kitka - winter songs (2004)
one of my favorite stops for quality music on the web is www.magnatune.com - especially for world and classical music. tonight i'm listening to kitka, an oakland, california based women's vocal consort who perform eastern european folk music. amazing stuff. similar to the le mystere de voix bulgare recordings of the bulgarian women's radio choir. i recommend checking out this recording as well as others on magnatune.


afro celt sound system - vol 2 /release (real world, 1999)
probably one of my favorite's from these guys. blending african percussion, celtic pipes, a variety of voices, guitars and electronics. a good mix of high energy and ambient tracks. great for writing and reading to - or working to.
si*se - si*se (luaka bop, 2001)
this is one of those releases that has been in regular rotation in my cd player for many years now. it's upbeat. it's great to work to. it's relaxing. it's sensual. it's latin and electronic and more. i guess it's akin to sade - but not. it's akin to everything but the girl - but not. like zuco 103 or suba this release provides a melding of enchanting female voice with electronics. i like.


split enz - true colours (1979)
my uncle steve had picked this up when it came out. i remember taping it onto a really cruddy brand of 60 minute tape - so you had to flip it somewhere around "poor boy" and then the song would start over again and finish up. i later picked up this lp on vinyl from a friend of another uncle in phoenix. was just listening to the cd this evening. while the album doesn't weather the years as well as it might, songs like "i got you," "what's the matter with you" and "how can i resist her" still pull their weight in memories.
yo yo ma - soul of tango: the music of astor piazzolla (1997)
yo yo ma - obrigado BRAZIL: live in concert (2004)
i remember sitting in my dorm room in boston in 1987 listing to an interview with piazzolla on wzbc. during the interview they played several piazzolla recording. the music haunted me for days. all this to say yo yo ma delivers an equally haunting performance of piazzolla on his 1997 release in homage of the maestro. i have also been listening to yo yo ma's release of brazillian and other south american flavored music from a couple years back. joined by the likes of the assad brothers, paquito d'rivera and rosa passos this too is a great recording. my only wish is that the bonus dvd would have had the actual concert footage on it.
various - putumayo presents...latin lounge (2005)
plenty of great tracks from the likes of si*se, alacran, federico aubele and the like on this collection of lounge mixes. (how deepak chopra makes his way onto this collection is beyond me.) putumayo typically puts out quality product with their world music samplers for adults and children. i had their world reggae collection recently as well.
afghanistan: on marco polo's road - the musicians of Kunduz and Faizabad (1997) to escape to another pace and time. that is what recordings like this one released by multicultural media do for me. the middle east, which is the focus of so much of our news media, become a bit more real through the music and the voices of its people.
charlie haden/hank jones - steal away (1995)
this collection of spirituals, hymns and folk songs rings familiar from childhood and yet haden and jones provide some meat and soul to standards like "it's me, O Lord," "swing low sweet chariot" and "goin' to shout all over God's heav'n." the photo of an old time church room with pump organ on the back cover is appropos for the mood of this release.

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