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Album Review

Martina, Africando's sixth studio album, continues the group's unique take on African and classic Cuban styles. The group hasn't dropped a beat and this album is a testimony to its staying power. This is helped by a continual injection of new talent built on a solid foundation of some of the best African, Latin, and Antillean musicians performing in the business. The album is a tribute to the eternal African woman and it's a potent homage that churns up the African-Latin musical waters quite a bit. Ismaël Lo's "Lote Lo" is a finely crafted ballad to a recently deceased friend. His voice brings another dimension to this already talent-packed super group. Congolese legends, Nyboma and Emeneya stir it up on Papa Wemba's "Reference." The inimitable Gnonnas Pedro of Benin recreates his "Azo Nkplon" from the 1970s with gusto to spare. Tabou Combo's Shoubou turns in a fine mid-tempo exhortation to all the youth of the world. Senegal's Seka pushes it higher with his "Dioumte" replete with fiery keyboard work. A better tribute to Mama Africa would be difficult to find. Africando does it with an enormously gifted cast of musicians. At one time or another, there are over 45 musicians on Martina and there's no stopping them. This is highly recommended.


Genre: Salsa y 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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Martina, Africando
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