Various Artists – Blue Flame, Women’s World Voices 2

Anastasia Tsioulcas

By Anastasia Tsioulcas

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A smart, sexy, confident and inspired fusion of dance and world music

This fine compilation samples female artists from lands as diverse as Spain, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe, but it's not traditional world music — instead, the selections tend towards the modern-minded and the dance floor-friendly. Generally, this means a smart, sexy, confident and inspired fusion that often roams across myriad cultures in the course of a single cut. Best selections include "Nana," which features Indian/British vocalist Sheila Chandra's ethereal voice framed by drones; the anthemic "Amaria," featuring four silky-voiced soloists (Lucilla Galeazzi, Yiota Vei, Equidad Bares and Hayet Ayad) performing under the name Mammas; and the duo Vas '"Ningal," in which the beguiling voice of Iranian-American singer Azam Ali is interwoven with hypnotic drumming by American percussionist Greg Ellis. This is an enticing selection, not to mention a fine gateway to world music.