Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2012-11-30


Ramzi Aburedwan: Reflections of Palestine (Riverboat, 2012) Imagining, and almost creating, a civilized peace ("Bahar," "Bordeaux") ***

Gustavo Casenave: Tango Casenave (Watchcraft Music, 2012) Uruguayan piano ace and former Bette Midler music director executes arresting but not quite uplifting de facto Piazzolla tribute ("Noviembre," "Humo") **

Egyptian Project: Ya Amar (Six Degrees, 2012) French svengali arrays traditional vocals and instruments from the title nation over "tasteful electronic rhythms," breaching cultural barriers more readily when they're, sacr? bleu, a little quicker ("Ya Sahbi," "Soufi") *

Andra Kouyaté & Séké Chi: Saro (Studio Mali, 2012) Intricate and improvisatory, griot scion reaches out to the world and back into history ("Yele With Seke Chi Intro," "N'Goke") ***

The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Marina (Ahi-Nama, 2010) Two of them, to be precise, making sweet harmony if not love in a Batista whorehouse (Trio Zamora, "Vacilon"; Trio Melodicos, "El Negrito Del Batey") **

The Rough Guide to Arabic Lounge (World Music Network, 2010) Don't worry, it'll be air-conditioned (Azzddine With Bill Laswell, "Droub Al Lit"; Ghazzi Abdel Baki, "Al Guineyna"; Amir ElSaffar, "Khosh Reng") **

The Rough Guide to Bellydance (World Music Network, 2011) The politer dabke, raqs sharki, khaleeji, baladi, etc.--complete with instructional DVD! (Satrak Sarkissian, "Boos Shoof"; Said Al Artist, "Sadaf Iskandarani") ***

The Rough Guide to the Music of Afghanistan (World Music Network, 2010) Brave in exile, even braver not, and a lot less solemn than they have every right to be (Setara Husseinzada, "Zim Zim Zim"; Rafi Naabzada & Hameed Sakhizada, "Sabza Ba Naaz Mea Ayad"; Mehri Maftun, "Dar Khyal-e Ishq-e Khuban") **

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