Re: Phil Maturano here!
Hey Phil, nice to hear from you again... I'm on vacation in the Northwest and have been offline for the last few days too.
Anyway, a couple of quick absolutely must have's from West Africa... Any of Habib Koite's albums. Mosu Ko, Maya, and Baro are all I know of. Not to over-sell it, but I can promise that you will listen to these over and over until the day you die, absolutely beautiful and flawless albums in every way. Check em' out, I garauntee 100% satisfaction. Anything you can find by Oumou Sangare is going to be good as well. Rokia Traore is super beautiful and mellow. Brice Wassy is a really intersting artist from Cameroon. Of coure then you have Fela Kuti, Salif Keita, Yossou N'dour, and Baba Maal who are all extremely well established, and I'm sure you've heard of them.
I'm pretty psyched actually because while I'm up here visiting my sister, Fode Bangora (djembe fola from Les Merveilles de Guinea) is having a workshop in town, I'm going to that tomorrow night... He is actually based out of NYC too!