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Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

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Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Latin America - Released February 10, 2015 | Sony Music Latin

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World - Released January 1, 2015 | 429 Records

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Sings finds the great Beninese vocalist Angélique Kidjo fronting the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, conducted by Gast Waltzing. This is a studio offering that reflects the highlights of a series of now legendary 2011 concerts between them. Recorded at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, in New York, and in France, the program is a lively and unusual retrospective from Kidjo's career. Along with the orchestra, Kidjo is joined by her own band and guest musicians including guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Christian McBride, and backing vocalists. Arranged by Waltzing and guitarist David Laborier, the material comprises thorough revisionings of songs central to Kidjo's catalog, including dramatic presentations of "Malaika," "Loloye," "Kelele," the traditional "Otishe," "Nanae," and her gorgeous "Naima" (not to be confused with John Coltrane's tune of the same title). While the music is certainly far "busier" and more florid than the work on her earlier records, this presentation is thoroughly lovely and her big contralto gets right on top of the orchestra, while the rhythms sound as organic as ever. Two interesting covers on the set include a deeply soulful reading of Carlos Santana's "Samba Pa Ti," with a great flügelhorn solo by Waltzing, and Sidney Bechet and Ferdinand Bonifay's "Petite Fleur" arranged in a manner that pays homage to Kidjo's idol, Édith Piaf. Perhaps the greatest asset of this particular recording is how it reaffirms what we already knew: that Kidjo can deliver any song in any setting and remain iconic. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Latin America - Released September 16, 2014 | UMLE - Fonovisa

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While Los Tigres del Norte were widely celebrated for their 2011 live offering MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and Friends, it had already been two years since they had released new studio material. Issued in 2010, El Rugido de Los Tigres del Norte was a compilation of previously released recordings from earlier in the 21st century. That makes Realidades the legendary norteño band's first set of brand-new songs in half a decade. It was worth the wait. The album's title is sobering, underscored by the set's devastating first single, "La Bala," about a seven-year-old child accidentally killed by a troubled teen. Musically, Los Tigres del Norte have remained very close to their tradition and root sound. They are uniquely gifted as storytellers when interpreting others' songs. This is reflected in "Historias de Ciudad" (on the two-disc Deluxe Edition), "La Jefa del Jefe," and the reading of Teodoro Bello's brilliant "El Gallo del Mojado." When assembled, the songs on Realidades offer portraits of life in North American cities from Harlem to Miami, from San Juan to Detroit, from Sinaloa to Los Angeles. But Los Tigres del Norte go deeper than sensationalist tabloid headlines, and their manner of playing and singing reveals the depth of emotion behind the narrative occurrences in the lyrics as they juxtapose narcocorridos and tableaus of gritty criminal life with notions of familial and romantic love -- as in the songs "Hoy le Hablo a Diario," "Así Es el Amor," the romantic "Era Diferente," and the heartbreaking "Necesitamos Conversar." As such, Realidades offers a 360-degree view of modern life that is beyond two-dimensional interpretations. The flavors of sweetness and bitterness, celebration and tragedy, and joy and heartache are all delivered with the soul and conviction that make Los Tigres del Norte so relevant to generation after generation. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Africa - Released September 14, 2018 | Shanachie

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