Lullabies have been around about as long as humanity itself, a way of soothing children and sending them to sleep -- a form of protection, if you will, and reassurance. They're not limited to any one culture, as this album firmly demonstrates; they're very much a global form. A number of the lullabies here are traditional, like "Drume Negrita," an Afro-Cuban song from Omara Portuando, or Anghjula Potentini and the Corsican "Ciucciarella," both of which share the same mood. The late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré recorded several times with kora genius Toumani Diabaté, and one fruit of that collaboration, "Naweye Toro," fits perfectly here, soft and dreamy, but on further listening, it reveals a complex musical conversation that's satisfying on many levels. Moving to more contemporary sounds, Brazil's Axial have traces of their native land, along with Haiti, some gentle electronica, and found sound in "Torre Das Mercês," a superb modern-day lullaby. From Israel to Armenia, Madagascar to the U.S., Colombia to Zimbabwe, the music offers perfect proof that the lullaby is very much a living musical art form. The bonus disc from Zimbabwe's Black Umfolosi 5 fits perfectly with its lulling a cappella sound.