Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page. Read our daily album reviews.
by Chris May
Like his compatriot and close contemporary Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela has a 24-carat discography which stretches back six decades and digs deep into the taproot of jazz. Ibrahim is still with us--he has a new album scheduled for June 2019--but Masekela passed in January 2018. Among the several solid Masekela compilations on the market, this 3-CD set is the most welcome. It deals with the most prolific phase of Masekela's career and brings back into circulation material from landmark albums ...read more
by David Miller
Widely known in jazz circles for his virtuosity on the bass, relatively little attention has been paid to Richard Bona's solo career. Pity, as his solo records are generally excellent. Bona's records have a style that can only be referred to as world music. Generally, that term is misused, but Bona truly takes his influences from all over the world. Sure, he's Cameroonian, and his heritage plays a large role. But one can also hear overt references to jazz, bluegrass, ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Souad Massi is the kind of singer you just can't help agree with. Deb (Heart Broken) is the Algerian's second release, and it spans quite a range: traditional Arabic melodies, prayer music, Old World romance, Andalusian flamenco, and various folk musics beyond categorization. There's no mistake at any point that depite the accessible pop essence of the record, it draws its strength from folk music. Deb is music of the people, for the people, period.
Interestingly enough, not ...read more
by AAJ Staff
The 20-something Parisian vocalist known simply as Faudel rose to prominence at a frighteningly young age, but he has aged well. His local group Les Etoiles du Rai (The Rai Stars, formed at age 12) earned him enough of a reputation to attract promotion and soon attention from the French media. The Little Prince of Rai signed with Mercury at age 18, and three records later he keeps expanding his repertoire. Another Sun is an optimistic, accessible record that reflects ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Around the time highlife was born in West Africa, horns were fading out and the guitar was assuming their place as the most popular lead instrument. The earliest highlife was a variation on the big band concept, with an enlarged rhythm section and brief instrumental solos spaced between well-harmonized themes and vocal passages.
As time went on, the genre diversified and went through many changes. This compilation does a nice job of representing some of the biggest names ...read more
by AAJ Staff
To the extent that bluesmen from Mali have reached worldwide prominence, the leader of the pack is Ali Farka Touré. Partly as a result of his Ry Cooder collaboration Talking Timbuktu, he has attracted a surprisingly large audience.
But close behind is Boubacar Traoré, who was a big radio star in Mali in the '60s. A number of starts and stops in his career (related to family, money, and travel) derailed him along the way, but in 1994 ...read more
by John Eyles
For as long as I can remember, Miriam Makeba has been the female voice of South Africa, as well as an international ambassador for the causes of liberation and justice. This compilation is worthy of its subject; having been put together with the help of Makeba herself, it gives a good picture of her entire career and includes her most popular songs. Makeba made her recording debut with The Manhattan Brothers in 1953, on the track Laku Tshone ...read more