OLD WORLD (inc Asia, Arabia)
The muzikifan podcast is updated twice a month. The lastest episode features the artist reviewed below, as well as surprises.
The mid-March mix (click below) included Baiana System, Youlou & OK Jazz, Misha Mengelberg, Alegre All Stars, Sonora Matancera, Amara Touré, Rock-a-Mambo, Baaba Maal, Wailing Souls and others. Subscribe on podomatic for updates as there will be two special shows before I post a new Muzikifan update.
Gigs2 April Anoushka Shankar / SF Jazz at Miner Auditorium
7 April Hermeto Pascoal / SF Jazz at Miner Auditorium
8 April N.B. King Sunny Ade show at Miner Auditorium is canceled; Antibalas will appear instead
13-16 April Afro-Cuban All Stars at Miner Auditorium
Next month -- Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, San Francisco:
7 May Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
18 May Changui Majadero
20 May Brass Convergence
25-8 May Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba at Miner Auditorium
Dear DepartedMisha Mengelberg, jazz pianist passed away last month. Here's a special musical tribute.
Steve Dickison writes: Misha, from a Ukrainian family, got started in Dutch jazz early 1960s, in his 20s, paired up soon w drummer Han Bennink, a lifelong match made in jazz heaven. their early claim to renown was Eric Dolphy's "Last Date" LP. shortly thereafter, late 60s, Misha and Han founded Instant Composers Pool, a rotating orchestra focused on improv + (soon down the road) swing, though the band's settled for over 20 yrs now w steady crew of 9, a couple Americans, German or two, all Dutch masters. Nederlands govt helped them tour so we've been fortunate, multiple local dates over the past 20-odd years. Han and the band still at it, a younger Dutch piano guy in Misha's chair since he started having memory problems a couple years back. genius. one of those.
also departed, Cheikh Tidiane Tall of Senegal, who was part of Xalam, Le Sahel band, and performed with Idrissa Diop. Essential listening: album on Teranga Beat, Diamonoye Tiopité.
& R.I.P. Chuck Berry: he could play the guitar like ringing a bell (& dance at the same time)
In other newsA new Monk album?! Incroyable!
Listen to the new album from Baobab, reviewed below, streaming on NPR
afrodisc.com has updated again; bookmark his site why don't you
I've updated the Rock-a-Mambo page & probably some of the other discography pages. There's a new double vinyl LP from Arsenio Rodriguez Como se goza en el barrio, but there's nothing new on it so I don't think i will add it to the discography
AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS
ORIGINAL SOUND OF MALI (Mr Bongo)
I am very greedy when it comes to classic Malian, Senegalese and Guinean music of their golden era, which spans post-Independence in 1960 through the 80s. As much as I discover, there's always more, and I am grateful to people like Graeme Counsel, Florent Mazzoleni, Adamantios Kafetzis of Teranga Beat, not to mention Stern's, Kanaga System, Dakar Sound and all the independent labels who find this music and restore it for us. This latest reissue from Mr Bongo is simply stunning. Looking at the tracklist you might see "Mandjou" by Les Ambassadeurs, and tracks from Rail Band and Super Djata and think to yourself, I probably have these. But chances are you don't have more than two or three of these tracks, not because they are obscurities, but because they are super-rare gems. I know, you are saying, But I have the 6-disc Rail Band set from Sterns (STCD3033-34, 39-40, 43-44), but you still don't have "Mouodilo" (a solid funk track, it came out on 45 from HMV in Nigeria!), and you might have "Fatema" by Ambassadeurs or Sory Bamba's "Yayoroba," but that still leaves a stack of stuff you need, like the two impossibly scarce and fabulous Idrissa Soumaroro tracks with his band L'Eclipse de l'I.J.A., the overlooked but far from slack Tentemba Jazz, and the Super Djata tracks which have never been reissued to my knowledge (They don't even show up on discogs.com). Idrissa Soumaroro is less well-known than other alumni of Les Ambassadeurs du Motel, and there are two cuts from his solo venture (Ampsa, 1978) presented here, bracketing the whole package: they are in a steaming R&B vein with great organ, congas, funk & rock guitar: a nice change from Afrobeat. "Fama Allah" made me think of "You keep me hanging on" as covered by Vanilla Fudge. His band L'Eclipse consisted of some of his blind students from L'Institut des Jeunes Aveugles in Bamako, including Amadou (on guitar) and Mariam (on vocals) who later had a successful breakout career in Europe and America. Back then, the European and American influences were grafted onto traditional melodies and lyrics, though occasionally some broke from tradition, like Sory Bamba whose hit "Ya Yoroba" celebrated women with large breasts. With his swirling electric organ, his group, Kanaga de Mopti, were compared to Pink Floyd. Super Djata had a wider repertoire, stylistically, than the other bands and also came to their peak powers during the 80s when the other big name bands -- Les Ambassadeurs and Rail Band -- were dropping off in popularity. In addition to Rail Band's Djelimady Tounkara and Super Biton's Mama Sissoko, Super Djata's Zani Diabaté is one of the great African guitarists. Compared to Magic Sam, Freddie King and even Hendrix, he was also a renowned percussionist and dancer. The booklet shows the covers of five Super Djata LPs that I have never seen, nor heard of before. The three tracks here stand up to the best of Ambassadeurs and the other class acts present. The whole album shows many facets of some musicians as they appeared in different configurations. The producers refer to one of "the heaviest Afro Funk cuts, 'Moko Jolo' of Rail Band" (which is on their 1973 "blue" album, Serie Folk-Rail 1, but not included here). I guess they are leaving some stuff on the side for a further smorgasbord. It's a great jam, but currently only available on a 2011 Japanese import replica CD of the original album which has three other cuts which are not in print. But there's enough here to satisfy you and broaden your collection of fabulous classic Malian music.
most recent reviews:
(click on maps at the top of the page to get to continent of choice)
Bargou 08's Targ is back in Arabia
Jaako Laitinen and Väärä Raha are filed under Old World misc
Palenque Records AfroColombia mix is filed under Colombia part 2
Trio Mandili are filed in Old World miscellany
Kenya-Congo Connection is filed in Congo part 3
Alsarah & the Nubatones' Manara and
The Top 16 of 2016 is HERETop 15 of 2015 is HERE
My Top Ten of 2014 can be found HERE.
My Top 12 of 2013, with best reissues, etc, is online HERE.
My Top Twelve of 2012 is HERE.
My Top Ten of 2011 can be found HERE.
My Top 9 of 2010 is online HERE
Click HERE for my top 10 of 2009
Click HERE for my top 9 of 2008
Click HERE for my top 10 of 2007
Click HERE for my top 11 of 2006
MY BEST-SELLING BOOK!"Essential reference guide to the Congo guitar king" -- SONGLINES 64 **** (four stars)
"I do not know anybody who has such immense knowledge of African music. Congratulations." -- Gerhard G (a purchaser)
BACK IN PRINT (Second edition, November 2012)
A DISCOGRAPHY OF DOCTEUR NICO
Poltroon Press, 2012, expanded to 88 pages; list price $19.95.
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