Various Artists: Sound Of The World Presents - Anywhere On This Road
Sound Of The World Presents: Anywhere On This Road
Warner Classics & Jazz
The series of compilation albums known as Sound Of The World was the brainchild of the DJ and writer Charlie Gillett. Credited with championing both Dire Straits and Ian Dury in their early careers, Gillett was also a great enthusiast for music from around the world, and one of the earliest radio presenters to bring "world music" to the attention of the British public. Sadly, Sound Of The World Presents: Anywhere On This Road is Gillett's last such compilation; he died during the latter stages of its completion following a long illness.
This double album is a fitting tribute to Gillett's love of music, showing just how much inventive and joyous music there is across the four corners of the world. Featured here are 34 artists from 36 countriesfrom Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Some tunes stay close to traditional musical forms that are generations old, others meld styles and approaches from different cultures and times to create more contemporary sounds.
Jazz can be found readily in the contributions of pianist Allen Toussainta sparse, jagged, "St James Infirmary," or Cuba's Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, whose "Tumbao No 5" is sub-titled "For Charlie Mingus." Elsewhere the blues, rai, dub, reggae, rap and plenty more tumble out of the album in an endlessly fascinating array.
Perhaps surprisingly, what comes over clearly on Sound Of The World Presents: Anywhere On This Road is not the differences to be found in music globally, but the similarities. Much of the music on this album is the result of such extensive cross-fertilisation that it is impossible to determine the direction of influence, or the origins of the performers. Toronto-based star K'Naan's contribution, "Fatima," is a slice of pure American hip-hop that offers few hints at his Somalian origin. New Zealand outfit Fat Freddy's Drop start "The Raft" as if it was Bob Marley's "Exodus," before it turns into a heavy dub mix worthy of Lee Perry. Vinicio Capossela's "La Faccia Della Terra" betrays the extensive influence of singer/songwriter Tom Waits, and Capossela has worked with Waits' guitarist Marc Ribot. Tinariwen's magnificent "Tenhert" grooves spectacularly, evoking images of the band's Malian homeland, but the sound of their electric guitars bears more than a trace of Chicago blues.
Some of the finest music comes from the more left-field contributors. Seasick Steve delivers a strong, lonely, blues on "Dark," keeping it simple but beautifully effective. Šaban Bajramović and Goran Bregovic from Bosnia and Serbia provide "Hop, Hop, Hop," a crazed and mutated brass band tune that could almost serve as an entry into an alternative Eurovision Song Contest. The Czech Republic's DVA perform "Dua Dua," a gloriously slinky mix of alarm clock, guitar and horns under a strident vocal.
The final tune on Sound Of The World Presents: Anywhere On This Road is an extraordinary solo piano performance, "Presentiment," by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrouan 87 year old nun, born in Ethiopia and now resident in a Jerusalem monastery. No recording date is given for this (or indeed any other tune on the album), and its other-worldly tone gives few clues. The tune is reminiscent of European composers Erik Satie and Krzysztof Komeda, of American composer Jelly Roll Morton, and even of the young British pianist Kit Downes. As Sound Of The World Presents: Anywhere On This Road clearly shows, music of quality comes from all over the world.
Tracks: CD1: Torin Torin; Gulaguajira; Dua Dua; Ben Seni Sevdiğumi; Hiya Ansadou; Hop, Hop, Hop; Fatima; Tenhert; Recitation of Pleasure in Zen, Part 4; Mandra; Moziki; Tu Romnie; Jaco; Babonao; Nueva Vida; Eclipse; St James Infirmary; Vamonos. CD2: Anywhere on this Road; La Faccia Della Terra; Comadi; Kangpe; Bué (Você É...); The Raft; La Perla; Ngiyagula; Missy Nouackshott; Tumbao No 5; Warm Heart of Africa; Zamba A Monteros; Pajarillo; Kun-nu-Shu; Dark; Presentiment.
Personnel: CD1: Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba featuring Harouna Samake; Les Triaboliques; DVA; Şevval Sam; Khaled; Šaban Bajramović and Goran Bregovic; K'Naan; Tinariwen; Yoon Jeong Heo; Kottarashky; Staff Benda Bilili; Mahala Rai Bandafeaturing Dan Armeanca; Yasmin Levy; Razia Said; Ojos de Brujo; Lura; Allen Toussaint; Buika and Chucho Valdes. CD2: Lhasa; Vincio Capossela; Céu; Nneka featuring Wesley Williams; Sara Tavares; Fat Freddy's Drop; Calle 13 featuring Ruben Blades y la Chilinga; Odadewethu; Duoud featuring Malouma; Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez; The Very Best; Mercedes Sosa; Cimarrón; Blue Asia featuring Satoru Shimoji; Seasick Steve; Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou.