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Frank Bessem's
Musiques d'Afrique:

CD Reviews
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cd reviews
Samy Diko: Persévérance
(released in December 2003 - Simon Music)

The 4th album by Samy Diko, former lead singer in Les Sans Visa, Petit Pays' band, is an album showing his artistic maturity. With several real makossa songs, some makossa-love tracks and one ballad in French the Cameroonian singer ("le 1 des 1") has reached at least in Cameroon a star status comparable to Petit Pays. I like Samy's voice better anyway! FB
Longué Longué: Privatisation
(released in 2003 - Sonima / Preya)

Longué Longué had a big hit in Cameroon a few years ago with his album "Ayo Africa". His second album "Privatisation" was at first criticised, but finally the song "Demander à Dieu" is making waves on the dance floor in Yaoundé and Douala. FB
Issa Sow & Gorée: Sama Jaay
(released June 2003 - Mermaid Label)

This is the first international release of Issa Sow with an album recorded in Senegal and released on CD by a new Dutch label. The music is a mix of reggae, funk, afro-beat and mbalax and reminds occasionally of Touré Kunda. Promising debut. FB

Buy Issa Sow's CD here
Various artists: El Congo
(released May 2003 - Marabi)

A tribute to the Congolese rumba of the 1950s and 1960s, by the young musicians of the Rumbanella Band and by eminences grises Wendo Kolosoy, his band Victoria Bakolo Miziki and Brazzaville-based likembe player Antoine Moundanda. This is great music for long summer evenings, full of sweet vocals and swinging guitar lines. FB
Frères Guissé: Fouta
(released May 2003 - Mundial)

A first international release of this Senegalese trio, their folkoric inspired music has been put together with modern jazz of Dutch combo Paul van Kemenade. Unusual set, but worth while listening. FB
SNK: Toujours Underground
(released April 2003 - Invasion)

A local release of young Malian underground hiphopper SNK. Featuring many fellow-hiphoppers from Mali such as Ta-K-Mi, Fanga Fing and Yeli Fuzzo, the album gives a good idea of what is currently going on in the scene. FB
Daara J: Boomrang
(released February 2003 - BMG)

A tasteful third album of this Senegalese trio, a cross-over of rap, hip hop, soul, with latin and mandingo spots through contributions of Sergent Garcia and Rokia Traore FB
Werrason: A la queue leu leu
(released December 2002 - JPS)

A long awaited double album of Werrason and Wenge Maison Mère. The 19 songs in his recognizable style sometimes suffer from too many praising phrases for sponsors and friends. FB
N'Gou Bagayoko: Kulu
(released November 2002 - Frikyiwa)

A first solo album of guitarist and accompanist of Nahawa Doumbia. Acoustic, recorded on location, with subtle singing of Nahawa Doumbia and Doussou Bagayoko, this is music to sit down and listen! FB
Filifin: Siran
(released September 2002 - Frikyiwa)

Filifin plays the kamelen n'goni, a rootsy lute that sounds like the source of all blues. Accompanied by his powerful voice, this debut album is a convincing example of Mali blues! FB
Petit Pays: Maestro
(released June 2002 - JPS)

A new album of this makossa innovator: very dancable songs, but it's actually closer to Congolese music than pure makossa. Not that innovative but the more it is dance floor dynamite! FB
Faadah Kawtal: Divine
(released May 2002 - Indigo)

Coming from the North of Cameroon, Faadah Kawtal make a blend of sahelian rhythms with modern influences. The sharp voice of Isnebo reminds of Baaba Maal. FB
Sekouba Bambino: Sinikan
(released April 2002 - Sono)

A new successful album of that great singer from Guinea-Conakry. Sinikan combines the sophistication of Salif Keita's Soro with the tradition of Bembeya Jazz of which he was the lead singer. Already high in the World Music charts! FB
Gino Sitson: Song Zin'...
(released April 2002 - Piranha)

Vocal acrobat from Cameroon blending vocal tradition with modern jazz, gospel and blues in a well-balanced way on this second album. Recommended! FB
Stella Chiweshe: Talking Mbira
(released March 2002 - Piranha)

Chiweshe's first album since years. Mbira music is powerful and spiritual at the same time, and so is Stella Chiweshe. This is music to call upon the ancestors, but just listening is OK too!    FB
Habib Koité: Baro
(released April 2001 - Putumayo)

Habib's third album after Muso Ko and Ma Ya. A bit more latin flavour and predominantly filled with ballads, at first glance, this album lacks a bit the brilliance of Ma Ya. Songs like Baro make up for that!    FB
Baaba Maal: Mi Yeewnii
(released April 2001 - Palm Pictures)

A new album featuring 11 songs in a more acoustic setting compared to Nomad Soul. Recordings were made in the Real World Studio and in the Abbey Road Studios.    FB

Frank Bessem's Musiques d'Afrique:
Burkina Faso... Cameroon... Côte d'Ivoire... Guinea... Mali... Senegal... D.R. Congo... Others...
Burkina Faso... Cameroun... Côte d'Ivoire... Guinée... Mali... Sénégal... R.D. du Congo... Autres...

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Latest update 17 December 2004
Copyright © 1998-2004 Frank Bessem