World Tracks top ten May-June 2011
There are some outstanding releases this month to set us up for a hot summer. Top of the pile has to be the pulsating second album by Seun Anikulapo Kuti. He continues to reserve his musical fury for the situation in his native Nigeria.
Fela turns to the likes of Brian Eno to boost his powerful sax vibes and indignant lyrics.
Far from the turmoil of the African subcontinent, British jazzman Sean Khan delivers a pulsating album with the ironic title Slow Burner. The saxophonist is backed by the slickest of musicians to mix urban grooves with classic jazz.
It's no surprise to find artistic giants Omara Portuondo and Chucho Valdés confirming their status as implacable ambassadors of Cuban music.
Hand in hand, the singer and pianist deliver a sumptuous album that even pays homage to George Gershwin and Beethoven. An ode to love and life that should harmonise well with the coming summer.
1) From Africa with Fury: Rise, Seun Kuti (Because), Nigeria.
2) Slow Burner, Sean Khan (Farou Records), UK.
3) Omara & Chucho, O. Portuondo and Chucho Valdés (World Village), Cuba.
4) Toumastin, Tamikrest (Glitterhouse), Mali.
5) University of Gnawa, Aziz Sahmaoui (Socadisc), France/Morocco.
6) Aqui Los Bravos! Michi Sarmiento y su Combo Bravo (Soundway), Colombia.
7) Malenka, Dagadana (Offside Records), Poland/Ukraine.
8) Oi! A Nova Musica Brasileira!, compilation (Mais Um Discos), Brazil.
9) El Pais de la Maravillas, Harry Lopez Nussa Trio (World Village), Cuba.
10) Connection, Pad Brapad (Mosaic Music), France.