Cheikh Lo: Lamp Fall (2006)
Lamp Fall is the first solo album in five years from one of Senegal's most treasured artists. Like all of his previous records, it was made on the road, in a nomadic way, as Lo spent the last five years travelling, soaking up sounds and rhythms, playing with local musicians, and recording in locations such as Dakar, London and Bahia. The result is pure magic. Besides the myriad of African forms, Lo's recording also draws upon various other influences, including flamenco, Cuban guajira, Brazillian samba, funk, reggae and dub. These sounds are best represented on tracks like "Sénégal Brésil," where Lo and Samba N'Dokh (playing the tama drum) are supported by a forty-drum Brazilian troupe; the opening "Sou," with its playful Brazilian sanfona accordion; and "Sante Yalla," with its Cuban leanings.
The songs on Lamp Fall are striking because of the soulfulness and spirituality they embody. On top of that, it's readily evident just how stunning and emotional Lo's voice can be. The reggae-inflected "Bamba Mo Woor" is a praise song for the founder of Mouridism, Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba. Apparently Lo is a Baye Fall, a member of a mystical brotherhood within the larger Islamic brotherhood of the Mourides, which helps give his music a transcedent spirituality.
With this recording Lo takes a journey through cities and villages known and unknown, seen and unseen. Each of the songs on Lamp Fall has a distinct power, drawing from many influences while keeping their heart planted firmly in Senegal.
Track Listing: Sou; Lamp Fall; Xale; Kelle Magni; Senegal-BR/Sil; Sante Yalla; Toogayu M'Bedd; N'Galula; Sama Kaani Xeen; Babma Mo Woor; Fattaliku Demb; Kelle Magni; Zikroulah.
Personnel: Lamine Faye, Adson Santana, Davi Moraes: guitar; Pee-Wee Ellis: saxophone; Erick Firmino, Etienne Mbappe: bass guitar; Samba N'Dokh: talking drum; Thio M'Baye: percussion.
Record Label: World Circuit