Various Artists

World Christmas [Capitol]

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With a lineup that includes Papa Wemba, Angelique Kidjo, Cearia Evora, Zakir Hussain, Yomo Toro, and the Gypsy Kings, World Christmas certainly gives the impression of broad international diversity. Unfortunately, there's not as much stylistic variety as one would expect or wish for, the set of mostly traditional seasonal tunes overpowered by the more mainstream conventional Western jazz backing of Bob Berg, Jim Beard, John Scofield, Marcus Miller, Joshua Redman and ambient group Deep Forest. Still above average on the distinctiveness scale -- Kidjo's voice percussion on "Zan Vevede (O Holy Night)" is especially noteworthy -- with proceeds benefitting the Special Olympics.

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