Label: Razor & Tie
Spirit Rising is culled from Kidjo's first-ever live DVD, but you don't need the visuals to appreciate the palpable energy the Afro-pop star brings to her PBS performance. She zigs through hits and classics, her powerhouse voice mastering almost any style. She welcomes guests both gratuitous (Josh Groban) and staggeringly great (she and Dianne Reeves revel in each other on "Monfe Ran," an Afro-popified take on "Baby I Love You"). At times it feels rushed, like she's hustling through her oeuvre so quickly, she doesn't quite emotionally connect with it. But it's still one hell of a party.