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AfroCubism Featured on NPR's "All Things Considered"; Makes Boston Globe's Year's Best Lists, As Do David Byrne, The Black Keys

  • Monday, December 20, 2010
    AfroCubism Featured on NPR's "All Things Considered"; Makes Boston Globe's Year's Best Lists, As Do David Byrne, The Black Keys

    AfroCubism was featured on NPR's All Things Considered on Sunday. "The group features musicians from Cuba and Mali, and it's a kind of hybrid of the best sounds from these two musical traditions," says All Things host Guy Raz.

    The album appeared in a round-up of the year in music with ideas on "some last-minute stocking stuffer suggestions." Raz's guest, Betto Arcos, host of Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles, picks AfroCubism for his year-end list. Arcos recounts the project's history, dating back a decade and a half to the recording sessions in Havana that produced the Buena Vista Social Club, when visa troubles kept some of Mali's greatest musicians from arriving. While it meant waiting all this time for AfroCubism to come to fruition, it also meant the creation of these two great albums.

    "And as a result," says Arcos, "we get this amazing first time of these musicians recording and playing together, and every song is just fantastic."

    After hearing the album track "Al vaivén de mi carreta," Raz responds, "It's a beautiful piece."

    You can listen to the All Things Considered segment at npr.org.

    ---

    AfroCubism has also made the year's best list of Boston Globe music critic Siddhartha Mitter. "This spectacular collaboration of top musicians from Mali and Cuba is the year’s major entry in the world music canon," Mitter exclaims.

    The other Globe music critics have weighed in on their favorite albums of the year as well. James Reed includes The Black Keys' much-lauded album Brothers on his list.

    "No matter how cranked the guitars were, Brothers wasn’t so much a rock record as a modern blues lament," Reed suggests. "With singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach channeling Howlin’ Wolf, this Ohio duo finally cracked wide open into the mainstream with an album that felt like both a throwback and a contemporary classic."

    Fellow critic Sara Rodman picks the unusual pairing of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim on the two-disc album Here Lies Love. "With a stunning cast of nearly two dozen, mostly female, singers—including Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Nellie McKay, Tori Amos, and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine," says Rodman, "the head Talking Head and the superstar producer/DJ combine disco heat, Latin rhythms, and pop melodies to bring to enchantingly hummable life a pop opera about Imelda Marcos. Seriously."

    See all the year's best lists from the Boston Globe music critics at boston.com.

    ---

    On the other end of the country, Los Angeles Times's Chris Barton has assembled his own list of the year's best albums in jazz. Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider makes the list.

    "At this point it's obvious that Mehldau simply doesn't think small," Barton writes. "Spread over two discs, this ambitious reunion with the players who made Mehldau's 2002 record Largo (including the brilliant Jon Brion), the pianist mostly sets aside that album's rock-oriented tilt and instead merges his classical and jazz impulses to engrossingly cinematic effect. Combining jazz with orchestral strings may have been done before, but never quite like this."

    Read Barton's year-end list at latimes.com.

    The New York Times's Nate Chinen included the Highway Rider album track “Don’t Be Sad” among his picks for the year's best songs. You'll find the list at nytimes.com.

    ---

    And from the Midwest, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider names The Black Keys' Brothers the No. 1 album of the year. He also places their live show at the city's First Avenue at No. 2 among the year's best concerts. Read more at startribune.com.

    Riemenschneider's colleague at the Star Tribune, classical music critic Larry Fuchsberg picks two Nonesuch albums for his year-end round up of classical music: Steve Reich's Double Sextet / 2x5 and De Profundis from Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica.

    "Is there life in minimalism still? If you're Steve Reich, the answer is yes," writes Fuchsberg. He says Reich's latest album "engages the mind" and further cites its "Polished performances, illuminating notes."

    Fuchsberg praises Kremer as "one of the world's foremost violinists," who, in choosing the repertoire for his latest Nonesuch release "has clearly devoted much care to their selection and sequence." Fuchsberg concludes: "Kremerata Baltica plays from the heart; the disc is a salve for the spirit in a chilly time."

    Read the complete list at startribune.com.

    ---

    To pick up a copy of any of these albums, visit the Nonesuch Store, where all are now 33% off the standard retail price as part of the store's 3rd anniversary sale, through New Year's.

on December 20, 2010 - 12:21pm
Excerpt: 

AfroCubism was featured on NPR's All Things Considered on Sunday. "The group features musicians from Cuba and Mali," says host Guy Raz, "and it's a kind of hybrid of the best sounds from these two musical traditions." Guest Betto Arcos of Global Village says "every song is just fantastic." AfroCubism makes the year's best lists in the Boston Globe, as does David Byrne/Fatboy Slim's Here Lies Love and The Black Keys' Brothers, which tops a Minneapolis Star Tribune list. The Star Tribune 's classical music critic lists Steve Reich's Double Sextet / 2x5 and Gidon Kremer's De Profundis. The Los Angeles Times picks Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider among the best in jazz.

Copy: 

AfroCubism was featured on NPR's All Things Considered on Sunday. "The group features musicians from Cuba and Mali, and it's a kind of hybrid of the best sounds from these two musical traditions," says All Things host Guy Raz.

The album appeared in a round-up of the year in music with ideas on "some last-minute stocking stuffer suggestions." Raz's guest, Betto Arcos, host of Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles, picks AfroCubism for his year-end list. Arcos recounts the project's history, dating back a decade and a half to the recording sessions in Havana that produced the Buena Vista Social Club, when visa troubles kept some of Mali's greatest musicians from arriving. While it meant waiting all this time for AfroCubism to come to fruition, it also meant the creation of these two great albums.

"And as a result," says Arcos, "we get this amazing first time of these musicians recording and playing together, and every song is just fantastic."

After hearing the album track "Al vaivén de mi carreta," Raz responds, "It's a beautiful piece."

You can listen to the All Things Considered segment at npr.org.

---

AfroCubism has also made the year's best list of Boston Globe music critic Siddhartha Mitter. "This spectacular collaboration of top musicians from Mali and Cuba is the year’s major entry in the world music canon," Mitter exclaims.

The other Globe music critics have weighed in on their favorite albums of the year as well. James Reed includes The Black Keys' much-lauded album Brothers on his list.

"No matter how cranked the guitars were, Brothers wasn’t so much a rock record as a modern blues lament," Reed suggests. "With singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach channeling Howlin’ Wolf, this Ohio duo finally cracked wide open into the mainstream with an album that felt like both a throwback and a contemporary classic."

Fellow critic Sara Rodman picks the unusual pairing of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim on the two-disc album Here Lies Love. "With a stunning cast of nearly two dozen, mostly female, singers—including Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Nellie McKay, Tori Amos, and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine," says Rodman, "the head Talking Head and the superstar producer/DJ combine disco heat, Latin rhythms, and pop melodies to bring to enchantingly hummable life a pop opera about Imelda Marcos. Seriously."

See all the year's best lists from the Boston Globe music critics at boston.com.

---

On the other end of the country, Los Angeles Times's Chris Barton has assembled his own list of the year's best albums in jazz. Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider makes the list.

"At this point it's obvious that Mehldau simply doesn't think small," Barton writes. "Spread over two discs, this ambitious reunion with the players who made Mehldau's 2002 record Largo (including the brilliant Jon Brion), the pianist mostly sets aside that album's rock-oriented tilt and instead merges his classical and jazz impulses to engrossingly cinematic effect. Combining jazz with orchestral strings may have been done before, but never quite like this."

Read Barton's year-end list at latimes.com.

The New York Times's Nate Chinen included the Highway Rider album track “Don’t Be Sad” among his picks for the year's best songs. You'll find the list at nytimes.com.

---

And from the Midwest, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider names The Black Keys' Brothers the No. 1 album of the year. He also places their live show at the city's First Avenue at No. 2 among the year's best concerts. Read more at startribune.com.

Riemenschneider's colleague at the Star Tribune, classical music critic Larry Fuchsberg picks two Nonesuch albums for his year-end round up of classical music: Steve Reich's Double Sextet / 2x5 and De Profundis from Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica.

"Is there life in minimalism still? If you're Steve Reich, the answer is yes," writes Fuchsberg. He says Reich's latest album "engages the mind" and further cites its "Polished performances, illuminating notes."

Fuchsberg praises Kremer as "one of the world's foremost violinists," who, in choosing the repertoire for his latest Nonesuch release "has clearly devoted much care to their selection and sequence." Fuchsberg concludes: "Kremerata Baltica plays from the heart; the disc is a salve for the spirit in a chilly time."

Read the complete list at startribune.com.

---

To pick up a copy of any of these albums, visit the Nonesuch Store, where all are now 33% off the standard retail price as part of the store's 3rd anniversary sale, through New Year's.

Publish date: 
Monday, December 20, 2010 - 11:00
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
AfroCubism [cover]

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