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: Two titans of African music come together for a collaboration that will sadly never be repeated after the passing of the late Hugh Masekela. Allen's instantly recognisable drumming and Masekela's iconic trumpet are a match made in heaven - after all their paths first crossed back in the 70s thanks to Fela Kuti's galvanizing energy. Forget the throwback stuff trying to capture the spirit of the originators, this IS the originators sounding cool and deadly in every way. Funk lovers, Afrobeat heads, curious ears and dancing souls take heed - this right here is an unmissable transmission from two grandmasters in their field.
Review: First released way back in 1992, Radio Tarifa's debut album "Rumba Argelina" has long been considered something of a global fusion classic. Reissued here on vinyl for the very first time - weirdly, it has only ever been available on CD in the past - the album has lost none of its charms. It's naturally rooted in various strains of traditional Spanish music - flamenco, Andalucian folk music and so on - but also incorporates musical elements from North African and Arabic music, with occasional nods towards tango and such obscure (but surprisingly enjoyable) styles as German medieval music.