Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Must Listen: Angélique Kidjo

Yesterday, old reliable I Am Fuel, You Are Friends posted her weekly "Monday Music Roundup," a summary of music tracks that are blogworthy in Ms. Browne's opinion.

Despite her Pearl Jam affinity, Heather's tastes run a little more indie than mine, so I look, register, but don't always listen.

Yesterday, she dropped the following, and I am lazilly ripping her entire blurb:

listen: Salala (featuring Peter Gabriel)
Angélique Kidjo
I have written before about the wonderful West African songstress Angélique Kidjo, and I always get into the Africa world-beat fusion of her music. She has a new album out May 1 called Djin Djin and it features a whole host of A-listers like Amadou & Miriam, Ziggy Marley, Joss Stone, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys and this guy. Every time I hear Peter Gabriel's gruff, velvety voice I say to myself, "I forgot how much I love Peter Gabriel." The whole album is very good global listening.

So, I checked it out and I have to say I am in 100% agreement with this assessment. Every once in a while, I have a hankering for some good world music (and Heather's blog has a treasure trove of it). I particularly dig Brazillian songstress Cesária Évora, and have always been a fan of Peter Gabriel's world slant, especially on his Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ.

I will definitely be looking out for this new album in May when it is released.

Click the link above to hear the song and let me know what you think!

1 comment:

Tony said...

Nice to see a bit of African music in the mix. A couple quick recommendations from the past few years for anyone who is interested:

Orchestra Baobab -- Specialist in All Styles
Amazing. This is the "reunion album" for a group formed in Senegal in the early 70s. Very cool African-Latin sound. Saw them live in 2004 in a VERY small venue in SoCal.

Amadou and Miriam -- Dimanche a Bamako (Sunday in Bamako)
This CD is fantastic. Great vocals, fast driving beats, plenty of random "extra" sounds courtesy of producer/guest star Manu Chao (ringing phones, street sounds, people talking, etc.) On a lot of "best of 2005" lists. Took me a couple listens to get into, now it is on continuous in-car play. My three-year old loves this "crazy rock and roll."
They are known as the "blind couple of Mali" because, umm, they are blind, a couple, and from Mali.

Ali Farka Toure -- Savane
Just died in 2006. All of his recordings are masterful, but this is the posthumously-released last album. Great guitar work.

Salif Keita -- M'Bemba or Moffou
Another Afro-pop superstar out of Mali who's been on the scene for 30+ years, Keita's latest two recordings are mostly acoustic fare, lots of back-up singers, etc. For first-timers, I'd recommend starting with Moffou (~2002), but the two CDs are pretty similar in style. Tours in the US a lot, so try to see him.

Anything by Baaba Maal, Tinariwen, Oumou Sangare, Habib Koite, and Toumani Diabate.

I should stop now - Can't imagine anyone is still reading this far...

Good site for plenty more recommendations (and lots of NY-specific concert listings): http://www.afropop.org