Dec 2, 2014

RhoDeo 1448 Roots

Hello,ok so currently my USB disks are playing up, in fact i have to disconnect them in order to get a quick Windows start but then when i connect them these drag the pc performance way down, ok could be a driver thing i suppose but my USB controllers have been a mess for some time on paper they all function in fact most are dead and function at a low level not the 3.0 that some should give. I get pop ups that my 2.0 external could perform better if i use the right port-sure but where is that one listed, besides this is a new pc i doubt i have any 1.1 USB ports, currently downloading some new drivers alas its taking forever in the free version of Driver Easy, have used driver max but feel they must have given me this slow disease..Guess i will do another clean install soon

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From inauspicious beginnings as the weekend house band at a Dakar club for government officials, Senegal's Orchestra Baobob, named for the club (which in turn took its name from the native baobob tree), went on to become one of the seminal bands of world music, with an influence that extended far beyond their national boundaries, throughout West Africa and into Europe. Put together by original leader and saxophonist Baro N'Diaye, the first version was a seven-piece group, three of them enticed away from Dakar's biggest band, the Star Band, who had a regular gig at Ibra Kasse's club. While they had a strong Cuban influence -- Cuban music had been a prevalent sound throughout West Africa since the '40s, imported by sailors and played on the radio -- Orchestra Baobob added African music, in large part from griot singer Laye M'Boup, who had a vast repertoire of Wolof material. It wasn't long before the new sound proved so popular that the group wasn't just entertaining on weekends, but every night of the week, being hailed on par with Guinea's legendary Bembeya Jazz for their fusion of sounds. Inevitably, personnel fluctuated and the new musicians brought their own influences, expanding the feel and range of the band with Maninke and Malinke songs, which became integrated into the whole. Perhaps the most important addition was singer Thione Seck, who took over the lead vocalist spot after the death of M'Boup in a 1974 car wreck (although several rumors concerning a jealous husband surrounded his death). They continued to play the Baobob Club regularly, but also entertained at state occasions, such as official New Year's Eve dances and even at the wedding of designer Pierre Cardin's daughter in Paris. Finally, the Baobob Club closed in 1979 (some histories say 1977) and the band went on to make their home at the Ngalam nightclub (or the Djandeer Club, according to some historians). Also during this time, they tried to make their mark in Europe by traveling to Paris in 1978. They recorded On Vera Ca: The 1978 Paris Sessions, one of their best discs and certainly the best-produced, although it leaned too heavily on their Spanish-language material. Other than that, the trip proved to be a disaster, losing money, and they returned home. At the beginning of the '80s, they were indisputably Senegal's biggest band, commanding fees of about $4,500 for a single show. They recorded regularly (two albums, Mouhamadou Bamba and Sibou Odia were edited into Bamba, a 1983 U.S. release), and continued to stretch their limits by bringing in more African influence, which reached its height with the classic Pirates Choice of 1982. But change was on the horizon; their time was beginning to fade as another alumnus of the Star Band, young Youssou N'Dour, was bringing out a new, energetic sound called mbalax, which quickly electrified Dakar and made the more languid Orchestra Baobob seem old and dated. They tried to compete by updating their sound, but it didn't work. Even the 1985 introduction of two female singers didn't change the situation and by 1987, Orchestra Baobob had disbanded. However, everything comes full circle and in 2001, with the European reissue of an expanded Pirates Choice (2002 U.S.), Orchestra Baobob, older and wiser, re-formed and played dates around the globe, going into the studio to make a new album -- produced by the man responsible for their fall from grace, Youssou N'Dour.


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The opening "Mouhamadou Bamba" is simply astounding -- the way the feathery introductory guitar trills by Barthelemy Attisso and the ragged-but-melt-in-your-ear harmonies supporting Thione Seck's heart-wrenching vocal lead that drop you into Charles N'Diaye's reggae lope bassline pushing up is simply glorious. And when those "bamba, bamba" backing vocals start dropping in behind Seck after 45 seconds, just forget it. "Mouhamadou Bamba" shifts mid-song into devoted testifying before a rocking guitar solo and fall-apart ending closes out six-and-a-half minutes of brilliant music. The rockin' side of Orchestra Baobab dominates Bamba, which combines the Senegalese group's Mouhamadou Bamba and Sibou Odia albums from 1980 and 1981. It's much louder and liver sounding -- the voices laced with echo, N'Diaye's bass and Papa Ba's rhythm guitar more prominent in the mix, and Attisso brought in his noise toys and gets rowdy. The band sounds confident and in their prime -- the riffs are more thoroughly worked out, mixing solo sax on "Doomou Baye" in with guitar and voices to change the emphasis, or playing the horn section riffs off the vocal harmonies. The trademark galloping rhythm guitar is fully evident on "Boulmamine," while clarinet pops up on "Ndiawolou" as Attisso goes the crystalline solo route again with some Issa Cissokho tenor sax interjections. "Gnawou" and "Autorail" both work off a rhythm riff very close to the Ritchie Valens "La Bamba" -- Cissokho's sax shines on the former -- and the jaunty "Sou Sedhiou" features clopping drums underneath more good sax and guitar solos. "Ndiambaane" may be a little lightweight to justify its nine minutes, but not "Sibou Odia," a great 14-minute stretch-out with the percussion percolating with far more drive than the Orchestra Baobab norm. It gives Attisso a chance to play with more guitar tone-altering toys -- he still sounds like he's discovering sounds for the first time, yet it's unfailingly musical -- and he rips off some great solos over Papa Ba's rocksteady gallop. It seems strange to say that a rhythm guitarist might be the real star of a 14-minute jam (and maybe the entire album), but his foundation simply never falters. And it's just as odd that most world music critics dismiss Bamba, but then they tend to like their African music with the root influences showing clearly and not overly rocking and rowdy. Bamba is simply a great album and the perfect place for rock-oriented listeners to enter the world of Orchestra Baobab...or the whole realm of West African pop music, for that matter.



Orchestra Baobab - Bamba  (flac  397mb)

1 - 5 from the album Mouhamadou Bamba
01 Mouhamadou Bamba 6:34
02 Boulmamime 5:54
03 Ndiawolou 6:35
04 Doomou Baaye 6:38
05 Gnawou 6:31
Track 6 - 10 from the album Sibou Odia
06 Bon Bon I 4:08
07 Autorail 6:59
08 Sou Sedhiou 6:14
09 Ndiambaane 9:05
10 Sibou Odia 13:41

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The reissue of this 1982 classic -- so named because the album from the Senegalese band was pirated all over West Africa -- is a thing of beauty, especially considering a whole other album of six more tracks comes appended to the remastered original. So what makes it a classic and worthy of reissue 20 years on? It's all about the music, a marvelous mix of Cuban and West African that stood at the crossroads before Senegal developed its trademark m'balax sound. And so the rhythms are redolent of Cuba -- whose musical influence on West Africa extended back to the 1940s -- while other sounds, like the tenor sax of Issa Cissoko, are pure Senegal with its thick Wolof influence. Of particular note are the four vocalists, who sing in a mixture of Spanish and Wolof. Some of the tunes themselves are reworkings of Cuban material, while the wonderful "Utrus Horas" comes from Guinea Bissau, and "Soldadi" has its origins at home in Senegal. Both are given a slow, smoldering treatment, with some spare, lovely guitar from Barthelemy Attisso. The additional tracks (originally released on cassette in Senegal in 1982, but which have never seen the light of day elsewhere) come from the same session, but explore slightly different directions -- "Toumaranke" has a decidedly carnival atmosphere, although its theme (sung in Mandinka) is homesickness, while "Balla Daffe" is something of a percussion-fest. For many years this has been one of the treasured releases of world music. Now it's back in print, and everyone can understand why it's been so revered.



Orchestra Baobab - Pirates Choice  (flac  529mb)

01 Utru Horas 8:39
02 Coumba 7:42
03 Ledi Ndieme M'bodj 8:54
04 Werente Serigne 6:44
05 Ray M'bele 6:57
06 Soldadi 8:03

07 Ngalam 9:31
08 Toumaranke 6:58
09 Foire Internationale 7:41
10 La Rebellionn 7:54
11 Ndiaga Niaw 7:42
12 Balla Daffe 7:18

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Hot on the heels of the recently reissued 1982 classic Pirate's Choice, the Orchestra Baobab recently re-formed to deliver an update to its signature Afro-Cuban sound. Unlike music of the same name which comes from the diaspora traditions of Cuba, Baobab goes at it the other way around. Whereas traditional Afro-Cuban music reflects the West African roots of the Cuban people, this version arose from a direct reflection across the Atlantic. During the '50s, Caribbean music hit hard in countries like Senegal and Ghana. Claves, timbales, and maracas became standard fare during the birth of Highlife music. Musical forms changed; new harmonies and vocals reflected this cross-cultural pollination.

In the '80s, Orchestra Baobab was the most popular band in Senegal. Its music was fundamentally affable.

Those Senegalese roots refuse to die, and that's what gives this music its characteristic color. West African guitar styles, born from highlife, criss-cross and intersect in a decidedly rhythmic fashion. The vocals, which quite frequently veer into Buena Vista Social Club territory, still retain a folk element. Senegalese singing has a certain level of intensity, a certain minimalist searing energy, which can never be sublimated. You can't listen to "Ndongoy Daara" without feeling you've come close to vocalist Assane Mboup's heart. No way.

That said, Specialist In All Styles has an unswerving sense of raw celebration. Each tune, whether salsa or son or another flavor, begs the listener to get up on his feet and dance. Even the protest tune "Ndongoy Daara" has a fresh, lilting feel. Ten minutes later, the massive "El Son Te Llama" brings guajira into a direct collision with mbalax, and in the process comes right down to roots. Pure groove. With "Gnawoe," you find yourself somewhere between the island and Veracruz, easy guitar solos connecting the dots. But don't look here for extended improvisation; the spirit of thie music is pure dance.

For a band that's been dormant so long, this awakening is a welcome event. Great music often comes from a collision of styles, and more than four decades after Cuban music hit Senegal, the mixture remains at a boil.



Orchestra Baobab - Specialist In All Styles  (flac  317mb)

01  Bul Ma Miin 6:02
02 Sutu Kun 5:30
03 Dee Moo Weer 4:16
04 Jiin Ma Jiin Ma 6:03
05 Ndongoy Daara 5:19
06 On Verra Ca 4:56
07 Hommage a Tonton Ferrer 5:52
08 El Son Te Llama 5:25
09 Gnawoe 6:21

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4 comments:

bobbysu said...

thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Could you reupload Pirate's Choice? All the servers are down.

Steffen said...

Thank you.

MAS said...

Could you reup this album
Orchestra Baobab - Bamba (flac 397mb)