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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

Various Artists

By Paula Kirman
Published April 27, 2007

One World, Many Cultures
Putumayo World Music

World fusion music usually involves an artist taking influences from all over the world and merging them into one. One World, Many Cultures takes the concept a step further. The Putumayo CD pairs musical artists from different countries and cultures. The 11 duets include collaborations between Celtic composer Alan Stivell and African music legend Youssou N’Dour; Jamaican reggae band Toots and the Maytals with country star Willie Nelson; and Algerian Rai singer Cheb Mami with Ziggy Marley. The lone solo performance is from Gigi, a performer with roots in Ethiopia but who incorporates a lot of Western influences into her sound. The album sound great, and promotes themes of harmony and unity. Whether the combos are East meets West, Europe meets Africa, or the Middle East meets anywhere else, One World, Many Cultures features top artists working with other top artists; hard to go wrong with a concept like that.