Feb 3, 2015

RhoDeo 1505 Roots


A mixed bag of great musicians from Senegal and Gambia today, plenty to...N'Joy.
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An infectious blend of African, Latin, Brazilian, reggae, and pop rhythms have made Toure Kunda one of the most successful bands to come out of Senegal. Their album Paris Ziguinchor sold more than a quarter of a million copies while their guest harmonies helped to turn Africa Bamba into one of the most exciting songs on Santana's nine Grammy award-winning 1999 album, Supernatural. Initially based in the Casamance region of southwest Senegal, Toure Kunda was formed by brothers Amadou, Ismael, and Sixu Toure to perform at the traditional Senegalese coming of age ceremony, Djamba Dong. They added the name "Kunda" from the Sorinka word for "family." Although they played indigenous African instruments -- including kora, balafon, and sabar -- at first, Toure Kunda increasingly adopted western instruments including guitars, electric bass, and synthesizer. Relocating to Paris in 1979, Toure Kunda continued to stir audiences with a mbalax and reggae-influenced dance music that they dubbed "djambaadong." The group performed for Nelson Mandela during his first trip to France in 1982. Toure Kunda's performance for Mandela marked one of the original group's final shows. A year later, oldest brother and bandleader Amadou Toure was struck with a fatal heart attack. After performing a memorial concert and recording a tribute album, Amadou Tito, the remaining members agreed to continue working together. Younger brother Ousmane was added..

This live recording captures the great Senegalese band, TourĂ© Kunda, around the time of their finest recordings (Amadou-Tilo and Casamance au Clair de Lune) and offers some wonderful performances of their greatest hits, including “Salya” and “Emma.” Their accompanying musicians are out in full force, though with the exception of the occasional cheesy synthesizer fill, they’re largely reined in, providing the appropriately surging backdrop to the group’s scintillating vocal harmonies and driving West African percussion. Through rhythmic repetition, they were able to develop hypnotic and captivating pieces that were sometimes based on something as mundane as the introduction of bandmembers, a feature that occurs no less than three times over the course of this album but can go almost unnoticed in context. “Emma” is given perhaps its definitive performance here; the keening, poignant vocal line is rendered with heartbreaking directness and the loping rhythm provides just enough melancholic nostalgia. The recording quality is excellent throughout and the band is both as tight as necessary and as loose as one would want them to be. It’s a fine introduction to the group as it blends both their roots-oriented approach and their more overtly pop incarnations.

Toure Kunda - Live Paris-Ziguinchor  (flac  453mb)

01 Sol Mal 2:15
02 Baounane 6:29
03 Martyrs 5:58
04 Sidi Yella 5:40
05 Africa Lelly 7:36
06 Kambe 6:36
07 Sambala 9:00
08 Courrier 5:25
09 Casa Di Mansa 7:46
10 Salya 6:40
11 Utamada 4:16
12 E'mma 8:00

Toure Kunda - Live Paris-Ziguinchor  (ogg  193mb)

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The Super Eagles upon returning to the Gambia's musical roots, and they spent two years travelling around studying traditional music. The reformed band was called Ifang Bondi, and their style was Afro-Manding blues. Gambian Laba Sosseh, who relocated to Dakar, Senegal as a teenager, spent his entire career outside of the Gambia, becoming a significant presence in the African and New York salsa scene. Civil unrest caused Ifang Bondi and other Gambian musicians to leave for Europe.

Former Ifang Bondi musician Juldeh Camara has been working with Justin Adams since 2007 and has been touring all over the world. Also from Ifang Bondi, Musa Mboob and Ousman Beyai have started a new group XamXam which started with a project in the Gambia to produce new music by taking six musicians based in the UK to the Gambia to work with top musicians from four different tribal backgrounds.

Ifang Bondi was one of the most exciting bands to emerge from Gambia. With their vocal harmonies set to the interweaving melodies of kora, guitar and keyboards and dynamic rhythms, the group has quickly risen to the forefront of the Afromanding sound. Q magazine called their album, Gis Gis, released in 1998, "the best world music album of the year". Ifang Bondi, which translates as "be yourself" in the Fula language of the Fulani nomads, initially focused on the popular music of the western world. Beginning in the early-1970s, however, they switched their attention to their African roots. Representing the vision of bandleader Badou Jobe, formerly the bassist with the Super Eagles, Ifang Bondi also features Lin Diaw (guitar), Juldeh Camara (vocals), El Hadj Samb (lead vocals), Momodou Susa (kora, vocals, percussion), Ebou Gaye (African percussion, vocals) and Tafa Ndiaye (keyboards, Maniaye Diop drums). Members of the group also perform as Tiramakhan Ensemble, which showcases Susa's kora playing, and, Sabar Rek ("drums only"), which spotlights Ifang Bondi's drummers. In 1999, Jobe received a KORA All Africa Music Award as "Best Arranger", for his work on "Gis Gis."

Ifang Bondi - Gis Gis  (flac  411mb)

01 Kibaru (Badou Jobe) 5:35
02 Bayil2 (Badou Jobe) 7:45
03 Mansa Musolu (Badou Jobe) 6:16
04 Gis Gis (Badou Jobe) 4:38
05 Salimata (Juldeh Camara/Badou Jobe) 4:13
06 Munya Isi Balu (Badou Jobe) 7:14
07 Rab Yi (Badou Jobe) 7:58
08 Yolele (Badou Jobe) 7:38
09 Karo (Badou Jobe) 6:11
10 Nyu Baax Nyi (Lin Diaw/El Hadj Samb) 6:34
11 Jangjung Ba (Traditional) 5:26
12 Jangjung Cissoko (Traditional) 1:16

Ifang Bondi - Gis Gis  (ogg 187mb)

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Thione Ballago Seck (born March 12, 1955) is a Senegalese singer and musician in the mbalakh genre. Seck comes from a family of "griot" singers from the Wolof people of Senegal. His first job was with Orchestre Baobab, but he later formed his own band, Raam Daan, which he still heads. Despite a long and prolific career at home, and an astonishingly beautiful and sensual tenor voice, he is not well known outside his own country. His vocal style is steeped in his own Wolof griot tradition - he comes from a celebrated griot lineage - as well as the styles of Indian film song and Arabic music that he grew up listening to in Dakar.

His few international releases, such as Daaly (1997) feature the high-speed mbalax cluttered with frenetic keyboards and sabar drums, that has made him so popular with Senegalese audiences. But his voice is most glorious when in devotional or griot ballad mode, as on the wonderful "Mouhamadou Bamba" (1981) by Orchestra Baobab with Seck on guest vocals, and his acoustic album Chauffeur Bi from the early 80's. Orientation is his first international release since 1997, and is one of the most ambitious projects to come out of Africa in recent years, connecting the Wolof griot tradition, especially the ballads, not westwards but eastwards, on an unprecedented journey through Paris, Egypt and finally south India. And it really works - certainly as well as Youssou N'Dour's award-winning album Egypt, with which comparisons are inevitable. But Orientation uses a much wider oriental palette, with an explosive chemistry. Best of all is the gloriously luxuriant voice of Rehab, a young Egyptian female singer, coiling like a snake around Seck's impassioned vocals on "Yaye" and "Woyatina" over Wolof xalam (lute), sabar, Egyptian violins and qanun, and a female chorus. A long-awaited and profoundly fabulous album.

Seck's album Orientation was one of four nominated for BBC Radio 3's World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In much of his music, and notably on this album, Seck experiments with the use of Indian & Arabic scales. This supplements his laid back vocals and the band's intense sabar driven rhythms, and displaces the band's more usual guitars, horns, and synthesizers. This album was made in collaboration with a range of more than 40 North African, Arab, and Indian musicians, playing diverse instruments and creating a fusion of styles. Seck has stated that Bollywood films were a longstanding musical influence for him, and the experiment in a fusion style reflects this.

Thione Seck - Orientation  (flac  389mb)

01 Siiw (Celebrity) 4:45
02 Yaye (Mother) 5:58
03 Blain Djiqueul (The death of a close friend) 4:11
04 Woyatina (I am talking to you) 5:37
05 Mapenda (Tribute to a friend) 5:32
06 Manmignoul (Ode to the color black) 4:48
07 Ballago 5:25
08 Assalo (Candle games) 5:25
09 Mouhahibou (Sacred text) 5:13
10 Djirim (The orphan) 5:42
11 Doom (The child) 4:02
12 Mouhamadou Bamba 3:12

Thione Seck - Orientation  (ogg 154mb )

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