African Pearls: Sénégal: Echo Musical

SYLLART 6147482 SYLLART 6147482

Syllart Productions presents a 2CD collection of music from '70s Senegal. More than any other country in West Africa, Senegal has been strongly influenced by Cuban music coming to Dakar through Cuban sailors. Widely broadcast, the Afro-Cuban repertoire stands at the bottom of modern Senegalese music. Mornas and coladeras from Cabo Verde are also to be heard along Dakar streets. Luis Vera Da Fonseca is one of the unsung pioneers of this musical melting pot. Under the name Fonseca & Ses Anges Noirs, he recorded quite a number of records in France and Belgium, starting in the late '50s. Links between Dakar and Habana seem natural as evidenced by recordings of orchestras such as Star Band de Dakar or Orchestra Baobab and many bands within this musical constellation. The impact of Star Band is pivotal in the history of modern Senegalese music. So are the names "stars" and "étoiles" with bands such as Youssou Ndour's Super Etoile, Star Number One, Etoile de Dakar and Etoile 2000 studding the musical landscape of the region. The Star Band orchestra was set up by entrepreneur Ibrahima Kassé, one of the founding fathers of Senegalese music and owner of the Miami Club, located in the effervescent Médina neighborhood. The orchestra consisted of musicians of various origins such as Guinean percussion player and singer Amara Touré, Gambian singer Laba Sosseh and Nigerian saxophone player Dexter Johnson. Under Kassé's aegis, the Star Band turned into a terrific dancing machine, with electric instruments and a powerful horn section. At first, its repertoire was largely based on rumbas, merengué, pachangas and other cha-cha-cha, but wolof, mandingo and peul folk songs slowly made their way into the band's repertoire as a way to embrace the local musical traditions. As famous as the Star Band outside of Dakar, the Diarama de Saint-Louis was one of the regional province's better-known orchestras, possessing a strong jazz and Cuban musical culture. Super Diamono was influenced by Ifang Bondi and Guelewar mandingo beat from Gambia, while Xalam was named after a Wolof instrument, restoring traditional sounds such as tama drums. The Senegalese music of this era was a mélange of various influences, musical fusions and explosive new combinations. Includes a 16-page booklet with full-color photos and notes in French and English by Florent Mazzoleni. Produced by Ibrahima Sylla.