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ARTIST
TITLE
Afro Latin Via Dakar
FORMAT
2CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
SYLLART 3237562 SYLLART 3237562
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
4/12/2011

In the first half of the 20th century, European powers drew rough chalk lines to reorganize African borders and force development throughout the continent. Cities and ports bustled with new energy as electricity made its timid entrance. With the development of sea transport, 78s from America brought over by Latin American sailors, Cubans particularly, made a lasting influence on a new musical orientation all along the African coastlines. From town to town and port to port, Syllart's Via collection aims to explain the different musical fusions that happened between Cuban and African styles of music. From Dakar to Kinshasa, Conakry to Abidjan, Bamako, Cotonou and Brazzaville, Via speaks of permanently-evolving musical scenes, touched by candor, depth and spontaneity. This volume details the evolution of the Cuban influence in Dakar. Following their success as part of Dakar's Star Band, the Nigerian saxophonist Dexter Johnson and the Gambian singer Laba Sosseh developed their own repertoire. In 1965, they quit the orchestra and would eventually create the Super International Band, a historic orchestra composed of Senegalese musicians such as the percussionist Aziz, singer Pape Fall, guitarists Cheikhna Ndiaye and Laye Salla, singer Sada Ly and several Ivorian musicians. Unbridled and full of life, the Super International Band's version of "El Guanguanco," interpreted by Laba Sosseh, is without a doubt one of the freshest ever recorded. Raymond Fernandez, a Cape Verdean like his guitarist friend José Ramos, belonged to Dakar's first Afro-Cuban movement and was a faithful companion of Amara Touré, Laba Sosseh and the Star Band and formed Raymond & The Negro Orchestra. His haunting guitar chords, his magnificently present voice, a bed of hypnotic percussions and lyrics make his songs absolutely captivating. This first formation of Xalam was composed of lovers of Afro-Cuban rhythms such as Skhir Thiam who founded it, and Bassirou Lô and Cheikh Tidiane Tall who directed it. The second formation of Xalam laid the foundations of the mbalax, reviving the traditional Wolof sounds with the tama armpit drums. Idy Diop, a veteran of the Rio Band Of Dakar and Xalam, had strong Latino influences and established himself in Abidjan for a while. The deeply moving "Dioubo" appears on his first solo album released in 1974. The arpeggios evoke the best of Latin jazz, with a smooth saxophone and his voice seemingly suspended throughout this refined track. Pioneers of modern Gambian music, the Super Eagles were among the first orchestras to record in Europe. They made a beautiful album in London in 1969, with subtle pop, soul, Afro-Cuban and Wolof influences. Of all the great Senegalese orchestras, the Orchestre Baobab remains the one with the largest body of work with over 20 albums figuring prominently in the pantheon of Senegalese music. An offshoot of the Star Band, their many influences from Guinea-Bissau to Mali, Morocco and Togo, were due to its member's different origins, but the main influence remained Afro-Cuban. Produced by Ibrahima Sylla. Includes a 24-page booklet with full-color photos and notes in French and English by Florent Mazzoleni.