Album reviews: Ballaké Sissoko, Omar Pene and Lágbájá


Posted on Monday, 1 February 2010 09:39

Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal
Chamber Music?

by Rose Skelton

This hypnotic collaboration between Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal is a masterful study of the elements shared between the kora and the cello, as well as a celebration of their differences. The songs are mostly pinned around traditional kora melodies, but the cello strokes spice up and turn age-old tunes into funky, intriguing songs.

Omar Pene

by Gemma Ware

Swaying like a camel across a desert, ‘Ndam’ – the title track on Omar Pene’s acoustic album – finds the lead vocalist of Super Diamono weaving his voice in between the harmony of two mournful saxophones. In other songs on the album, which see the kora swapped for an accordion, the lyrics in Wolof call for a United States of Africa and an end to violence against children.

Sharp-Sharp and Paradise

by Gemma Ware

“Everyone is an immigrant…everyone is looking for a good life,” sings Lágbájá on ‘Let my people stay’, in this double-album release by the masked performer who sounds like a Nigerian Louis Armstrong. His is a catchy brand of pop with intricate brass lines, pounding piano and a healthy dose of Naija rhythm – a project with ambition, style and a sense of fun.

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