This third volume of contemporary music from Madagascar includes several tracks from the original sessions organized in 1991 by Henry Kaiser and David Lindley as well as newer material from a follow-up visit in 1995. In some ways, it might be the strongest of the three to the extent that it concentrates more on traditional forms rather than pop-influenced ones, the latter tending to produce sugary, less than substantial offerings. Some of the bigger stars of the first session happily reappear here, notably the extraordinary singer Dama Mahaleo, the amazing guitarist D'Gary, and the band Tarika Sammy (by this time including the ravishing singer Hanitra). Each offers superb songs and makes the disc well worth purchasing. Additionally, there are fine performances from Tarika Ramilison and Rakotofrah that give a clear evocation of Madagascan village songs. The beautiful sounds of the valiha (a guitar-like instrument), the small flutes, and the lovely Malagasy language itself render the music intensely appealing to Western ears. This entire series is an excellent introduction to this fascinating but often forgotten corner of the world.
AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick