African Jazz

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

AFRICAN JAZZ

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Jama Ko

Read "Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Jama Ko" reviewed by Chris May

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni BaJama KoOut/Here2013Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate and his band, Ngoni Ba's third album continues the increasingly outward-looking trajectory of its predecessors. The debut, the lovely Segu Blue (Out/Here, 2007), was unadorned roots music. Its follow-up, the more visceral I Speak Fula (Out/Here, 2010), wove amplification into what was still basically an acoustic sound and, on two tracks, featured Vieux Farka Toure, son of Ali Farka Toure, on electric ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab and Guinea’s Authenticite Movement Show Their Roots

Read "Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab and Guinea’s Authenticite Movement Show Their Roots" reviewed by Chris May

Sterns Music's lovingly put-together compilations of work by stars of Francophone West African music's “belle époque“--the decade and a half accompanying and immediately following the independence years of the 1960s--are now digging further into history with releases featuring more obscure, but just as entrancing, figures from that era. For different reasons, Senegalese singer and songwriter Ablaye Ndiaye Thiossane, and Guinean singer, guitarist and ngoni player Sory Kandia Kouyaté, have not been celebrated outside Africa like Mali's Rail ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

Owiny Sigoma Band: Rising From The East

Read "Owiny Sigoma Band: Rising From The East" reviewed by Chris May

Owiny Sigoma BandOwiny Sigoma BandBrownswood Recordings2011 Along with its close neighbors, Tanzania and Uganda, Kenya--as viewed from Europe or North America--is one of the final frontiers in African music. Indirectly, this is the result of the decades-long, overwhelming impact of Zairean rumba on east Africa, and its fall-out. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Zairean emigré bands dominated the Kenyan scene, discouraging the emergence of indigenous styles; only taarab, the Muslim ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

Compilations: Doing The Right Thing

Read "Compilations: Doing The Right Thing" reviewed by Chris May

Double-albums of classic Congolese and South African recordings demonstrate the right and the wrong ways to go about compilations. Tabu Ley RochereauThe Voice Of Lightness Vol. 2: Congo Classics 1977-1993Sterns2010 From its inception, everything about Sterns' compilation program has been pitch-perfect. Curated by enthusiasts with deep knowledge of their subjects, who assemble collections which balance greatest hits with more obscure material, Sterns' compilations are exemplary. The care with which they ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

The Majestic “Return” of King Sunny Ade & His African Beats

Read "The Majestic “Return” of King Sunny Ade & His African Beats" reviewed by Chris May

King Sunny AdeBaba Mo TundeIndigeDisc2010 A leading exponent of Nigerian juju music since the late 1970s, and in 2010 still the most sought after live artist for expatriate Nigerians in Europe and north America, vocalist and guitarist King Sunny Ade once rivalled Afrobeat's Fela Kuti and Zairean rumba's Franco with the frequency of his album releases. Between 1975 and 1984, Ade and his band, the African Beats, released over 40 albums domestically, ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

Senegal's Etoile de Dakar featuring Youssou N'Dour and south London's Yaaba Funk

Read "Senegal's Etoile de Dakar featuring Youssou N'Dour and south London's Yaaba Funk" reviewed by Chris May

The birth of mbalax in Senegal towards the close of the 1970s, and a 2010 highlife/funk hybrid from south London, show how the embrace of imported styles by African musicians can enrich the continent's music.

Etoile de Dakar featuring Youssou N'Dour Once Upon a Time in Senegal: The Birth of Mbalax 1979-1981 Sterns 2010

Digging into Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour's back catalogue is a fun exercise on two fronts. The ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: I Speak Fula

Read "Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: I Speak Fula" reviewed by Chris May

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba I Speak Fula Sub Pop! 2010 Much has been made of the symbiosis between traditional Malian and roots North American musics, of which the “desert blues" of guitarist Ali Farka Toure (1939-2006) provides convincing evidence. Any remaining doubts about west African savannah-belt culture as a primary source of blues, country and rock'n'roll styles are blown out of the water by I Speak Fula, the truly awesome second ...


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