More of Roy's Favorite Music
maintained by Roy Jones,
"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument."

Jalal al-Din Rumi

what music would you like today?

AfroCelt Sound System
About ten years ago, an acquaintance handed me a CD he'd just bought and said simply, "You have to listen to this!" I listened and I was hooked about one minute into the first track. The CD was "Sound Magic," the first release by the AfroCelt Sound System. I've been a fan ever since.

"Anatomic," their fourth release (not counting "Pod," a collection of remixes) is their best yet. I haven't had the CD long enough to pick a clear favorite, but the first track "When I Still Needed You" is some of the group's most compelling music-making and should be enough to make you an AfroCelt fan, if you're not one already.

Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate
The liner notes for this CD aptly refer to guitarist-singer Taj Mahal as a "troubadour." In some parts of the American south, he might be called a "songster," a musician who's equally at home singing and playing blues, gospel, spirituals, popular and folk songs and composing his own songs as well. Toumani Diabate grew up in a famous family of Malian bards and is one of the best-known masters of the "kora," a harp/lute that is their traditional instrument. Their collaboration takes a step beyond "cultural fusion" projects and shows how similar musical styles and traditions are throughout the African Diaspora.

Ghazal "As Night Falls on the Silk Road"
Kayhan Kalhor & Shujaat Husain Khan
Ghazal is a traditional poetic form most commonly associated with ancient Persia. Love and longing are frequent themes of ghazal, as in this line from one of the songs on this CD:

"I ask the beautiful stars and moon, where she has gone after changing my life."

"As Night Falls on the Silk Road" is a beautiful mix of musical cultures and sonorities. The ghazal on this CD are sung by Shujaat Husain Khan, who also plays sitar, the traditional north Indian lute, and Kayhan Kalhor, renowned performer on the kamanche, the Persian "spike fiddle" with tabla, dholak and other percussion. The music is haunting...the playing and singing are excellent.

John McLaughlin
In the 1970s, guitarist John McLaughlin, best remembered by my generation for the "Mahavishnu Orchestra," did a stint with a group of Indian musicans as part of the ensemble "Shakti." This CD is a remastering of a legendary 1975 live recording. McLaughlin's playing is breathtaking and the effect of the whole ensemble on "Joy" and "What Need Have I for This..." dazzling.

The performance and the recording stand up well, in spite of the passage of three decades.

Made in Medina
Rachid Taha
I first head Rachid Taha on one of my favorite Internet Radio streams several years ago. I don't speak a word of Arabic, but Rachid's music and the intensity of his singing were enough to overcome the language barrier.

The songs range in mood from the darkness of "Barra Barra" to outright defiance in "Foqt Foqt," to a call to the beloved in "Ho Cherie."

Back to the Music Index
Can't find what you want here?  Try The Henna Page Main Index.