AFRO-CUBANO (Putumayo, $14.98) – There’s been a long back-and-forth flow of musical influence between Africa and Cuba, resulting in some of the most creative fusions in music. Included on this new Putumayo compilation are artists from Cuba, Cape Verde, São Tomé, Cameroon, Angola, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Suriname.
Amanda Shires, TAKE IT LIKE A MAN (ATO, $14.98) – Ms. Shires’s new suite of hard-hitting songs, featuring Jason Isbell, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby.
Maggie Rogers, SURRENDER (Capitol, $15.98) – Maggie Rogers’s second album, is “a hypnotically danceable ode to ecstatic abandon, making leaps and navigating worry.” (New York Times)
Samuel Mariño, SOPRANISTA (Decca, $14.98) – There are countertenor voices, high tenor (haute-contre) voices, but the male soprano voice is very rare. Hailing from Venezuela, Samuel Marniño describes his voice as a “light lyric soprano,” and sings Mozart, Gluck, and Boulogne arias, accompanied by La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel, conducted by Andrea Marcon.
Geoff Muldaur, HIS LAST LETTER (Moon River, 2 CDs & 80-page book, $39.98) – Geoff Muldaur co-founded the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, went on to play with Paul Butterfield, and collaborate with Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, among others. On his epic His Last Letter (The Amsterdam Project) he “traces his musical influences and includes tunes by Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, and even poems of Tennessee Williams set to music. It’s arranged for and recorded with Dutch chamber musicians.”
NOTE: Listen to Geoff’s recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air.
Steve Tibbetts, HELLBOUND TRAIN: An Anthology (ECM, 2 CDs, $30.98) – For over 40 years on the ECM label, guitarist Steve Tibbetts has fashioned hypnotic, ambient soundscapes using electric and acoustic guitars and loops, usually accompanied by percussionist Marc Anderson. Hellbound Train is a compilation, divided into electric and acoustic chapters.