Beary Cool World Music
Compiled By, The Knowledge Bears


1 Putumayo Presents World Playground

Putumayo presents a dynamic collection of songs from around the world; twelve countries and six continents to be exact. Introducing the musical styles of reggae, zydeco, blues, etc. the Musical Adventure is a cultural awareness tour for all ages.

2 World 2004-Various Artists

Assembled by the BBC's Charlie Gillett, who is a world class DJ and authority on music from around the globe, this double disc effort offers 34 tracks from just about every important release last year. Some of these tracks will remind you how much you enjoyed certain albums when they came out, while others will cause you to make of few notes about what you missed out on.

3 Arabic Groove-Various Artists

Putumayo's Arabic Groove brings us up to date on middle Eastern music with their compilation, a jubilant sonic party rooted in ancient musical tradition and structure, steeped in flavors of hip-hop, R&B, and other urban western forms. Lebanese, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Algerian artists contribute songs where traditional Arabic instruments blend with guitar, bass, and drums.


4 French Cafe-Various Artists

Although far from definitive (no Edith Piaf in sight!), this enchanting compilation delivers a perfect aural snapshot of what spending a late summer afternoon in a French cafe actually feels like. The supreme elegance and understated approach that lie at the core of these 13 tracks will delight fans of sophisticated pop.


5 Magical Flutes From the Andes- Aconcagua

The group Ayopayamanta from Peru has existed for twelve years. They present an overview of the rich and diverse musical culture of Bolivia with all its interesting instruments and varying rhythms. Listen to the haunting and beautifully played panpipes and flutes. Their music will transport you high up into the lands of the condor. The booklet explains the instruments and the rhythms on this CD.

6 Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms, Vol. 1

When Sting collaborated with Cheb Mami on the Brand New Day track "Desert Rose," he created a surprising demand for Arabic crossover pop. This collection provides a suitable next step for those whose interest was peaked by that collaboration.

7 Music from the Tea Lands

This pan-Asian travelogue features musicians from China, India, Tatarstan, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, and Iran ranging from modern fusions to intriguing glimpses of rarely heard traditions. Assorted strings dominate the instrumental forces, but the vocals are equally strong.  A recipe for chai, a spicy Indian milk tea, is included.

8 Rough Guide to the Music of China

An excellent selection, covering a wide range of modern and folkloric Chinese music.  It's an impressive collection representing some of the best music to come from this once-closed society. Informative and thought-provoking, as well as often simply beautiful... This disc is definitely recommended for anyone eager to learn more about the world around us.

9 Putumayo Presents: African Groove

A prime sampler of cutting-edge urban dance grooves by African artists.  Ancient tribal traditions are colliding--and colluding--with hip-hop, funk, reggae, and electronica, incorporating every imaginable sound-manipulation technology with compulsively danceable results.

10 Sacred Music of the World: Ceremonial Songs and Dances

Styles: Nepal, Zimbabwe, Syria, Philippines, Nigeria, Malawi, Haiti, Ghana, Turkey, Tibetan, Thailand, South Africa, Native American, Mongolian, Laos, Japan, Iran, Cuba, Ceremonial, Bolivia, Australia, Benga, Peruvian, Jewish, Sufi, India, Africa

11 Greetings from Australia, Vol. 2-World Music Collection

 Discover the great sounds of Australia.  This album is terrific. From a historical perspective, this collection of recordings of Australian folk music is worthwhile.  For several months, I've been searching for a CD that had specific Australian pub songs and the rest of the songs are great as well. Even if you're not familiar with Australian music, I truly think you'll love this CD!

12 Irish Dance- Celtic Pride

This is an excellent CD if you like the Irish sound. With a mix of instrumentals and folk tunes, this is among my favorites. I would highly recommend this for any Irish collection.

13 Caribbean Island Steel Drum Favorites

This CD was definitely worth every penny. If you enjoy all kinds of great music, you'll really like this. The sound quality is really good, and it sounds exactly like steel drums are supposed to. I really liked this CD. It's really good music by really good musicians.

14 Authentic Native American Music

Authentic Native American Music contains performances of sincere clarity and direction to seek support from the supreme spirit. Every note is masterly played... Every voice has a well- trained quality. Truly amazing sound quality.

15 Salsa Around the World

Salsa is a delectable blend of Cuban and Puerto Rican traditions plus brassy American big band arrangements. The term "salsa" translates as "sauce," no doubt referring to what goes into making this music so spicy. The style has covered a lot of ground since its inception in New York during the 1970s and now boasts fanatic adherents all over the globe.

16 Music of Russia- St. Petersburg Balalaika Ens

I absolutely LOVE this CD! I wanted some Russian music and took a chance on it and was so amazed! Every song sounds popular.  This music truly expresses the soul of old Russia and its strong, artistic people.

17 Reflections of Spain, Spanish Favorites for Guitar- David Russell

On Reflections of Spain, Russell plays the music of his childhood home with all the joy you would expect from someone revisiting a beloved place. David Russell is one the finest classical guitarists to emerge in recent years, and his playing on Reflections of Spain is a near perfect wedding of technique and temperament. 


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