marabi africa

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Vieux Farka Toure; Vieux Farka Toure (World Village) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Vieux Farka Toure; Vieux Farka Toure (World Village) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In the Western world the offspring of famous musicians often have a hard time if they choose to follow in the footsteps of their parents: witness the case of Julian and Sean Lennon. But in other cultures, notably in India and parts of the African continent, there is not only an acceptance but an expectation that children will take up the same...

Toufic Farroukh: Tootya (Ode)

Toufic Farroukh: Tootya (Ode)

World music purists will moan that there is very little "authentic" about this album by Lebanese saxophonist Farroukh and they may well be right: the sessions in Paris doubtless account for the slightly synthetic and polished quality, and the clubland feel of some tracks. But . . . . With the core of the recordings seeming to...

Various: The Rough Guide to North African Cafe (Rough Guide/Elite)

Various: The Rough Guide to North African Cafe (Rough Guide/Elite)

About two decades ago in a parody of Jon Landau's famous comment about Bruce Springsteen I wrote a world music column which started, "I have seen rock and roll's future, and it is North African". By way of supporting evidence I noted rock people's love of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir and other such things, and firmly believed then -- as...

Papa Noel: Bana Congo presents Papa Noel (Tumi/Elite)

Papa Noel: Bana Congo presents Papa Noel (Tumi/Elite)

Congolese rumba (or its pop imitations) accounts for around 70% of all music bought by Africans in Africa, a measure of the impact that the touring Cuban rumba bands of the Forties made, and how pervasive their horn-driven sound has become. Papa Noel is a veteran of the Golden Age of Rumba in the Forties and Fifites, and his guitar sound...

Various: Marabi Africa (Marabi/Ode)

Various: Marabi Africa (Marabi/Ode)

This excellent 17-track compilation is an ideal introduction to the diverse and exciting music coming out of various parts of Africa these days. It also opens with Nebine, the best track off that thrilling album Nour by the Mauritanian singer Malouma (see tag) whose electrifying Sahara blues is giving Tinariwen a run for their money in the...

Cesaria Evora: Rogamar (RCA)

Cesaria Evora: Rogamar (RCA)

One of my London-based sons is just back from three weeks on the various Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa. I shall quote him: "loads of swimming, hiking and taking in the traditional island music . . . had a great time meeting villagers as you make your way down the track with many inviting you into their huts to offer...

Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit/Elite)

Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit/Elite)

The reissue six years ago of this Senegalese band's 1982 sessions Pirate's Choice thrust this exceptional outfit into the world music spotlight where it remains to shine and gleam. They released the equally good Specialists in All Styles five years ago and have played to wide accclaim for their rocking rhumba and laidback late-night styles...

Various: Musiques Metisses: Le Sahel (Marabi)

Various: Musiques Metisses: Le Sahel (Marabi)

When the Buena Vista Social Club burst into public consciousness every major record company starting looking at its catalogue -- and wondrous to report, they too had recorded Cuban artists down the decades! Suddenly Cuban music was everywhere. The sceptical among us might look at this compilation of "desert blues" from the Sahara...

Natacha Atlas and the Mazeeka Ensemble: Ana Hina (World Village)

Natacha Atlas and the Mazeeka Ensemble: Ana Hina (World Village)

The great Natacha Atlas first came to my attention two decades ago when I was in England and she was guesting on albums by TransGlobal Underground, a multicultural London-based outfit that brought together trip-hop, techno, Middle Eastern and Indian sounds. Anything with Atlas employing her remarkable voice was an absolute winner and I...

Various: Marabi Africa 2 (Marabi)

Various: Marabi Africa 2 (Marabi)

The first compilation Marabi Africa won plaudits at Elsewhere because, if nothing else, Marabi was the label which brough the great Malouma to world attention -- and so this sequel commands attention immediately. Once more there is an impressively broad but coherent cross-section of artists represented, some of whom have appeared at...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate: Ali and Toumani (World Circuit)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate: Ali and Toumani (World Circuit)

When the great guitarist Ali Farka Toure from Mali died in late 2005 he left an exceptional legacy of wonderful albums, not the least being the exceptional In the Heart of the Moon with kora player Toumani Diabate. That album was why sites like Elsewhere exist (J.Lo hardly needs our help. right?) Their mesmerising music was like a portal...

Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)

Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)

Just as John Mayall's bands spawned others when players left the ranks, so it seems the desert blues out of the sub-Sahara is an ever-flowering plant: this group -- which formed in 2001 -- contains two former members of Tinariwen and inevitably work in a not dissimilar musical territory. This is their third album so they are dogging very...

Nuru Kane: Sigil (Riverboat)

Nuru Kane: Sigil (Riverboat)

Raised in Dakar, Kane often sounds like a Mississippi bluesman in the solo tracks here. At other times with his small band he bridges North Africa with trancelike music not dissimilar to that of the Gnawa of Morocco then looping back to his birthplace and Senegalese music. Quite the world citizen, he lived in Paris in the late 90s, played...

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