Gilles Peterson

Worldwide: A Celebration of His Syndicated Radio Show

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Three mix CDs released during 2000-2003 reflected the eras-spanning breadth of Gilles Peterson's Worldwide BBC program. This two-disc set, however, provides an unmixed overview of the new music championed by the DJ from 1999-2009. Peterson was among the first -- if not the first -- to air these songs, which cover left-field hip-hop, contemporary R&B, modern jazz, and downtempo dance music. One common knock against Peterson is that his playlists are limited to the sophisticated and the tasteful, yet no jock with half his reach is close to being as adventurous. How else could one describe an aesthetic encompassing José James (acoustic, vocal jazz), Theo Parrish (hi-tech, lo-fi house), Dizzee Rascal (brash, bludgeoning grime), Sébastien Tellier (baroque kitsch-pop), and Amerie (Meters-sampling commercial R&B)? Dwele’s very early “Too Fly” aside, there’s nothing in the way of rarities. As strange as it sounds, this is more like the program’s greatest hits, albeit one with a surprising shortage of broken beat -- a style he most certainly helped birth. Nonetheless, it's a great way to get acquainted with one of radio’s greatest assets, whether you tune in from England or stream the program half a world away. The hefty booklet, filled with reminiscences, photos, and clippings, covers Peterson’s whole career, beginning with his enterprising pirate-radio days.

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