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Rough Guide to Youssou N'Dour & Etoile De Dakar
(amazon.com) - USA  (amazon.co.uk) - UK

Youssou N'Dour, Etoile De Dakar
This album charts the success of Youssou N’Dour in his early years with the various incarnations of Étoile De Dakar. Youssou is one of the brightest African stars in the world music firmament, earning global exposure in the late 1980s by touring and collaborating with numerous well-known artists.

Lamp Fall
(amazon.com) - USA  (amazon.co.uk) - UK
- by Cheikh Lô
Lo takes a foundation of Mbalax--an uptempo Senegalese style that mixes pop, African and Caribbean styles together in varying degrees--and adds even more.

Sigil
(amazon.com) - USA  (amazon.co.uk) - UK
- by Nuru Kane
Kane's sound reflects an age-old connection between various Arabic cultures and those of West Africa, as Islam found its way below the Sahara even as black slaves were being driven North.

Ne La Thiass   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Cheikh Lo - Audio CD
Cheikh N Diguel Lo is a Senegalese protégé of the African superstar Youssou N Dour's studio Xippi. Although both Senegalese that is where the similarity ends in styles. Cheikho Lo music is heavily influenced by Cuban riffs and rhythms so much so that on the first song "Boul di Tagale" you feel that you have put on the wrong CD. The remainder of the songs are more of a fusion and what a fabulous fusion it is. (Reviewer: A music fan from San Francisco)

Joko: The Link   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
Two newly recorded tracks, "Mademba (The Electricity Is Out Again)" and "Miss," increase the Senegalese quotient, serving to remind just why N'Dour and his high, charismatic voice are one of music's icons. "This Dream," with Peter Gabriel, remains on this Joko, but it sits well in a set that keeps close to N'Dour's real mbalax roots but still manages to have true Western appeal. N'Dour is in top form throughout, keening the way he once did with Etoile de Dakar, his writing more inventive and assured, and Jimi Mbaye's guitar work outstanding throughout. This is the album N'Dour has needed to make for many years, where his heart and his art meet. A complete success.

Guide (Wommat)   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
Youssou N'Dour, a superstar at home in Senegal and in most of Africa, possesses an astonishingly strong and supple high-tenor voice, and he writes tuneful, insightful songs about his fellow West Africans' transition from isolated rural villages to cosmopolitan big cities. The Guide (Wommat) includes several calculated enticements to lure an Anglo-American audience: a bilingual duet with hip-hop star Neneh Cherry on "Seven Seconds," a guest appearance by saxophonist Branford Marsalis on "Without a Smile," and a bilingual version of Bob Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom."

Adventurers   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Baaba Maal, Mansour Seck - Audio CD
the soul of West Africa, a model of brilliant guitar music and as sublime an example of Senegalese musical art as ever was made. Mansour Seck and Baaba Maal have been partners in music for a long time, always experimenting, always surprising, whether it's bold pop or subtle acoustics.

Baayo by Baaba Maal   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Baaba Maal - Audio CD
Baayo is by far Baaba Maal's most incredible work. He is truly in his element in this album, expressing his griot upbringing and traditional roots. While some of his other albums venture on pop, Baayo is traditional Senegalese music in the purest sense. His voice will give you chills, and his harmonies with Mansour Seck are spectacular (Reviewer: A music fan from Washington, DC)

Bambay Gueej   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Cheikh Lo - Audio CD
A must-buy for fans of African music A vey beautiful and spiritually charged cd. Chheik Lo has the ability to absorb a range of musical influences (Cuban, Senegalese, Nigerian, funk, reggae)and recreate them as a unique, authentic and completely convincing personal style. (Reviewer: A music fan from Cambridge, England)

Nomad Soul   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Baaba Maal - Audio CD
Nomad Soul explores African/pop connections, in tracks that range from gentle, acoustic ballads and surging percussive dance numbers to duets with reggae star Luciano and Sinead O'Connor's back-up singers, the Screaming Orphans.

Set   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
Youssou's voice is incredible, whether he sings fast or slow. You can recognise his voice after one word of singing; he's unique! Rhythm is great, good dance music. (Reviewer: A music fan from Leiden, The Netherlands)

Tabala Wolof: Sufi Drumming Of Senegal   (amazon.com) - USA
by Boubacar Diagne & Ensemble - Audio CD
Recorded live in a ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, the music on this CD reveals the rhythmic Wolof roots of superstars like Baaba Maal. With roots in both West Africa and the Arab world, this music evokes a very different feeling from much of its musical milieu. A set of tuned drums called tabala is used in both ritualistic and social events, and as recorded here, accompanied by a group of singers, the drums elicit a compelling sense of ancient history and musical urgency

Iso   (amazon.com) - USA
by Ismael Lo - Audio CD
Its a masterpiece. the strings and harmonica on khar are hypnotic. dibi dibi rek is a gem. so many flavors on this cd. a little african, carribbean, folk, the stories are compelling. If you want to relax, burn some candles and incense with a significant other, this will do the trick. (Reviewer: a listener from Oakland, California)

Firin' in Fouta   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Baaba Maal - Audio CD
Baaba Maal mixes it up with a fantastic contemporary sound, electronics and all, and traditional Senegalese music. His singing is powerful and dynamic, and the instrumentation is wild yet captures the nuances of his voice; or is it his voice that captures the nuances of the music. (Reviewer: A music fan from Ithaca, NY USA

Immigres   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
This is the album that first brought Youssou N'Dour international attention and it's easy to see why. Apart from the gorgeous title track, his prayer for (and plea to) his Senegalese countrymen abroad, there's plenty of his arresting mbalax rhythms here, marvelously danceable with the tama drum working across the juddering beat. But it's that inimitable, eerily high voice that shines throughout.

The Rough Guide to the Music of Senegal and Gambia   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
Every one of these 13 tracks is a delight, and while it's nice to hear the insinuating tones of Youssou N'Dour and the sweetly melodious sound of Cheikh Lo and his band, the more recherche tracks are much more interesting. My favourite is a song from the Gambian griot Tata Dinding Jobarteh, whose kora playing--on the West-African cross between harp and lute--comes from a graceful, pre-electronic age. by Various Artists - Audio CD

Baobab N'Wolof   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Orchestre Baobab - Audio CD
These recordings from 1970 and 1971 are revealing. They were born in the early days of Africanisation in Dakar, Senegal, when French still ruled the language and the culture. This music is defiantly African, rooted in the ancient traditions of the Wolof language and the ancient kingdoms of the region, but also modern, urban, and somewhat revolutionary for its time.

No Sant (What's Your Name?)   (amazon.com) - USA
by Wasis Diop - Audio CD
Sultry-voiced Diop merges the acoustic African sounds of artists like Lokua Kanza (who appears on No Sant) and Henri Dikongue with the Western pop leanings of Youssou N'Dour. As such he is a world troubadour who just happens to be African, and fittingly he has assembled an eclectic global coterie of artists on this diverse collection of well-crafted and extremely musical songs. Consequently you will hear elements as diverse as Japanese opera vocals and Bretonese cornemuse (bagpipes) in the jazzy pop arrangements of his Senegal-based songs.

Jammu Africa   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Ismael Lo - Audio CD
A beautiful album, Ismael is a great singer. The music is real world music: truly African AND truly global. I guess it's an album which appeals equally to the newcomer to African pop music as well as to the Africa expert. (Reviewer: a listener from Germany

Lion   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
The music is wonderful. Also, the words to the songs are very insightful. Youssou's voice is great!! (Reviewer: A music fan from Toledo, OH)

The Music of Senegal   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Morikeba Kouyate - Audio CD

Wango   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Baaba Maal - Audio CD
Listen to on-line samples

Lii   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
(Released Nov 2000)

Le Grand Bal   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Youssou N'Dour - Audio CD
(Released Nov 2000)

Doudou Ndiaye Rose   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Dudu Ndaiye Rose - Audio CD
Large drum ensembles (50 drummers on this album) play together with a level of complexity and subtlety usually associated more with orchestral works than with drum music. Doudou hails from Senegal and is esteemed there as not only a master drummer but also as a living repository of the musical traditions of that nation.

Dakar Heart   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Jimi Mbaye - Audio CD
the debut solo album of one of Africa's most intriguing and important pop composers, confirming Jimi Mbaye's status as a figure held in extraordinarily high esteem in the world of Senegalese mbalax. Mbaye is already somewhat well-known outside of Africa - among African music fans, at least - as the lead guitarist and musical alter ego of superstar Youssou N'Dour, with whom he has developed this vocally sweet, rhythmically pugnacious brand of Senegalese pop during twenty years of innovation and globetrotting concertizing.

Etoile de Dakar, Vol. 2: Thiapathioly   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Etoile de Dakar - Audio CD

Toxu [IMPORT]   (amazon.com) - USA    (amazon.co.uk) - UK
by Wasis Diop - Audio CD
Wasis Diop's Toxu is simply intoxicating with his sensual voice and rhythms. The African influence make these songs timeless, while the production and variety of song styles make this a modern-day masterpiece. (Reviewer: A music fan from Arizona)


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