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Charlie Gillett - Invites you to a World Party,
This review is from: Sound of the World Presents Anywhere on This Road: Compiled By Charlie Gillett (Audio CD)
Many years ago I joined one of those book clubs which offered six books at a knock down price to hook you into some deal where you had to buy a further six books over two years. It was a total chore but as it turned out its only great redeeming feature was that I managed to get as one of the "six" a book by Charlie Gillett "The Sound of the City" that was a fantastic (and remains so) guide into the history of rock from what appeared to be the dawn of time until 1971 (It appears I was sent a rather old edition!). It contained massive insights and knowledge of the highest order into the evolution of rock and its social origins even though its judgements were not always on the mark and sometimes a bit quirky; for example was Neil Young "mostly morose and morbid"? But that was Charlie and like John Peel he was never happier than when he was able to champion something new, distinctive and most of all those musicians who were underdogs and whose access to the mainstream was at best restricted and at worse non-existent.
Gillett was an ever popular DJ who as early as 1979 began to feature music from around the world on his Capital radio show. Later in 1995 he returned with a show on GLR, Radio London's successor, and later began his World Service series in 1999 where in a weekly 26-minute world music show, broadcast on BBC he played music from every corner of the earth and introduced listeners to an eclectic range of brilliant sounds. Charlie passed away in March this year after a long illness and he is sorely missed but with this ever growing series of compilation albums the latest being "Sound of the World Presents Anywhere on this Road" his wonderful legacy lives on.
Highlights of this huge double album include those desert blues specialists Tinariwen whose magnificent "Tenhert" from Imidiwan - Companions rocks out with true style. The brooding title track "Anywhere On This Road" by Canadian Lhasa De Sela who tragically died at the tender age of 37 some two months before Gillett in January 2010 and to whom he dedicated this album. Then we have New Zealand's "Fat Freddy Drop" who turn out to be as dub heavy as the sounds in Aswad's "Warriors Charge". Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba from West Africa eschew western instruments and happily produce in "Sevval Sam" one of the most joyous songs on that or any continent. Allegedly Vinicio Capossela is the "Italian Tom Waits" and on the evidence of the dark "La faccia della terra" could be well worth checking out and the contributions from veterans like Seasick Steve and Allen Toussaint are excellent. It is the little hidden gems which however attract the most from artists no one will have ever heard of but which bring pleasing new discoveries like Razia Said from Madagascar and Sara Taveres from Cape Verde whose jazzy "Rue" is excellent.
Like previous compilations this album is a vivid and varied treasure trove that waits to be opened by discerning music lovers who like to experiment and expand their world view. Thank you again Charlie