Just in time for the Summer, for a limited time, if you buy three Putumayo CDs, you get Putumayo World Party absolutely free. Can't decide what to get? Here are two albums for your consideration:
Putumayo Presents - South Africa
For the first time, 2010 FIFA World Cup, is taking place on Africa's soils, and to celebrate, Putumayo's latest compilation is called South Africa. Sadly, I think the South African team did not make it into the final rounds, but I don't think that would stop the vuvuzelas from invading the final knockout games.
One thing I've picked up from listening to this Putumayo's album is that South African's music is, it's quite calm and cool. There's some hints of reggae (Zoro's "Work" is a really good example), traditional Kwaito (Bholoja's "Mbombela"), and sometime rap (Blk Sonshine's "Nkosi"). The different style of music, reflects a rich and diverse culture found in South Africa. Although I could not tell you if all eleven official languages were sung, I can tell you that there's Zulu on the a cappella "Ngahlulele" by Soweto Gospel Choir.
My favorite song is the English song, "Beautiful Feet" by Nibs van der Spuy. The slow acoustic really brings out van der Spuy's beautiful voice.
Be on the lookout for Putumayo's next release Tribute to a Reggae Legend (which contain a track from my favorite Bralizian, Céu).
Putumayo Presents - Latin Party
Salsa anyone?! The rhythmic sound of this compilation took me away to a sweaty dance floor in a packed Latin dance club - far from the Midwest where I reside.
This CD infuses sounds from many regions of Latin America, combining salsa, cumbia, Afro-Cuban, funk, soul, and jazz. The percussion, the brass horns, the vocals - muy caliente!
Putumayo, the company that put together this quality collection of tunes, successfully pieced together a variety of fresh faces in the Latin scene. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t already have an extensive collection of Latin music that includes these new artists. If you’re looking for some danceable music to throw on for your party this summer, this is perfect.
I really enjoyed the song “Asi Se Compone Un Son” by Cecilia Noël. Her voice is solid and she definitely sounds a bit like the “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz.
Also, keep your eyes open for the group Yerba Buena out of New York. Nominated for a Grammy in 2003, they’ve gained quite a bit of recognition and have a great, funky sound. The lead singer, Cucu Diamantes, recently released a solo album as well. Itunes has been recommending I buy both artists’ music for a year now. Time to get out the wallet