Big Blue Ball
More a collective of musicians than a typical band, Big Blue Ball dates back to the mid-1990s, when Peter Gabriel orchestrated week-long invitational sessions at his Real World Studios that brought in players from around the world. Given Gabriel's late-career interest in global music, the guests included heavy hitters of world music alongside those of western pop -- everyone from Natacha Atlas, Papa Wemba to Sinead O'Connor and Vernon Reid -- but Gabriel's closest ally was Welsh musician Karl Wallinger. Some years after the majority of the sessions were recorded, Gabriel called on Stephen Hague to sort out the pile of tape and iron out a collaborative LP to be released under the Big Blue Ball moniker. Since most of the sessions were taken from the mid and late '90s, the project has the optimistic sheen of the synthesized world pop fusions of that era, led by a group of fiery vocalists that includes Gabriel himself.