Al Vaiven de Mi Carreta
This project -- bringing Malian and Cuban musicians together to record -- was meant to happen back in 1996, but visa problems stalled it. Producer Nick Gold ended up filling the studio time with some old Cuban musicians who became the Buena Vista Social Club. Thank heavens this project, 14 years later, finally happened, because you can't fake chemistry like this. It helps when the musicians -- including Eliades Ochoa and Toumani Diabate -- are top-class. Four days of live recordings with just any group of musicians wouldn't have resulted in such rich, subtle, vibrant music.