Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back to Where it All Started: West Africa

And so ladies and gentlemen, tonight we place the final piece of the great African musical puzzle into place. 

I first came to African music through West Africa and the immediately addicting sounds of Fela Kuti.  From the moment I heard Zombie I’ve been a hopeless Fela devotee. I saw him once in Minneapolis in the late 80s on a double bill with Jimmy Cliff!  Talk about overdose!

As devotees are wont to do, they become ‘one-eyed’ for their chosen hero and rarely see the glory of others around them. And so it was for me. It was years before I left the shores of Afrobeat to explore other pools like juju and highlife.  Several more years went by before I stumbled upon Ali Farka Toure and when I did I again became stuck in a rut. I sucked up everything by Mr Toure but didn’t much care about sounding out others from Mali or other parts of West Africa.

Well eventually it happened. The dams burst.  And ever since I’ve relished letting the musics, rhythms and crooning of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, the Gambia, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire wash over me. I never get tired of it. Just the opposite, I can’t seem to get enough. Thanks to dozens of far out blogs and other sites (check out the sidebar to your right, if you haven’t yet) the stunning music of West Africa seems a long way from being lost to our human heritage.

So enjoy this truly exquisite final series from the Sterns box on 50 Years of African Music.  But be warned: don’t put it on before bed…you’ll never get up for work tomorrow.

            Track Listing (disc one):
            01 Ghana Freedom (Ghana) [E.T. Mensah]
02 Gambia Su Nous Raew (Gambia) [Super Eagles]
03 Armée Guinéenne (Guinea)[Bembeya Jazz National]
04 Heavy Heavy Heavy (Sierra Leone) [Geraldo Pino]
05 Souaressi (Guinea) [Sory Kandia Kouyate]
06 Music For Gong Gong (Ghana) [Osibisa]
07 Shakara [Fela Kuti]
08 Bukom Mashie [Oscal Sculley]
09 Sweet Mother [Prince Nico Mbarga]
10 Hwehwe Mu Na Yi Wo Mpena [K. Frimbong]
11 Jin Ma Jin Ma {Orchestra Baobab]

            Track Listing (disc two):
            01 Mandjou (Mali) [Salif Keita]
02 La Musica En Verite (Benin) [Gnonnas Pedro]
03 Taximen (Burkina Faso) [Amadou Balake]
04 Emma (Senegal) [Toure Kunda]
05 Brigadier Sabari (Ivory Coast) [Alpha Blondy]
06 Semassa Zero + Zero (Benin) [TP Poly Ritmo]
07 Immigres (Senegal) [Youssou N'Dour]
08 Tadieu Bone (Senegal) [Ismael Lo]
09 Yeke Yeke (Guinea) [Mory Kante]
10 Yiiri Yalo (Senegal) [Baaba Maal]
11 Ah Ndiya (Mali) [Oumou Sangare]
12 Dofana (Mali) [Ali Farka Toure]

            Track Listing (disc three):
            01 Bori (Niger) [Saadou Bori]
02 Yay Boy (Senegal) [Africando]
03 Mangercratie (Ivory Coast) [Tiken Jah Fakoly]
04 Baara (Mali) [Amadou and Mariam]
05 Generation Sacrifiee (Ivory Coast) [Les Salopards]
06 1er Gaou (Ivory Coast) [Magic System]
07 M'Bifo (Mali) [Rokia Traore]
08 Taouyah (Guinea) [Ba Cissoko]
09 Fanta Bourana (Mali) [Malouma]
10 Nebine (Mauritania) [Djelimady Tounkara]
11 Inside Religion (Nigeria) [Femi Kuti]
12 DJon Maya (Bukina Faso) [Victor Deme]
13 Le Guide De La Revolution (Mali) [Bako Dagnon]
14 N'Niyo (Guinea) [Mamdou Barry]
15 Afia (Benin) [Angelique Kidjo]


NGONI said...

According went over to check if I does not have some song, I noticed a small typo, nebine (Mauritania) corresponds to Malouma and Fanta Bourana(Mali) is for Djelimady Tounkara.


Many Many Thanks

ajnabi said...

@Ngoni...thank you for the correction!
@Lysergicfunk...more than welcome.

Anonymous said...

i have been following you for awhile but didn't got the time to thank you for so many delightful and illuminating windows you have generously open.
best and warm regards from mexico city!