It's unclear what is supposed to unite the tracks on Ouelele, an eclectic anthology of African and African-derived music, aside from the announcement in the too-sparse liner notes that all the tracks are "rare" and "obscure." But there is a theme here, intentional or not: All these songs -- from 12 different artists from the late '60s to the late '90s -- fuse Africa's native music with the jazz and funk devised by the descendants of Africans living in the West. And so we have South African Letta M'Bulu's "What's Wrong With Groovin'," which swings as much as it grooves; Henri Guéon's "Volcano," which marries Antillean drums to American brass; and "World War IV" by Antibalas, a band that plays hardcore Afrobeat -- in New York City. By the time Smahila and the S.B.'s concluded the nearly 19-minute "African Movement," it wasn't clear just who was being channeled, Fela Kuti or James Brown. There are no weak tracks on this album, but the best is "Unity" by Philip Cohran and the African Heritage Ensemble. From a droning, hypnotic violin line, Cohran builds a piece that would sound equally at home a million years in the past and a million years in the future.