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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

VARIOUS ARTISTS

By Marie Elsie St. Léger
Published March 24, 2006

Women’s World Voices 4
Blue Flame

At first listen, Women’s World Voices 4 seems little more than a pleasing backdrop for martini sipping (cuts like the relatively weak “Destiny” by Zephyr, don’t help to dispel that notion). Yet the compilation transcends the chillout aesthetic because artistry, rather than the matching beats per minute, moves the collection. From continental lounging—DJ Krush, teaming with lead Zap Mama Marie Dauline, opens the collection with the vaguely mysterious “Danger Of Love”—to East-West culture straddling—Amina with the Arabic/French “Dis-Moi Pourquoi,” Aziza A (of Turkey) and her electro/hip-hop “Hayat”—Women’s Voices gives equal weight to the cultures raided. Listen closely as Malian singer Mamani Keita cuts through Marc Minelli’s electronic beats on “Macary” or as Germany’s Jazzamor beautifully reinterprets Baden Powell’s samba “Berimbou.” Be seduced by the young fado singer Mariza and her guitar-driven “Que Deus Me Perdoe.” Move to the techno-pop beats of “Portrait” (courtesy of the Netherlands’ Etro Anime) and slow down to Big Muff’s acid-jazzy interpretation of “My Funny Valentine.” And yes, order that martini—shaken, not stirred.