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Musiques d'Afrique:

Laba Sosseh (1943-2007)
(The Gambia/Senegal)
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Laba Sosseh has been an important exponent of Senegambian music. Born in the first half of the 1940s of a Senegalese father and a Gambian mother, Laba was a Senegambian long before the two countries tried to form a confederation for some years. This is even more true because the Sosseh family was already split in a Senegal-based wing and a Gambian based wing. Influenced by Cuban music of the 1940s and 1950s, he was singing for a local orchestra and perfectioning his art. He started to sing since in the Star Band de Dakar, a band created at Senegal's independence in 1960. Several Star Band albums were recorded. He also worked with saxophone player Dexter Johnson in his Super Star de Dakar, a Star Band off-shoot. In the 1970s, he moved from Dakar to Abidjan were he sung with the Special Liwanza Band, a band making pure Cuban music, and they recorded together for Abou Lassissi's label Sacodis. Soon, Lassissi took Laba to New York to record the Salsa Africana sessions. In Paris he made an album with Orquesta Aragon. In 1981-82, he recorded two albums in New York again on Roberto Torres' SAR label.

Laba Sosseh mastered salsa music to perfection and he became popular among American salsa incrowd and even among Cubans. In later years, Laba occasionally worked with Africando on their album « Baloba » (1998). He died on 20 September 2007 after a protracted illness.
Laba Sosseh

Sources:
http://musiquetropique.com/Cote_dIvoire.html [link...];
http://www.bolingo.org [link...];
http://www.thepoint.gm [link...];
Forest Beat/Desert Jazz (www.fbdj.net) [link...].

Born: 12 March 1943, as Laba Badara Sosseh in Banjul, Gambia
Style: african salsa

Discography:

Title Year Label Remarks
Classic Titles 2010 Cantos CD compilation
El Maestro: 40 Ans de Salsa... 2001 Africa Production 00022-2 CD compilation
Laba Sosseh 1982 SAR Productions SAR 1029
Roberto Torres presenta a Laba Sosseh 1981 SAR Productions SAR 1020
Con l'Orquesta Aragon 198? Disco Stock 210
Salsa Africana vol. 4: Lassisi presents Laba Sosseh 1980 Sacodis LS 38
Salsa Africana vol. 2: Monguito el Unico Presents Laba Sosseh 1980 Sacodis LS 27
Salsa Africana vol. 1: Monguito el Unico Presents Laba Sosseh 1980 Sacodis LS 26
Formidable Laba Sosseh 1977 Sacodis LS 5-77 With Special Liwanza Band
El Sonero de Africa vol.2 197? MAG 103
El Sonero de Africa 197? N'Dardisc 33.14


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