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Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World

Read "Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World" reviewed by Jim Trageser

For casual fans and newcomers to the music of Jamaica (a growing number, given the popularity of the BBC / France 2 TV mystery series Death in Paradise and its Jamaican-infused soundtrack), the definitions of ska vs. reggae are likely too obscure to worry about. Much as only hardcore jazz fans worry about drilling into the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: South Africa

Read "Putumayo Presents: South Africa" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

The music of South Africa is a collage of fascinating rhythms, woven from ethnic folklore and the musical heritage of the early settlers. In that mix are kwaita, kwela and mbaqanqa, as well as gospel and township jive with reggae, jazz and rap making later inroads. The spectrum is wide and the impact heady, as evidenced ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various: Latin Party

Read "Latin Party" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

The appeal of Latin music can be witnessed in the inroads it has made, not only into other genres, but also into different cultures. Testimony comes on this recording. Besides South American countries like Colombia, Cuba and Mexico, the performers are drawn from the UK, France and the USA who assimilate the rhythms and come up ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Latin Party

Read "Latin Party" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

The redoubtable Putumayo programmers have already released ¡Baila! A Latin Dance Mix (2006), ¡Salsa! (2009) and Afro-Latin Party (2005), as well as nationally-themed but party-ready collections from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Are they perhaps scraping the bottom of the Latin party barrel with Latin Party? Ah, that would be ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various: Rhythm & Blues

Read "Rhythm & Blues" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Putumayo World Music has gone across a wide spectrum in picking songs for its look at Rhythm & Blues. The American presence is strongly manifested, but artists from England, including a band that has a singer from Panama, show the wide influence of the music. Vintage singers strut their stuff and new acolytes blend styles while ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Jazz Around The World

Read "Jazz Around The World" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Putumayo World Music is a unique record label. It is a label of “various artists" projects, but what sets it apart from other labels that produce compilations of music is that Putumayo compilations are well off even the road less travelled. First of all, the label compiles not so much songs by artists, but music that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various: New Orleans Brass

Read "New Orleans Brass" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Marching bands are an integral part of New Orleans. Where would a parade be without one, or for that matter a funeral? No matter what the role is, they bring in a special magic and joy.

Music evolves as it imbibes and imbues other genres. Marching bands were no exception, as they pulled in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: New Orleans Christmas

Read "New Orleans Christmas" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

With so much holiday music appearing on the shelves at this time of year, it's refreshing when an album can actually surprise you instead of giving up the same old usual boring caroling. What you get instead from the one is an earnest, honest glimpse of what Christmas in New Orleans might be like.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Italian Cafe

Read "Italian Cafe" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

To an English-only American, foreign words and phrases can be most daunting. However, when put to music, the picture can be quite different. Fred Buscaglione demonstrates that on “Juke Box, the opening track to Putumayo's Italian Café, a charming, delightful collection of twelve songs that blend Italian heritage with some American musical styles, such as jazz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Afro-Latin Party

Read "Afro-Latin Party" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Some of the most straightforward music comes from the islands of the Caribbean. Whether inspired by raw emotion or a simple desire to groove, no gimmicks are needed to deliver a sound that makes you want to dance or simply bob your head to the rhythm. In recognizing this, Putumayo has packaged an excellent collection of ...