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|Xalam has been a very influential band who mixed American funk and jazz with
African musical idiom. Sometimes referred to as Xalam 2, as they were inspired by earlier group by the name of Xalam,
they started from 1969 or 1970, led by drummer Abdoulaye Prosper Niang and started with
non-African dance music, performing in Senegal as well as in other African countries. In 1975, they toured with
Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela.
By then, they had relocated to Paris, where they realised that they had to find their own style, mixing African elements
with funk and jazz.
In 1979, Xalam participated in the Berlin Horizonte Festival, they recorded their first LP for the occasion.
It was the start of a success story: from the Dakar Jazz Festival (1980), a soundtrack for a Walt Disney
production (1981), various festival appearances in Europe (1982), an opening concert for
Crosby, Stills Nash & Young in Paris (1983) to the recording of percussion tracks for the
Rolling Stones album « Undercover of the Night » (1984).
In the meantime, they had teamed up with pianist-keyboardist and arranger Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
Their best known albums, now hard to find, are from that creative era: « Gorée » (1983), « Apartheid » (1986) and « Xarit » (1988). In 1988 (according to various sources 1989), drummer and band leader Prosper Niang died of cancer, his death left the group discouraged. They continued nevertheless, with singer Seydina insa Wade and with a new international album release in 1993. Xalam remains active with occasional appearances and a new album is announced.
Some band members:
Souleymane Faye: lead vocals (1985-1988);
Seydina insa Wade († 2012): lead vocals (1988-1994);
Ibrahima Coundoul "Brams": lead vocals;
Cheikh Tidiane Tall: lead guitar;
Samba Yigo Dieng: guitar;
Taffa Cissé: percussion and vocals;
Abdoulaye Prosper Niang († 1988): drums;
Ansoumana Diatta: saxophone;
Yoro Gueye: trombone;
Henri Guillabert: keyboards;
Papa Moussa Babou "Baye": bass
Style: afro-jazz, afro-funk
|Live à Montreux||2008||Celluloid||Montreux Jazz Festival recordings (1991)|
|Wam Sabindam||1993||Mélodie 79615-2||CD|
|Gëstú||1990||Senegalese cassette release|
|Xarit||1988||BMG / Jetset 209 009||cassette/LP/CD|
|Ndiguël||1987||Senegalese cassette release|
|Apartheid||1986||Celluloid / Encore ENC 134 (LP) / Encore 49334-2 (CD)||LP/CD (CD re-released 2008)|
|Gorée||1983||Celluloid CEL 6656 (CD: 66656-2)||LP|
|Adé||1979||Xalam Production XPS 001||LP, recorded at the Festival Horizonte in Berlin|
|Xalam website (www.xalam2dakar.com, retrieved 2005, website not online anymore)|
Lydia Gaertner's discography (retrieved from Geocities, now through Webarchive)