1 Giant Leap

Musicians Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman hit the road with a laptop and an idea.

Musicians Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman hit the road with a laptop and an idea. Six months later, they'd collected audio samples from musicians on five continents. They brought their treasure to the U.S. and enlisted the collaboration of such artists as Michael Stipe, Stewart Copeland, Baaba Maal, Neneh Cherry, and ex-Arrested Development frontman Speech. There's a good deal of genius distilled into the 12 tracks that make up 1 Giant Leap, from the ethereal vibe of Eddi Reader's vocal on "Ghosts" to the refined hip-hop of "My Culture" (Robbie Williams and Maxi Jazz) and "Braided Hair" (Speech and Cherry). The Mahotella Queens bring their usual dynamism to the complex arrangements of "Ma' Africa" and "Daphne." Stipe and Indian singer Asha Bhosle combine on the magical "The Way You Dream." Catto and Bridgeman's ambitious scheme has been impeccably realized.—PVV