I'm afraid I am one of those cynics that gets Bueno Vista shivers with every release of yet another 'new' Baobab CD. I mean, like those soneros from Cuba, I really like the music they made when the world wasn't watching, but I can't get the same emotion from their reheated offerings.
I don't mean they shouldn't be 'reaping' what they have been 'sowing', - even if this was decades ago.
I have been trying to analyse the reasons for my allergy, and - although I am still working at it - I have an idea that it must have something to do with pretension. Or the absence of presumptuousness, the 'unpretentiousness', that appeals to me in those original recordings.
Take the tracks on this cassette, for example. Recorded almost casually, and no doubt 'live'. I am sure the musicians in these recordings had no idea they would be 'cult heroes' thirty years later.
How else can one croon a song like "Baobab" in hispano-, eh... something?
This cassette has it all: from the guitar of Attisso and the sax of Cissokho to the vocal range of Medoune Diallo (mature), Balla Sidibé & Rudy Gomis (harmonic) and teenager Thione Seck. My guess is that these recordings are from the late 1970s. Unlike the later "A Paris" recordings, the focus in this cassette is on versions of Senegalese traditionals.
And great versions they are too!
Bellot Records C 3805 (new link Febr. 22, 2012)
PS: If you want more information about the group, there are several biographies available (here's one).
Liner Notes: Episode 13: Something about Mady
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