Monthly Archives: May 2015

Loreena McKennitt: A Mediterranean Odyssey

Loreena McKennitt: A Mediterranean Odyssey

Manufactured by The Verve Music Group, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc., 1755 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Distributed by Universal Music Distribution. Worldwide copyright Quinlan Road Music Ltd., p & © 2009 Quinlan Road Limited. ( or P.O. Box 933, Stratford, ON Canada N5A 7M3. 800-361-7959 (U.S.); +1-519-273-3876 (Outside U.S.).

From the ethereal, Middle-Eastern styled opening notes of this beautifully-gifted soprano singer, to the slightly Celtic stylings and lilting selections, Ms. McKennitt evokes imagery of a Mediterranean travel journey with this limited-edition, commemorative 2-disc set.

The first CD, entitled ‘The Olive and the Cedar’, culls songs from previous albums with evocative names conjuring a distant past, such as: “The Ancient Muse,” and “The Book of Secrets.”

The second CD is a 2009 recording of their Mediterranean concert tour.

Besides her angelic voice, Ms. McKennitt’s talent extends to both producing and musicianship, as well, adding the harp, the accordion, keyboards and piano to this already amazing force. ‘Marco Polo’, the song, sounds fairly “Jewish” to me and also conjures a camel caravan in the imagination.

Her appearance brings to mind the visage of Stevie Nicks, while her song, ‘Santiago’, brings to mind a female version of ‘Skating Away’ (On The Thin Ice Of The New Day) by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. One of the songs you’re already familiar with is called ‘The Mummer’s Dance’ — it was a megahit on the radio and you’ll know it when you hear it.

This is a nice album to add to the collection — in fact, it’s pretty much a standout.

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Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate’: Ali and Toumani

Ali and Toumani

Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate’, “Ali and Toumani”, p & ©2010 World Circuit Ltd. Nonesuch Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104. Certain songs published by the following: World Circuit Music (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10); Rykos Music Ltd. (3, 4 and 9); World Circuit/Rykos Music Ltd. (11). Exclusively licensed to Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and Canada.
This is a final recording created June 24th, 25th and 26th in London of two incredible musicians coming together to create a summary album of previous songs prior to the passing away of Ali Farka Toure. Ali plays guitar and Toumani plays a soft, lyre-like, guitar-ish instrument called a Kora. Their music blends indistinctly into one — I think it is some of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.
Played late night at low volume, it is a soothing lullabye. It reminds me of the music the shepherd, David, might have played on his kinnor to delight King Saul (the first man anointed king over the Jewish kingdom). The songs represent different traditions and cultures among the African regions and people, and their first album, ‘In the Heart of the Moon,’ won a Grammy award.
I’m glad the library has curated this gem. I would definitely go buy it.

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Filed under Musicality