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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion


By Ernest Barteldes
Published September 23, 2005


Many World War II-era swing bands toured the world performing to soldiers stationed in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific, and their sound ultimately influenced the locals, who picked up on the genre and brought in their own local feel, ultimately taking the style to a different place without losing its original spirit. This compilation  brings us a selection of 12 tracks from four continents, which include the tight sound of Zimbabwe’s Cool Crooners of Bulawayo, a group that  harks back to the vocal quartets from the ’40s. Piano legend Oscar Peterson appears alongside trumpeter Clark Terry for a rendition of their classic “Mumbles,” while Italy’s Renzo Arbore declares his love for music by telling his mother that, “I don’t like to study/my business is singing” in “Mama Mi Piace il Ritmo.” France’s Romane presents a highly technical violin/guitar duet in the upbeat “Gipsy Fire,” while our home-grown Jambalaya Cajun Band brings rock and roll and swing together with the clever “Hey Rock.”