I have often been thinking about a Top Ten of artists world wide people should have listened to according to me. I even started with one some months ago but simply couldn’t make it up. But now I talked with students in a lesson and actually my top ten kind of flipped out naturally. So something like this:
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Buena Vista Social Club
Oh, it’s hard. Hardly anything from Latin America – and Buena Vista basically because it is so well known, not because it is extraordinary excellent. Loads of people missing (Ivo Papasov, Dave Swarbrick, a host of Gambianese and Senegalese, Franco, Lieve Hugo). And a huge part of the world missing: South-East Asia and the Far East (Oceania only covered by Seaman Dan, but he can do that by himself I believe).
I would like to do the same trick with musical terms: hocket/interlocking, (ornamental) heterophony, syncretism, maqam, raga, tala… And with ensembles and instruments: conjunto (many different ones), djembe, gamelan, q’in, didgeridoo… And with styles: son, salsa, zouk, rumba (3x), soukous, taarab, hindipop, kroncong, aak…
Give me your people, musical terms, ensembles, instruments, genres not to be missed. Eventually I’ll write a book on it. And you’ll appear in the credits.
And yes: once the book is there, we’ll do the same with pop and rock musicians; with western classical composers; with jazz musicians. With novels (my number 1: The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout; followed by Boelgakov’s The Master and Margarita). With dishes. With alcoholic drinks (Vodka!).
And to make things clear: I am not talking about “the” Top Ten of anything. I am not interested in general prescriptions on matters of good taste – basically because there is no such thing as ‘good taste’, only taste. I am talking about Personal Top Tens. They are the only ones that count.