To me this was a key album in discovering the music of Senegal. It opened a completely new perspective. I was happy to see this perspective later confirmed by the wonderful CD's on the Dakar Sound label, - and especially the volume with the Sorano Singers (DKS 002).
This record, credited on the back of the sleeve to the Ensemble Instrumental de L'A.C.A.S. (Association Culturelle et Artistique du Senegal??), features some of the Greats of Senegalese traditional music. It starts with the vocal power of Amadou N'Diaye Samb, a man who seems to come from a time before microphones and amplification was invented.
He is followed by Lalo Keba Dramé, kora legend from the Casamance. With his forceful, coppery voice he sings the classic Manding song "Alalake" ("If God wills (it)"). If you think kora music is sheepish music for dreamy types, listen to Lalo Keba Dramé, - he will change your view for ever.
The song that finished me off, when it came to the change of perspective, was the opening track of side B by the legendary Samba Diabaré Samb. Both instrumentally and vocally this song touches emotional strings left untouched by the vast majority of western music.
I'm not going to discuss all the songs of this great lp individually. I leave you to discover the wonders offered here. But with a promise of more, in a future post.....
Liner Notes: Episode 6: Congolese Divas
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