The Beat of Love

Percussion wiz Trilok Gurtu opens in high style with the track "Maya," a monster groove that falls upon the lower brain like a thunderbolt.

Percussion wiz Trilok Gurtu opens in high style with the track "Maya," a monster groove that falls upon the lower brain like a thunderbolt. It's the first brilliant stroke in a record that is one of the most dynamic, virtuosic world-fusion projects in recent memory, a beatific fusion of Asian underground and African grooves. Angélique Kidjo, Zap Mama vocalist Sabine Kabongo, Nandini Sirkar, Malian griot Salif Keita, and Senegalese vocalist Wasis Diop join Gurtu in a superb ensemble effort, evocative of so many worlds. Dip into the cool juju vibe of "Dance With My Lover," "Have We Lost Our Dream?" (with Keita's soaring vocal and Kabongo's English counterpoint), or the Asian rhythmic soul of "Ola Bombay." Without question, this is one moveable feast. On last year's African Fantasy album, Gurtu began to intermingle African and Indian music, but African Fantasy is to The Beat of Love as flirtation is to consummation. This is one of the groundbreaking world titles of the year.—PVV