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I have a couple of friends that seem to be in or near your situation.I watch movies,there is always music,I get a lot of my ideas there.I have an fm tuner,same thing.I love mariachi,dixeland,as well as clasical,70's rock,etc.This one friend;when he gets new cables,or what not;he plays Enya,or Rain/water running/relaxing type stuff.Try some of these??
Can't lose on these world music albums: From Cuba, Juan Carlos Formell's "Stories from a Little Blue House" is a great Sunday afternoon relaxer; Putumayo's Brasiliero is a hands downer; If you like African music: Salief Keita's "Mansa of Mali" or Habib Koite's "Muso Ko" (also available on Putumayo record label. If your down for that funky Afro-beat of the late 70's try Fela Kuti and the Africa seventy (listen to all African music before you buy it as it is one of those things not everyone may like). Also his son, Femi Kuti is pretty hot on the world music scene right now and is more suited to western tastes. Of course, I'm sure that you have The Buena Vista Social Club album, but I think that the other album called "The Afro-Cuban Allstars--Todo Cuba La Gusta" is a better album overall. Of course, from the Buena Vista Social Club is pianist Ruben Gonzales who I think may be the best jazz/folk pianist I've ever heard besides Ellington--He has his own disc. On the Brazilian front check out Gilberto Gil or Joao Gilberto. Lots of people know Gilberto Gil from his collaborations with Stan Getz on Girl from Ipanema, but I prefer his solo stuff. From Cape Verde, there is Cesaria Evora if you really like Ella Fitzgerald, you'll like her too. But try to get her recordings before Cafe Atlantico...they do her voice much more justice. Then there's Ladysmith Black Mambazo (known for their stuff on Paul Simon's "Graceland" album) that have that kind of South Africa choral gospel thing goin on. From India, check out Ravi Shankar or if you like the wierd trance "ala Dead can Dance" music thing, Talvin Singh. Celtic...Loreena McKennitt is just beautiful...you might remember her well known song "mummer's dance" from the album "Book of Secrets"...also no matter how many have been sold, I think Enya's "Watermark" is one of the most beautiful albums ever made. Really, the best way to do this is either to go to one of those shops where you can listen before you buy or download what you can from Napster to see if you like it before sinking the money in. Putumayo has a range of world music sampler albums that are really pretty good if you don't know many artists and you want to sample the music before hand. Best albums from them are Africa, Brasilerio, Cubano, Mo Vida. Opt for the more recent albums rather than their earlier creations...they've learned alot since starting in the early nineties. Also, good world music on Peter Gabriel's real world label. Let me know what you think.
I don't know about the rest of you out there but Enya and running water really doesn't do much for me...except put me to sleep. If you are looking for something new and different here are my recommendations worth checking out. Allan Holdsworth (Wardenclyffe Tower), Tribal Tech (Thick), Trilok Gurtu (Believe), Steve Tavaglione (Blue Tav), The Zawinul Syndicate (Lost Tribes), Gregg Bissonette (Submarine), Buell Neidlinger Quartet (Big Drum), The Randy Waldman Trio (Wigged Out), Jack DeJohnette (Oneness), and of course Frank Zappa (The Yellow Shark/Ensemble Modern, Joe Garage, etc.) Happy Listening...
If you don't already have it....get the "Chesky 10th Anniversary Special," it has a great mix of various sounds and is well recorded, (see their website.) Also, the soundtrack to "Waking Ned Devine" by Shawn Davey is a lot of fun. (Highly recommend the flick as well.) Have you ever tried Lyle Lovett? If not, maybe start with "Joshua Judges Ruth" and "Lyle Lovett and his Large Band." He defies catagorization and I think you will really like some of the cuts, they are amazingly well recorded and available on LP also. I second the Mapleshade recommendation!
Cesaria Evora - Albums:"Ms Perfumado" and "mar Azul". Originally from Cape Verde islands - sings in Portuguese (themes are mostly nostagic/loss) - wonderful rhythms; tunes linger in your mind long after you've heard them. Also, Jane Bunnett, Canadian saxophonist who has immersed herself in Cuban music to produce highly captivating sound/rhythm. Try her latest albums -superb!
You should check into: Tuva: "Voices from the center of Asia"( also "Night prayers/ Kronos quartet), Krusevo: Vlatko Stefanovski D. Tadic (M.A, recordings)Gongoma times: "Fatala" African techno on Peter Gabriel label. John Williams: "the Guitarist"...you can listen the samples of all of these titles.
For Irish/Celtic, there's some great CD's like "Ceredwen: Legends of the Celts". Also, check out Clannad, The Chieftons, Enya, and The Pogues (great drinkin' music). There's also some really good "traditional/modern" Japanese music out there - don't have the right keys on the keyboard to give you a title. There is some cool world music out there but am not sure what style you're looking for. Just don't go raga man! - Tony
seek out the putumayo label for excellent caribbean/latin/african music. salif keita & youssou n'dour are among many great african singers. also try king sunny ade & chief commander ebeneezer obey. here's some great albums: bourbon & rosewater, w/vishwa mohan bhatt & jerry douglas - indian/american roots guitar, on water lily acoustics label; mondo beat - masters of percussion, on the narada label - lotsa great *world* percussion; mumtaz mahal - w/n. ravikiran, taj mahal, v.m. bhatt - more indian/american roots strings, on water lily acoustics label; manu dibango - wakafrika - world pop, on giant label; afro-cuban all-stars, on world-circuit/nonesuch label; olatunji! drums of passion, on columbia; steve riley & the mamou playboys - cajun, on rounder records; tito puente & eddie palmieri - masterpiece - latin, on rmm records; skip, hop, & wobble - bluegrass w/jerry douglas, russ barenberg & edgar meyer, on sugar hill records; ali farka toure w/ry cooder - talking timbuktu, african/american roots music, on rykodisc records; nusrat fateh ali khan & michael brook - night song - arab/african music (incredible synth-bass), on realworld records; taj mahal & toumani diabate - kulanjan - african/american roots music, on hannibal/rykodisc records. for celtic, try the chieftains, & the shanachie record label. also, the buena vista social club, (cuban) produced by ry cooder, is excellent, especially on vinyl! ;~) this is yust a taste! :>) regards, doug
Here are some great oddball CD's. Paul Winter and Friends "Celtic Solstice", 1999 Earth Music Productions, is recorded at St. Johns Cathedral NY with bagpipes and everything. "Kepa Junkera Bilbao" is available at Alula.com and is a double CD of Basque music and is a killer. Also Dudley Moore "Songs Without Words", don't knock it if you have not heard it - Moore is first rate on these instrumentals and is a classicaly trained pianist if you are not familiar with his musical talents - popular songs and very moving. These are all well recorded and engineered by the way.
When I'm in a music rut I go to Echoes.org. It is a radio show on NPR that has tons of new music. Since we don't have this program on NPR in the cultural-ridden Tampa Bay I use their website. Just about everything nentioned on these type threads is featured on ECHOES. I used to listen to this program format on WXPN in Phila. 20 years ago. and it is still going strong. Anyone else remember this?
I listen to Echoes on WFUV. The best radio station I know. Fordham University in the Bronx. Listening sponsered, public radio, with no commercials. They having streaming audio at WFUV.ORG Go to the web sight and click on LISTEN NOW. Great music Mon. through Fri. Weekend is ethnic (Celtic,Polkas ect.) and international news. Even a Greatful Dead hour Fri. at 11pm, with rare and great stuff. They have been doing this for years. Great live studio music and interviews with top artists. Music you won't hear on commercial radio. Sometimes you even get an hour paid for by Steve Martin.