VARIOUS ARTISTS - Swing Around the World


Putumayo is a label that has for the past decade produced hundreds of compilations with music from across the globe. Some will claim this is just bastardized world music [these aren't field recordings after all]. I say Putumayo is at least making a great attempt to populate the world music category and they're certainly making it friendly to virgin western ears. "Italian Café" is a listener-friendly guide through café music of Italian metropolises of Rome, Milan and Venice. All of this music is highly danceable. Most of it, in fact, resembles swing and bossa-nova movements in one aspect or another. The tender swinging vocals of Maria Pierantoni Giua really satisfy as she swoons her way through "Petali e Mirto", as does the subtle delivery of Giorgio Conte on "Gne Gne".

Surprisingly enough, even the very laid back, tango-flavoured "Tu Vuo' Fa' l'Americano" by Quadro Nuevo brings to mind a cozy café in tiny street of Rome, which is saying quite a lot, as other than the Travel Channel, I'd never even been to Italy!

Swing is a much too broad category to commit only one compilation to. I guess this is why "Swing Around the World" is such a great catch. It doesn't pretend to be an all-inclusive one-stop-shopping for all of your swing needs. Simply put, it's JUST a compilation of twelve swing tracks from around the world [Europe for some reason being most heavily represented] that the folks at Putumayo liked and put together on this CD. From the raunchiness of Squirrel Nut Zippers "Pallin' With Al" to fun sing-along of Mauritius' Triton and their "Mari Nica Swing" to the humorous scat singing of trumpeter Clark Terry with pianist Oscar Peterson on "Mumbles", this CD is highly diversified. You can't say the record producers felt that one kind of swing was more important than another. Even Hawaii's Ka'au Crater Boys and their lively "Opihi Man" can do no wrong. Now, there's only one thing for you to do. Move your butt. Get on that dance floor and sweat your ass silly.

- Tom Sekowski

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+ Tripleplay - Gambit
+ Trzaska/ Wirkus - Noc/ Nacht
+ Chie Mukai/Rinji Fukuoka - L'Energie de l'Existence
+ Bernard Parmegiani - JazzEx
+ Makoto Kawabata - O Si Amos A Sighire A Essere Duas Umbras?
+ Acid Mothers Temple - Demons from Nipples
+ Andrzej Mierzyński (Andymian) - In the Garden of the Rainy King
+ Blare for A - I'm Your Dildo; 498 Days With The Mosquito
+ Kriwi - Past and Present
+ Nokturnal Mortum - Mirowozzrienije
+ Astrofaes - ...Those Whose Past is Immortal
+ Slavland - Pieśń Gromu
+ Henry Threadgill’s Zooid - Up Popped the Two Lips
+ Jaga Jazzist - What We Must
+ Zen Paradox - Numinosum
+ Cristian Vogel - Station 55
+ Tiefschwarz - Eat Books
+ Telepopmusik - Angel Milk
+ The American Analog Set - Set Free
+ Royksopp - The Understanding
+ Timo Maas - Pictures
+ Hakan Lidbo - Sound Molecules
+ Hakan Lidbo - From Stockholm With Love
+ Kalk Seeds
+ Matthew Herbert - Plat Du Jour
+ Hauschka - The Prepared Piano
+ Peter Grummich - Switch Off The Soap Opera
+ Famous When Dead IV
+ Benjamin Brunn - Music Under Pin

- - - - - - - - -

+ SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA - The Cry of Jazz; SUN RA & HIS SOLAR ARKESTRA - The Magic Sun
+ FIFTHS OF SEVEN - Spry From Bitter Anise Folds
+ OE GIARDULLO 4TET - Now Is; JOE GIARDULLO - Weather - Live at Klub RE Krakow
+ MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN - Hardscrabble Songs
+ OCTET de JEAN-PIERRE JULLIAN - Opus Incertum on C.
>> V/A - Italian Café; V/A - Swing Around the World
+ FRANK WRIGHT - The Complete ESP-Disk Recordings
+ EMILIANA TORRINI - Fisherman's Woman; THE BLUE NILE - High
+ THE MOTHERS - Township Sessions; BUKKY LEO & BLACK EGYPT - Afrobeat Visions
+ PETE ASTOR - Hal's Eggs
+ KILL MEMORY CRASH - Crash V8; LUSINE - Inside/Out
+ FENNESZ / SAKAMOTO - Sala Santa Cecilia
+ A TASTE OF RA - A Taste of Ra
+ ATELEIA - Swimming Against The Moments
+ LUIGI ARCHETTI / BO WIGET - Low Tide Digitals II
+ AXON - Constant Comments
+ NODS OFF - In the Space Between; TSE - The Sound Ensemble - Inversions
+ MOLY - Your Life is in Danger; ...BENDER - ...Bender; BREATHLESS - Behind The Light