Noa and the Solis String Quartet Live in Israel April 28, 2005 Ahinoam Nini (better known as Noa to her fans outside of Israel) has added a sure-fire anthology to record store shelves. â€œMishaelaâ€, â€œSheâ€, â€œEye in the Skyâ€, and â€œUriâ€ are just a sampling of the 24 songs included in this collection. Nini born in Israel, raised in the US, and now an Israeli resident began her singing career at the age of three, in front of her parents, standing on a table with a carrot for a microphone. Her audiences have since included the late Pope John Paul II, former US president Bill Clinton, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Nini regularly headlines her own events but has also shared the stage with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Sting, Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana, among others. Deemed the best-selling Israeli internationally, a title once held by the late Ofra Haza, Nini told The Jerusalem Post she tries not â€œto put labels on myself." "I definitely try not to compare myself to anybody. I just try to judge my achievements within my own scale of happiness and joy and friendship and all the things that are truly important to me,â€ Nini says. She plays to the alternative music scene both here and abroad, and even though a number of her songs have Jewish themes, most of her fans are not Jewish. Set to Yemenite and Middle Eastern music, Nini has said she prefers to write her songs in English. In this collection, Nini croons in English, Hebrew and Spanish. Her music collaborator, guitarist Gil Dor, as well as her regular percussionist Zohar Fresco, feature here as her back-up with Adi Rennert on piano and Flugel horn and Ilan Mochiach doing arrangements. The Solis String Quartet is a welcomed guest. Though a recorded version of a live concert, Niniâ€™s energy and passion seep out. Korin Allal The Best of NMC record label continues with its Best Of series, adding Korin Allal to its roster. The awardwinning composer/singer is an important part of Israelâ€™s musical landscape. In 2003 ACUM (non-profit corporation that oversees the rights of authors, composers, lyricists, poets, arrangers and music publishers in Israel) awarded her with a life achievement prize for her compositions over the course of nearly three decades. Israelâ€™s answer to Melissa Etheridge, Marianne Faithfull, and Laurie Anderson, Allal offers up on this double-CD her signature guitar-driven melodies with a rock edge. This collection includes hits from all eight of her albums, including the songs â€œMotekâ€, â€œMa Haperachâ€, and â€œEee Sham Balevâ€. This two-disc album also includes two songs in French â€œPerfect World/Ce Monde Parfaitâ€ and â€œLe Deâ€™jeuner Du Matinâ€ in French. Allal said it took years for her dormant French muse to wake up. The Tunisian born, 50-year-old singer who moved to Israel as a child, told The Jerusalem Post last year that months before her son was born, â€œI realized I was going to be a mother and suddenly French stories from my childhood bubbled up.â€ â€œCe Monde Parfaitâ€ is from last yearâ€™s album, The Blue Color of the Sky, while â€œLe Deâ€™jener Du Matinâ€ is from her album, Antarctica. Allal fans may argue whether the 37 songs included here are her â€˜best ofâ€™ as she has hundreds in her collection yet thereâ€™s no contention over her talent.