Six Nonesuch Albums Among Year's "Gift-Worthy Recordings" in Daily Gazette
With Black Friday thankfully behind us and so-called Cyber Monday now upon us, the Schenectady Daily Gazette offers a number of "gift-worthy recordings" out this year, including six Nonesuch recordings: Isabel Bayrakdarian's Gomidas Songs, Ry Cooder's I, Flathead, Emmylou Harris's All I Intended to Be, Randy Newman's Harps and Angels, Orchestra Baobab's Made in Dakar, and Rokia Traoré's Tchamantché.
The Daily Gazette's Michael Hochanadel describes Bayrakdarian's Gomidas Songs as "a sublime sonic distillation of a vanished nation’s (Armenia) longing to live and to love." He calls Cooder's latest album "the richest and strangest" of the guitarist's California trilogy (which also includes Chávez Ravine and My Name Is Buddy) and Harps and Angels Randy's "best since Sail Away." Emmylou's latest, All I Intended to Be, finds her "in great voice," says Hochanadel, "singing with admirers who give her their best."
The article describes Orchestra Baobab and its 2008 release, Made in Dakar, as "Afro-Cuban in an unexpected way," with the band "inspired by suave, jazzy Cuban dance music and their own folkloric griot tradition." Hochanadel concludes: "This weave is rich in both threads, and seamless. Nobody could doubt soul and jazz started in Africa after hearing this."
Rokia's forthcoming album, Tchamantché, which is due out in the States on now January 13 and is now available for pre-order, is, in the writer's words, "[h]aunting and heart-lifting Afro-pop that dances on the border between the traditional (its mostly acoustic sound and song structures) and the fearlessly experimental." He credits the Malian singer/songwriter with "[a]n exceptional voice and vision."
For the complete list of recommendations, visit dailygazette.com.