world Archive

Free Planet Radio: Music from Alpha to Delta

For 17 years now, instrumental trio Free Planet Radio has been making its compelling brand of world music, suffusing jazz and pop forms with elements drawn from musical traditions around the globe. On its latest album, Stillness, the Asheville-based group takes a slightly different approach, crafting an album of contemplative, near-ambient compositions. Free Planet Radio

Young, Gifted and Irish: Young Irelanders

Under the auspices of the Irish Cultural Academy, musician and producer Eric Cunningham has assembled the Young Irelanders, a talented troupe of performers who present Irish music and dance. The young Irelanders put a subtly modern spin on traditional music of the Emerald Isle. The folk music of our Appalachian region is very much based

George Harrison’s ‘Wonderwall Music’ at 50

In the wake of high-profile solo studio debuts* from John Lennon (Plastic Ono Band, released December 1970) and Paul McCartney (McCartney, released in April of that year), the first solo albums from the Beatles’ two other members were overshadowed. But it was guitarist George Harrison, in fact, who first recorded and released an album of

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part One

These three are reissues. Hank Jones – Arigato Jones’ recording career as a jazz pianist began in 1947 and continued until age 91 with the aptly-named Last Recording in 2010. Recipient of numerous accolades (NEA Jazz Masters, ASCAP Jazz Living Legend Award, etc.), Jones was a prolific musician; he released some five dozen albums under

A Few Moments with Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal (born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) is equal parts musician, songwriter, folklorist and musicologist. But despite his impeccable credentials, the man has never taken an academic approach to music. With more than 30 albums to his name — solo records, collaborations, live sets — Taj Mahal has created a virtual audio travelogue, exploring the

Diali Cissokho’s Story Songs

When Diali Cissokho moved to North Carolina in 2010, he knew hardly anyone. The Senegalese musician didn’t speak English, and had no one with whom to play music. But with the help of his wife and mother-in-law, he put together a dance band, Kaira Ba. Eight years later, Cissokho has a strong command of the

Album Review: DDLO – Sueños de Luna y Mar

The title of this EP from DDLO translates as “Dreams of Moon and Sea,” and there’s an evocative, windswept feel to the collection’s four tracks. Subtle, gurgling synthesizers give a modern feel to the more traditional Latin flavors of “El Mundo Fosforescente” (“The Phosphorescent World”), and a wonderfully distorted lead guitar figure carries the song

Andrew Finn Magill is Waxing Brazilian

Acclaimed fiddler Andrew Finn Magill grew up deeply immersed in Appalachian folk music traditions; his parents were and remain key figures in the annual Swannanoa Gathering. Over the course of his own career, the award-winning musician has explored Celtic and African musical styles as well; his latest project is a modern take on the traditions

Combo Chimbita: The (Tropical) Future is Now

New York City-based quartet Combo Chimbita plays its music in the present, but the band claims to live in the future. With an exotic and intriguing style of music the group calls tropical futurism, Combo Chimbita melds the most rewarding elements of so-called world music with an urban sensibility. The group is embarking on its

Album Review: Akshara — In Time

When it first came into the lexicon, the term world music made a kind of sense: though it’s laden with some unfortunate Eurocentric biases, the term was a way of highlighting the music – often of an ethnocentric and indigenous bent – emanating from places other than North America and the European continent. But over