Published Feb 11, 2014As the most important American artist of his generation, Bob Dylan has had a truly international impact. That's confirmed by this world music tribute, one in which a highly diverse group of artists put their own spin on Dylan tunes. In fact, some of these new versions are almost completely unrecognizable, as with Iranian singer Salah Aghili setting a poem by Rumi to the melody of "Another Grain Of Sand" or the Musicians of the Nile (a group formed by Alain Weber, the producer behind this project) taking "Tangled Up In Blue" in a completely different direction.
Have you ever listened to "I Want You" and thought, "I want to hear this played on flutes, clappers, gongs and Burmese percussion"? Likely not, but the rather child-like version here from Burma Orchestra Saing Waing is quite charming. The song is reprised instrumentally later by Taiwanese trio Meil Li de Dao. The Balkans brass band setting of Kocani Orkestar's instrumental take on the raucous "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35" is another winner.
Overall, this collection actually functions better as a world music sampler than a Dylan tribute. Superb packaging and liner notes by Weber are a nice bonus. (Buda Music)