Sunday, May 25, 2008

Orchestra Baobab - Made in Dakar (Nonesuch, 2008)

A longstanding band from Senegal that combines local music styles with Caribbean music as well as R&B, they create a hypnotic blend of musical styles. Some of the tracks have an easygoing and swinging tone with bubbling guitar and percussion. The guitar in particular has a unique vividness and brightness in it's tone, grabbing your attention line a neon sign on a dark night. Throbbing bass keeps the bottom in constant motion, like the great rock solid bassists of the classic Motown sessions of the past, it is locked into the complex and ever shifting drums and percussion that drives the music. Trumpets and saxophones riff and comment on the music throughout, occasionally breaking through for solos. You don't kneed to understand the Wolof language to understand the stories being told by the vocalists who sing beautifully and with great emotion. This was a wonderful and consistently enjoyable album, and anyone looking to broaden their musical horizons is urged to check it out.

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