Review: It would be fair to say that the Afro-Cuban All Stars are Cuba's most important contemporary musicians. Their leader, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, has been a pioneering figure for decades and his work with the likes of the Buena Vista Social Club has officially solidified his position as the guiding voice of Afro-Latin music. World Circuit has decided to reissue the band's debut album from 1997, A Toda Cuba Le Gusta, and it's no surprise given just how iconic it remains to this day. If you're a fan of rhythmic jazz with a Caribbean twist then this is the right material for you. If you're a record collector whose into the spicier end of the jazz scale then this is unmissable. Whoever youre, you're bound to enjoy this marvelous collection of tracks.
Review: Cuba's Orland Cachaito Lopez, who sadly passed away back in '09, had only released his first LP under his name in 2001. World Circuit was the imprint to bring the man to the foray, and here they are once again with this marvelously packaged reissue. Solid and guaranteed to please. Needless to say, this album is full of Havana's magic vibe, rocking some pretty full-proof rhythms with a swing and a charm that can only be found on the Caribbean island. But, it's not simply Lopez's Cuban heritage which makes it stand out; rather, there is just the right balance of motion between dance and form, making this album a sure stand-out to anyone remotely interested in anything 'jazz'. Lovely stuff.
Review: A welcomed heavyweight vinyl reissue of 1994 GRAMMY award winning album from two of the 20th century's most inspirational, creative bluesmen from two wholly contrasting sides of the world: Ali Farka and Ry Cooder. Most of Talking Timbuktu kicks its feet in the dusty plains of Mali with traditional instrumentation and time signatures before dropping into occasional splashes of soul surging blues such as the fiddle-like picking of "Ai Du" and the foot-stamping yearns of "Amandrai". A timeless meeting of two amazing minds that will never happen again, this should be reissued every 20 years by law to ensure future generations are aware this happened.