I now realize that last year I neglected to cover “Best World Music CDs of the year.” So here goes:
1. Bahamas: Goombay 1951-1959. I listened to this CD last year more than any other. It’s also some of the wittiest music I own, and it has plenty of economic themes.
2. Bwati Kono, by Lobi Traore, raw electric blues from Bamako, hypnotic, Jimi Hendrix of West Africa stuff.
3. Pete Seeger, The Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960. Some people think of Seeger as a “right place, right time” sort of guy, but that does him an injustice. He was one of the most talented American musicians of his generation, and this live two-CD set shows him at his versatile peak, as a kind of walking human jukebox of American musical traditions, with lots of world music too.
For an honorable mention I would suggest Y’anbessaw Tezeta, by Getachew Mekuria and The Ex & Friends, Ethiopian saxophone.
Here are two free songs from Revue Noire a Tana, one of my favorite world music albums, years old but I am still listening to it regularly. It’s not on Amazon, maybe you can find a copy somewhere in these links.