Various Artists

There's a Griot Going On

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Released to celebrate the tenth anniversary of tiny British label Rogue Records, this compilation serves as a reminder that they were well ahead of the curve in roots and world music. While label head/compiler Ian Anderson is involved in many of the tracks, either as performer or producer, there's a marvelous variety to the music, with Orchestre Super Moth (who are actually British) showing a 3 Mustaphas 3 sensibility on "Radio Polka International." The great Baaba Maal and his companion, Mansour Seck, offer "Djaam Leeli" from the album of the same name and Madagascar's Tarika Sammy (later to become Tarika) contributes a specially recorded track (as do Dembo Konte and Kausu Kuyateh). Jaojoby, another Malagasy outfit, brings the salegy of "Tsaiky Joby" to the table, and Maggie Holland (once part of Hot Vultures -- also represented here -- with Anderson) has the superb song "A Proper Sort of Gardener." It might seem to be all over the place, and it is -- ranging from England to Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Mexico -- but it's a delightful trip around the world and an introduction to artists who deserve wider audiences (and who, in the case of Maal, have since found them). All music should be so wonderful.

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