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Gabriel Yacoub : de la nature des choses
It took seven years for this French artist to compose and record an all new studio work, but the wait is always worth it when you have an artist of such high caliber. Joined by a wonderful ensemble (including Gilles Chabenat, Yannick Hardouin, Julien Biget and many more), his voice is surrounded by deep folk roots and modern sounds, all to the service of 14 rich and marvelous songs. As you might suspect from this description, it comes highly recommended!


Epifani Barbers : Marannui
Mimmo Epifani and his ensemble of singers and musicians pay tribute to the soul of the taranta and the region of Salento of Italy.


Taraf de Haidouks : Maskarada
The most famous Gypsy band from Clejani, Romania (and one of the most famous from the whole region), present an interesting twist: music by composers who themselves borrowed from folkloric themes: Bela Bartok, Aram Khatchaturian, Manuel de Falla, Ketelbey and Albeniz are all given a fair turnaround by the Taraf's members, along with some of their own original music that pays homage back to the sources. Inventive and as always, full of wild energy.


Sékouba 'Bambino' Diabaté : The Griot's Craft
Even as a teenager the strong, soaring voice of Sékouba 'Bambino' Diabaté was known throughout his region of north-eastern Guinea. Over the years he's presented himself in many different guises, joining Bembeya Jazz in the early eighties as lead vocal a notable mention, but each time Bambino has worked with integrity and art. Here he is stripped down to the bare minimum - which, in Guinea, means 15 musicians - but all acoustic, all beautifully sympathetic and all tight in support of the main event: Bambino's voice and his songs.Whether in praise of a patron or in condemnation of female circumcision, Bambino's voice and the uniquely rolling grooves and melancholy modes of Guinea demand that we listen. It's a command worth obeying. Listen


Bidaia : Duo
Basque composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Mixel Ducau and Californian singer-songwriter and hurdy-gurdy player Caroline Phillips come back for their second recording as Bidaia, now a duo, with a repertoire that includes original compositions and traditional Basque songs. The Basque alboka and ttun-ttun are combined with acoustic guitar, hurdy-gurdy and bamboo clarinet to offer a strong second look at their original approach to the tradition.


Mory Kante : Sabou
The Guinean singer and kora player, veteren of some of western Africa's greatest bands (including the Rail Band in the early 70s) presents an all-acoustic tour-de-force in this 2004 release.


The Secret North : LIVE
The Secret North brings together 6 world-class musicians from Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Ireland: Ailie Robertson on harp; Ale Carr on cittern; Donald Grant on fiddle; Kieran Munnelly on flutes, whistle and bodhran; Niall Vallely on concertina; and Nikolaj Busk on piano and keyboards. The set is 6 long tracks performed and recorded live in Glasgow.


Jensen and Bugge + Høirup : Slid din tid
Mette Kathrine Jensen, Kristian Bugge and Morten Alfred Høirup celebrate the fiddler and composer Borcher Madsen´s 200th birthday. Madsen (1815-1897) was from the Southern Danish Islands of Falster and one of the regions most talented musicians and dance music composers of that time.


The Henrys : Quiet Industry
The 2015 release by Toronto legends, The Henrys. Led by kona-guitarist Don Rooke, with Hugh Marsh (violin), John Sheard (pump and electric organs), Andrew Dowling (acoustic bass), David Di Renzo (percussion) and vocalists Gregory Hoskins and Tara Dunphy. This one is heavy on lyrics and introduces a great new singer to the band. Highly recommended.


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Spiro : Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow
A quartet from England combines folk acoustics and art music precision to create a personal chamber music sound using accordion, piano, violins, mandolins and percussion. They present 14 compositions that lay outside of any category, refusing any pigeon hole.


Miquel Gil : Organic
After his long career as a musician in legendary bands like Al Tall or Terminal Sur, the Valencian singer Miquel Gil has released his second solo album, combining Mediterranean music with ethnic rock and other contemporary twists. This is powerful vocal work from Spain.


Drobinska : Guie De Cirnat
GUiE DE C and Icirc;RNAT is a unique recording by a trio led by Russian musician Oleg Drobinsky, a rich acoustic look at Balkan music performed on kaval, gaida (bagpipes), clarinet, accordion, cello and voices.


Anouar Brahem : Souvenance
The music of Souvenance, by turns graceful, hypnotic, and taut and starkly dramatic, was recorded in 2014 – six years after oud-master Anouar Brahem's last ECM album, The Astounding Eyes of Rita. "It took a long time to write this music," he acknowledges, noting that his emotional world had been usurped by the unfolding story of political upheaval sweeping first through Tunisia then through the neighbouring countries. Extraordinary waves of change, accompanied by great hopes and fears. "I don't claim a direct link between my compositions and the events taking place in Tunisia," says Anouar, "but I have been deeply affected by them." New directions for the music find Fran?ois Couturier returning to the Brahem group, frequently supported by subtle string orchestration. The strings have a glowing transparency and fragility in these pieces, often providing shimmering texture against which the contributions of the quartet members – and, above all, Anouar Brahem's unique oud-playing – stand out in bold relief. This


Annbjørg Lien : Khoom Loy
2012 release by the Norwegian fiddler, produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch and featuring a fine group of guests including Pat Broaders, Per Hillestad, Per Elias Drabløs, Rolf Kristensen, Bjørn Charles Dreyer, Hans Fredrik Jacobsen, Bjørn Ole Rasch and Orsa Spelmän.


Helene Blum : Linden Sol
Helene Blum, the Danish singer and fiddler is joined by the Harald Haugaard Ensemble (octave mandolin, fiddle, guitar, cello, Jew's harp, double bass, flugelhorn, and percussion) in a follow-up to her marvelous 2008 holiday recording, En Sød Og Liflig Klang. Liden Sol, (Little Sun) offers both traditional songs of the Yuletide, as well as a few original songs, all done with grace and musicianship.


Trio Fratres : Pictures at an Exhibition
A Finnish accordion trio of Raimo Vertainen, Heikki Jokiaho and Toni Hämäläinen tackles the classic Mussorgsky work, plus some piece by Tchaikovsky and Jokiaho. A must have for anyone interested in the extremes of the accordion!


The Horse Flies : Until the Ocean
The long-lived, wildly original old-time music visionaries in a brand-new CD! Richie Stearns, Jeff Claus, Judy Hyman, percussionist Taki Masuko, bassist Jay Olsa and Rick Hansen on accordion, organ and Moog. "Build a House and Burn it Down," "Carnival Lips," "Baghdad Children," "Drunkard's Child" and more.


Daniel Janke : In A Room
This North American kora player (based in Yukon, Canada, no less!) is one of the rare non-African musicians who has taken an African instrument and made it his own, by learning the traditional songs, then admitting who he is and moving on. His previous albums moved in more popular jazz circles, but In a Room moves him into blues and Asian music modes as well, allowing for lots of interpretation and innovation,while still staying acoustic and sparse.


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