1. Shakira-Sale El Sol
2. V/A-The Roots of Chicha 2
3. Yann Tierson-Dust Lane
4. V/A-The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Marina
5. V/A-Fania Essential Recordings
6. Jane Birkin-Di Do Dah
7. Natacha Atlas-Moungaliba
8. Seu Jorge-Seu Jorge & Almaz
9. Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg-S/T
10. Spanish Harlem Orquestra-Viva La Tradicion
Without any surprise, Shakira’s Sale El Sol took the top spot on October’s chart. Likewise, I expected The Roots of Chicha 2 & Yann Tiersen’s Dust Lane to chart in the top five. The big surprise was The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Marina at number four, which could have done better had the store not run out of stock so quickly. Fueled by a powerful PRI The World piece, this collection of unreleased music by forgotten Cuban boleros struck a chord with the NPR crowd and everyone seemed to be asking for it. We have been dealing directly with Ahi-Nama, the indie label who released The Lost Cuban Trios, for years. They mostly release modern Cuban music such as Timba, Cuban Reggaeton & Salsa, so it was a surprise to me that they released some vintage Cuban music. A nice surprise for us and I’m sure for Ahi-Nama as well.
At number six and nine are two Jane Birkin reissues by Light In The Attic Records, who are doing a fine job with reissues, including one of my favorite non-World Music releases, El Gusano’s Fantasia Del Barrio (review coming soon). Live shows in L.A. helped out Natasha Atlas (#7) and The Spanish Harlem Orquestra (#10). At number five is probably the best Fania Records compilation ever released for a DJ; Fania Essential Recordings, released by Strut Records is all bangers, no filler in the bunch! On both CD & vinyl, there is no reason to sleep on this one, unless you have all those collectible tracks already.
November 22nd will bring us the new Calle 13’s Entren Los Que Queiran, which has the group collaborating with all sorts of legends from around the world such as Toto La Moposina from Colombia, Maria Rita from Brazil, Susana Baca from Peru, Suen Kuti (son of Fela Kuti) and Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. You always have to expect the unexpected when it comes to Calle 13.
Out now is the AfroCubism release. This pairing of Cuban and West African musicians was supposed to happen years ago but was canceled when the West African musicians couldn’t get their visas into Cuba. With all that recording time booked, Nick Gold from World Circuit Records recorded a bunch of older Cuban musicians and made a little record called The Buena Vista Social Club. Now, almost fifteen years later, the project is finally completed and released. Buena Vista alumni Eliades Ochoa and his Cuarto Patria pair with the likes of West African musicians such as Toumani Diabate and Bassekou Kouyate. Should be worth the wait.