nevertheless, their talents and important contribution have largely remained ignored by the popular media and mainstream record companies, and therefore unjustly unnoticed by the record buying public. This 2 CD set, compiled by and with extensive liner notes written by Toyo Nakamura, Japan's foremost music journalist, sets the record straight, paying tribute to these forgotten heroes of American popular music.
Miss You Amami
Okinawan island music already has many fans in the west. The music of Amami island is a mixture of Japanese and Okinawan influences sung in a distinctive local style by the island's leading female singer Rikki. With simple arrangements featuring sanshin (lute) Hawaiian guitar, accordion and Brazilian percussion, this beautiful album is a natural mixture of island and world instrumentation with stunning vocals from a world class singer.
It is one of the least represented areas in 'World Music', nevertheless East Asia and Indonesia in particular is home to some of the world's most vibrant musical traditions. Veteran female singing star Waldjinah breathes new life into a selection of contemporary classics with the help of a cast of talented musicians from Japan, Malaysia and Brazil to create a truly groundbreaking album of contemporary Oriental roots music.
The Sunda Music
From Sunda, the western region of the island of Java, Indonesia, SambaSunda are sixteen young musicians who play bamboo gamelan and a variety of other percussion and instruments from the Sunda region. They combine their local traditions and music with Balinese and Latin infused rhythms to produce a pulsating wall of sound that shakes the foundations of their tradition to the core, to emerge with an intoxicating, at times wistful, and highly original blend of music both vocal and instrumental. A new type of gamelan music rooted in the past, mingled with the urban energy of the present. The new Sound of Sunda. This is a compilation of their five Indonesian releases.
The Dangdut Queen
Elvy Sukaesih is revered as one of Indonesia's and East Asia's greatest ever singers. From the late 60s, her career developed alongside dangdut, the deeply funky local street music, that emerged from 1950s Orkes Melayu (orchestras) and blended various foreign music including Arabic, Indian and western rock with Indonesian instruments such as suling (flute) and gendang (tabla shaped drums). Elvy was the undisputed 'Queen of Dangdut' during the music's golden age in the mid 1970s to 80s, before (arguably) the raw energy and blistering musicianship got drowned out by drum machines and synthesizers. This CD charts the course of this golden age, with a collection of Elvy's biggest hits and rare tracks.
VELHA GUARDA DA PORTELA
Velha Guarda da Portela
Velha Guarda da Portela, the old guard of the Portela tradition are a group of veteran musicians from one of Brazil's most historical escola de samba, situated in Oswaldo Cruz, just outside Rio. Their infectious samba is typified by its communal feel with wild beats and joyous chorus parts. In 1986 Japanese producer Katsunori Tanaka traveled to their hometown to rehearse and record with them over several months. This album conveys the intimate atmosphere of a 1950s samba party played by master musicians from a 70 year old tradition, way before the modern glitz took over. Many of these musicians have subsequently died, but their music lives on with these glorious recordings of classic Portela samba.