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Made in Dakar

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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.


Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

From inauspicious beginnings as the weekend house band at a Dakar club for government officials, Senegal's Orchestra Baobob, named for the club (which in turn took its name from the native baobob tree), went on to become one of the seminal bands of world music, with an influence that extended far beyond their national boundaries, throughout West Africa and into Europe. Put together by original leader and saxophonist Baro N'Diaye, the first version was a seven-piece group, three of them enticed away...
Full Bio
Made in Dakar, Orchestra Baobab
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Oct 15, 2007

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