12 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drawing from Afro-Cuban music, indigenous traditions, and other styles, the Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab had a great run from 1970 until their breakup in the late ‘80s. The group reformed in 2001 and their 2008 release, Made in Dakar, is delightful. The album presents new tunes and reworkings of older material, but the result is timeless rather than nostalgic. Assane Mboup, Balla Sidibe, Rudy Gomis, and the other vocalists sing in Wolof, Malinke, Portuguese Creole, and French. Made in Dakar opens with “Papa Ndiaye,” which finds Mboup accompanied by a Cuban rhythm and vocal harmonies that bring to mind ’70s California Latin rock. “Cabral” rides a guajira groove and pays homage to another important West African figure, Amilcar Lopes Cabral, who helped lead nearby Guinea-Bissau to independence from Portugal. Youssou N’Dour, one of the most popular artists to emerge from Senegal, shares vocal duties with Mboup on “Nijaay.” As guitars and saxes solo and weave, the two singers give voice to yet another tribute—this time to the band members’ wives.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drawing from Afro-Cuban music, indigenous traditions, and other styles, the Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab had a great run from 1970 until their breakup in the late ‘80s. The group reformed in 2001 and their 2008 release, Made in Dakar, is delightful. The album presents new tunes and reworkings of older material, but the result is timeless rather than nostalgic. Assane Mboup, Balla Sidibe, Rudy Gomis, and the other vocalists sing in Wolof, Malinke, Portuguese Creole, and French. Made in Dakar opens with “Papa Ndiaye,” which finds Mboup accompanied by a Cuban rhythm and vocal harmonies that bring to mind ’70s California Latin rock. “Cabral” rides a guajira groove and pays homage to another important West African figure, Amilcar Lopes Cabral, who helped lead nearby Guinea-Bissau to independence from Portugal. Youssou N’Dour, one of the most popular artists to emerge from Senegal, shares vocal duties with Mboup on “Nijaay.” As guitars and saxes solo and weave, the two singers give voice to yet another tribute—this time to the band members’ wives.

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