A senior music critic for The New York Times has named Cumbancha, a recent album by the Idan Raichel Project of Israel, among "the most notable world music CDs released over the last year."
The list of 14 albums compiled by Jon Pareles includes discs from Ghana, Brazil, Romania and the Comoros Islands.
"The Idan Raichel Project was a huge hit in Israel for good reason: it envisions a modern, multicultural nation where voices of young and old, Ethiopian and Yemenite, are all heard in songs devoted to love and tolerance," Pareles wrote at the weekend.
According to Pareles, keyboardist and songwriter Raichel is "clearly as familiar with Peter Gabriel as with Middle Eastern traditions. His arrangements bind the voices together in somber minor-mode anthems paced by electronic beats, earnestly seeking to uplift."