Koo Nimo: Highlife Roots Revival (Riverboat)

 |   |  <1 min read

Koo Nimo: See Wo Nom Me
Koo Nimo: Highlife Roots Revival (Riverboat)

An educated man who studied science in London in the Sixties and spent two years as a professor of ethnomusicology in Seattle in the late Nineties, 78-year old Koo Nimo from Ghana also immersed himself in the Western classical tradition and is a fan of Thelonious Monk's complex jazz compositions and flamenco, the latter two evident in his deft guitar work.

He is however part of the continuum from the palm wine days of the Forties and Fifties and these narrative songs have an engrossing quality -- although most listeners will not being able to understand a word of his Twi language, of course. (Like, you did with Buena Vista?)

Recorded in the yard of this septuagenerian's home in Ghana (hence the occasional background noise of animals and kids), these emotionally direct songs – where his voice and guitar remain central despite percussion and vocal assistance – may speak across the generations for their elemental nature, but Nimo is no untutored talent.

Despite first impressions of simplicity, there is a sophistication to the rhythms, interweave of acoustic guitar, Nimo's conversational singing style, the tick-tock percussion and the background vocals.

Rootsy, but also a genuine tapestry of sound which is easy and affecting – and further evidence that age shall not weary some.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Barbara Carlotti: Les Lys Brises (4AD)

Barbara Carlotti: Les Lys Brises (4AD)

Sounding somewhere between a wide awake Claudine Longet (who was so whispery you often wondered if she was singing or snoozing) and the cool, indifferent tone of Nico, this 32-year old Parisian... > Read more

Various: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Gold (Rough Guide/Elite)

Various: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Gold (Rough Guide/Elite)

More scholarly heads than mine would able to discuss whether this 15-track collection is a fair reflection of the Bollywood scene: but it certainly contains the big names like Asha Bhosle (two... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SPOTLIGHT ON SYDNEY ART GALLERIES (2009): Small and sometimes imperfectly formed

SPOTLIGHT ON SYDNEY ART GALLERIES (2009): Small and sometimes imperfectly formed

For a quiet suburban street in Waterloo where small workshops sit alongside brick homes and the occasional eatery, there are a few meters of Sydney’s Danks Street fascinating for their art --... > Read more

VODAFONE NZ MUSIC AWARDS/NGĀ TOHU PUORO O AOTEAROA FINALISTS 2019: I'd like to thank . . .

VODAFONE NZ MUSIC AWARDS/NGĀ TOHU PUORO O AOTEAROA FINALISTS 2019: I'd like to thank . . .

And let the discussions begin. The finalists for this year's Vodafone NZ Music Awards to take place at Spark Arena on Thursday November 4 have just been announced. We bring you here the... > Read more