El Hadj N'Diaye: Geej (Marabi)

 |   |  <1 min read

El Hadj N'Diaye: Cheick Anta Diop
El Hadj N'Diaye: Geej (Marabi)

This Senegalese singer-guitarist (here recorded in Paris) has one of those mesmerisingly soulful voices which, even though you probably don't understand a word, pulls you in.

His lyrics address social issues (if translating avec mon rudimentary Francaise est bien) -- but you get that from the emotion he pours into the words.

French producers often like to polish up musicians from the region and here you get fretless bass, electric guitar, sax and cello -- but these are all kept well in check and remain mercifully in service of the song.

There is also kora and N'Diaye's acoustic guitar to keep matters very grounded, and everywhere the song emerging from the vocals remains the focus. That aching voice, the repeated rhythmic phrases, the discreet touches of instrumental embellishment . . . .

it's a persuasive mix and the effect (as on the solo title track) can be quite moving.

Not a name that trips lightly off the tongue, but the music certainly comes easily and repeatedly from the stereo.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Federico Aubele: Amatoria (Border)

Federico Aubele: Amatoria (Border)

This New York-based Argentinean singer-songwriter goes straight for the heart with barely sung ballads which ride gentle electronica soundbeds and acoustic guitars, with soft vocals (and some lady... > Read more

Ali Farka Toure: Savane (World Circuit/Elite)

Ali Farka Toure: Savane (World Circuit/Elite)

The late Toure was one of the greatest singer-songwriters to emerge out of the musically fertile region around Mali in the last century. The area -- from which numerous slaves were taken to the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mark Knopfler: Why the long face, son?

Mark Knopfler: Why the long face, son?

When former Dire Straits man Mark Knopfler came to New Zealand to play in 2005 I read the interview in the Herald about his terrible motorcycle accident . . . and burst out laughing. Not... > Read more

HOLLIE SMITH INTERVIEWED (2011): Are friends electronica?

HOLLIE SMITH INTERVIEWED (2011): Are friends electronica?

In Berlin it's 8.15am so a yawning Hollie Smith is forgivably vague about where her friends Electric Wire Hustle played last night. And she is also on holiday, despite having a new album Band of... > Read more