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Album Review

Baloba! digs deeper into theme of African-Latin unity. The grooves find ground that transcends ethnicities and geography. David Byrne has said that the "music of the African Diaspora has colonized the planet". Africando brings this point home in force. On this album, Africando taps the source of the Cuban sexteto tipico of the 1920's and 1930's. "Aicha" sung by Nicholas Menheim is a fine tuned salsa that is a dancer's delight. The changes are subtle and distinct. Dancers groove on change, subtle or sudden. The honey-habenero voice of Gnonnas Pedro keeps the flame hot with "Huenouhwo", utilizing tres guitar accompaniment. This chameleon group strikes at the heart of classic Cuban music of the 1950's and brings it to vital tropicality in the new millennium of 2000. Their mix of Senegalese Wolof-Spanish bridges the transatlantic gulf between mother Africa and the new world in a smooth danceable style that lives on and connects. Ronnie Baro's guaracha, "Guarachea mi Chula", is right in the pocket and puts out lots of heat. "Demal", sung by Nicholas Menheim, is a tasteful tres track, not only for the vocal but also for the guitar-trumpet-percussion interplay. "Aminata" features the Senegalese super-singer Laba Sosseh and it's a track that blisters with bright brass that harkens back to the Havana of the 1950's. Baloba! is a Yoruba exclamation that expresses something astonishing. Africando has produced another gem of an album. Highly recommended.


Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Africando represents a cross-cultural collaboration between top-ranked, New York-based, Latin musicians and African vocalists. While lyrics are sung in Yoruba, Wolof, Mandigo and French, the group's sizzling-hot dance rhythms blend classic mambo, Cuban son and mandigo traditions. Africando was initially drawn together by producers Ibrahima Sylba and Boncana Maiga. The group's debut album, Trovodor, released in 1993, featured the vocals of West Senegalese singers Pape Seck, Medoune Diallo and Nicolas...
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Baloba!, Africando
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