Africa is BIG. So even an 18 CD compilation can only present a limited amount of music. However, given this limitation, this is an excellent musical exploration of this rich continent. No, it's not particularly cheap. But it has SO much great music by both famous artists and some lesser known big great artists. Some of my favorites include (among others) from
(1) West Africa (3 cd's): Baaba Maal, Orchestra Baobab, Youssou N'Dour and Ali Farka Toure
(2) East Africa (3 cd's): Mahmoud Ahmed (his fabulous greatest hit "Ere Mela Mela"), Mlimani Park Orchestra, Aster Aweke ("Africa's Aretha Franklin") and the great Alemayehu Eshete ("Africa's James Brown").
(3) North Africa (3 cd's): Oum Kalsoum, Mohamed Abdelwahab, Cheb Khaled, and Natja Aatabou
(4) South Africa (3 cd's): Miriam Makeba, Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens, Thomas Mapfuno and Hugh Masekela
(5) Central Africa (3 cd's): Manu Dibango, Franco and Staff Benda Bilili
(6) Lusophone Africa (3 cd's): Bonga, Mendes Mendes and Cesaria Evora.
The book is half English and half French, so it can not provide much information. However, the photos in the book are excellent (lots of reproductions of original art work of singles or albums). All in all, this is a great package! My only reservation is the book and the fact that while most CD's are filled till the maximum (75+ minutes), this is not the case for all CD's. But that shouldn't spoil the pure joy that one can experience listening to this great music from this rich continent. You can start your musical journey right here!