popular african music

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  • fatau keita & the naawuni bie band - "selina" the ghana bigshots are based in accra/ghana and led by the composer, arranger, vocalist, bassist, and balafonist mark millas. they are one of the most promising new live bands in west africa. their ambitious motto is ‘redefining our music’. the band revives the highlife- and afro-jazz feel in ghana’s popular music by creatively drawing on an immense musical tradition of highlife greats, ghana’s and west africa’s highlife, soul, funk, son, reggae and afrobeat music. rebuilding this legacy into their own compositions and style means taking a new look at the musical finesse and intricacies of the traditional and popular sources. they do this with an elaborate approach to musical technique, playfulness, arrangement, sound, and performance. in more than three years live playing in ghana, the ghana bigshots have started to contribute their own style to contemporary african popular music and ‘world music’. €12,50
  • the ghana bigshots - "tu na me nsa" the ghana bigshots are based in accra/ghana and led by the composer, arranger, vocalist, bassist, and balafonist mark millas. they are one of the most promising new live bands in west africa. their ambitious motto is ‘redefining our music’. the band revives the highlife- and afro-jazz feel in ghana’s popular music by creatively drawing on an immense musical tradition of highlife greats, ghana’s and west africa’s highlife, soul, funk, son, reggae and afrobeat music. rebuilding this legacy into their own compositions and style means taking a new look at the musical finesse and intricacies of the traditional and popular sources. they do this with an elaborate approach to musical technique, playfulness, arrangement, sound, and performance. in more than three years live playing in ghana, the ghana bigshots have started to contribute their own style to contemporary african popular music and ‘world music’. €12,50
  • kanté manfila, balla kalla with family and friends out of stock for the moment, available again in spring 2014
    recordings i made in kankan, upper guinea, with kanté manfila, singer and arranger for the legendary "ambassadeurs" and longtime partner of salif keita; featuring manfila as singer and guitarist, his younger brother djessou mory kanté and the kankan based group of manfila's elder brother balla kallawith two balaphones and five female singers. papa diabaté accompanies on kora.
  • sékouba bambino diabaté these eight songs were recorded in abidjan and were originally released on cassette by a guinean producer. 160 000 copies were sold within three months in guinea, ivory coast, mali and senegal alone! bambino was born in siguiri/ upper guinea in 1963. after trying various local bands he joined bembeya jazz. le destin is bambino's second solo album, two tracks from his first cassette are added as bonus tracks on this cd- release. €12,50
  • cheikh m. smith smith - known for his hammond solos on salif keita's "manjou"- album plays old manding melodies on a yamaha upright in typical abidjan piano- bar style. i recorded him in his house in abidjan. €12,50
  • mama diabaté just listen to mama's fantastic voice and her rap like singing style. the title track does not advertise a certain soft drink but strongly condemms polygamy. rerelease of a guinean cassette that was recorded in abidjans jbz- studio in 1993. €12,50
  • super cayor de dakar the band calls its style "salsa - mbalax". they not only put the senegalese style next to the latin- american one but effectively mix the two: a customized senegalese percussion set effectively replaces the timbales. the result is a very danceable music. €12,50
  • kanté manfila the present recording is one more step in an old project of mine: meeting and recording the musical influences of kanté manfila. eight of the songs on this cd were recorded in a strawthatched roundhut in farabanah, his hometown in upper guinea. three songs featuring the legendary bolon- player djeli sara kouyaté were recorded in kankan where manfila went to school. and back in paris where we had to overdub his vocals (too much dust on the road to farabanah) kanté manfila wanted to re-record a song he had written 30 years ago in abidjan: "dem niare“, based on a morna from guinea- bissau or cabo verde. €12,50
  • ouza a compilation that focuses on the early work of this outstanding singer / arranger / composer from senegal. in the mid seventies he created rhythms that preceded some drum and bass riddims by 25 years but remained pretty much unknown to the western world. €12,50
  • nicolas menheim & le super sabador nicolas menheim was a founding member of africando - before he had worked as a singer with étoile de dakar and number one de dakar. in 1997 he decided to try his luck on his own and set "super sabador". in 1999 they record the 12 tacks on this cd in studio 2000. the songs were released only in senegal on two cassettes "néné chèrie" and "commandante ché guevara". super sabador play fresh interpretations of classic songs by cuban composers, a new interpretations of tabu ley's "aïnicha" and naturally nico's own compositions. €12,50
  • super cayor de dakar super cayor de dakar's 2001 release features the tenorsaxophone of maestro issa cissokho (ex- bandleader of orchestra baobab). on top of the 6 songs on the original senegalese cassette you can hear two live recordings of the band. €12,50
  • néma mint choueikh a long overdue release of one of the most powerful voices in moorish music. nema originates from the trarza region. she was very popular in the 70's and early 80's, then disappeared from the scene for nearly 15 years. a restart of her career was encouraged by superstar dimi mint abba who performed some duets with nema on mauritanian television. i got to know her through the film "en attendant le bonheur" by abderrahmane sissako where she is portrayed as a music teacher of a little girl, mama mint lekbeit. i chased these two for more than two years during my travels across mauritania. with success, as you can hear on this cd which also features one track sung by mama mint lekbeit, now a teenager. €12,50
  • a.b. crentsil & sweet talks the line-up of this 1978 recording reads like a "who is who in ghanaian music". people dance to the music in 1995 the way they did in 1978! as a big bonus the entire "moses"- album by sweet talker a.b. crentsil is included. €12,50
  • balla & ses balladins one of the "national orchestras" of sekou touré's guinea the band was on top from 1964 until 1980 when their last recording was made - aptly called "objectif perfection" - which is released in full on this cd. added are four more tracks from around 1970 including two versions of "sara". €12,50
  • orchestre baobab this album focuses on the work of the casaçais musicians (from the southern region of the country, the casamance) of orchestre baobab: balla sidibé and rudy gomis. it compiles tracks from the hard to find buur and music'afrique labels, an unreleased 10 minute smoochie by rudy gomis and rudy's 1986 solo- cassette featuring barthelemy attisso and balla sidibé) – the last fruit of baobab. €12,50
  • ernesto djédjé in 1977 ernesto djédjé gave côte d’ivoire for the first time a truly local style of popular music: ziglibithy. he mixed his own bété rhythms with wild guitar lines, a bit of rock, a bit of soul, a bit of afro beat - added some rough horns and pulled all his fellow countrymen up to the dancefloor. his death at age 35 in 1983 was too early to give him a chance on the just emerging african music scene outside of africa. this cd presents his first two lps: “gnoantre dans ziboté” and “le roi ziglibithien, gnoantre national” €12,50
  • orchestre poly-rythmo de cotonou popular african music's african dancefloor classics continues its search off the beaten tracks and presents for the first time in about 20 years a re-release of that famous but almost forgotten band, the all mighty orchestre poly-rythmo de cotonou. the name applies in a double sense: this band plays all kinds of rhythms: reggae, highlife, salsa, afro- beat, psychedelic rock, soukous... but they also play it their own way, very polyrhythmic with off- counter- and cross- beats. poly-rythmo was a real orchestra with usually about a dozen musicians on stage featuring a real brass section. besides doing their own thing - they released about 50 vinyl productions (lps and singles)- they accompanied about every african star that gave concerts in benin. and they backed most of the local stars like gnonnas pedro or angelique kidjo. this album features poly-rythmo's first two lps on the albarika stores label (except for one track) plus two salsa tracks from a later recording made in abidjan. the albarika tracks are mainly in their "local" style, with the exception of one congolese rumba sung by theo blaise kounkou of african all stars fame. these tracks from the early 70's give a damn about radio format they keep you dancing for a quarter of an hour. €12,50
  • number 1 de dakar one more legendary band from senegal, no.1 started out as "star band de dakar" just like baobab before and étoile de dakar after. following a dispute with the "owner" of the star band, ibra kassé, the band starts on its own in 1976 trying various names like "star band 2" or "star number oner" but kassé did not like the name "star" being used - and he knew influential people. so the band ended up being no.1 - and they were no.1 in senegal for 10 years. this compilation is selected from the 5 cassettes and 6 lps that they released. none of the titles released by the dakar sound label is part of this compilation. €12,50
  • amadou balaké amadou balaké's "taximen" was an instant dancefloor hit in abidjan in 1978 and could soon be heard all around west africa. this cd features the 6 tracks of the original album (ls7-78), recorded with a full band including great out-of-tune horns. produced in the west- african melting- pot abidjan a variety of rhythms is featured: a kind of reggae, some sort of biguine and even an afro- beat track. the "+", the bonus tracks, consists of the full acoustical album "vol.3" (ls11-79), where the line- up is down to two guitars - guinean guitarwork at its best - percussion and vocals. €12,50
  • waby spider cd -single carrying an aids - warning in that special ivory coast reggae rhythm (aids = sida) €12,50
  • djessou mory kanté this is the first release in the african guitar series, featuring this imported instrument, affordable and easy to carry around. guitare sèche is the french term for acoustic guitar, and the album features four of these: a new one, a fairly good one and two battered specimens. the album has been recorded in conakry directly onto digital 8- track. guitar music, without vocals, which you hear everywhere when travelling in guinea is hard to find on record. my favourite piece still is the 17 minute improvisation by papa and sekou diabaté on syliphone slp 23. djessou mory kanté, a younger brother of kanté manfila now living in paris where he is one of the most requested session guitarists, came up with the idea for this album. it features: papa diabaté, the father of modern guinean guitar playing. djessou mory's brothers bakary and djekoria mory kanté plus moriken kouyaté - all three much in demand in guinea. with comprehensive notes by eric charry, of wesleyan university, an authority on mande guitar music. €12,50
  • king onyina this is the music that marked the times around ghanain independance: guitar band highlife, incorporating many ghanaian traditions and many foreign influences (king onyina knows all the albums of barney kessel and wes montgomery). besides the excellent guitar work this album also features the typical highlife singing style: on top of onyina's tenor you hear male alto and treble singers. with extensive notes by koo nimo, the palmwine guitar legend. €12,50
  • grand papa diabaté this album features djessou mory kanté and moriken kouyaté besides guitar virtuoso grand papa diabaté, founding member of the „guinea jazz band“ (of dakar), of the guinean orchestras „syli“ and „jardin de guinée“ and of „african virtuoses“ (of abidjan). this is his one and only solo album which he recorded at age 63. €12,50
  • sona diabaté sona diabaté, two female backing voices, the acoustic guitar of sekou bembeya diabaté (bembeya jazz' diamondfingers) and demba camara on 12- string guitar in an unplugged recording from 1988. the two bonustracks feature sekou bembeya diabaté live: n'diarabi documents one of his rare performances as singer and deri is a guitar duo with his brother kaba. €12,50
  • kanté manfila recorded in a small studio in grigny, just south of paris, this record features the guitars of kanté manfila and djessou mory kanté (they overdub themselves in places), kora by papa diabaté, balaphons by ibrahima soumano and the voices of kanté manfila (lead), oumou, fanta and sona diabaté (backing). beautiful interleaved arrangements and stunning rhythms! €12,50
  • mlimani park orchestra mlimani park was formed in the late seventies and soon became and stayed the leading danceband of tanzania - despite many tribulations. on this cd, recorded in berlin in 1994, mellowvoiced hassani bichuka, who left the band in 1984 to sing with "safari sound" is back in his erstwhile band - reinterpreting mlimani park's biggest hit of the eighties: m.v. mapenzi. €12,50
  • sona diabaté | garé-garé sona diabaté accompanied by the musicians featured on pam's kankan blues 1 and 2: djessou mory kanté on guitar and papa diabaté on kora – giving you eight danceable tracks. additional musicians are djelimady kouyaté, balafon; amadou sodia, bolon; pierre marcault, doundoumba; alpha camara, djembé and kova bavogui( both ex bembeya jazz), bass. backing vocals are by djanka and sayon diabaté plus mama keita. kanté manfila took care of the musical arrangement and added a few guitar licks - as did sona's brother sekou bembeya diabaté. €12,50
  • chris mcgregor & the south african exile's thunderbolt recorded live at the mainz "open ohr" festival in 1986. the final meeting on album by three late great south african musicians: chris mcgregor, dudu pukwana and johnny dyani. fascinating music moving at ease from jazz to south african rodts and back again ... €12,50
  • mama, sayon and sona diabaté a collection of love songs. mama and sona have their solo albums on popular african music already. sayon diabaté, whom you might know as chorus singer and dancer, presents her compositions for the first time. the three girls are accompanied by lenké condé on guitar, adama condé on balafon and tchamse kanté on bolon. €12,50
  • los afrosalseros de senegal when günter gretz heard in april 2001 about plans to send a group of senegalese salseros to cuba he was very enthousiastic - and very doubtful. but it all happened - and the result is convincing. this cd presents the singers labah sosseh, pape fall, james gadiaga and mar seck. they are accompanied by musicians selected from dakar's leading salsa orchestras. arranger was yakhya fall, ex- bandleader and guitarist of number one de dakar. there is no keyboard, there is no drum kit, but there are two trumpets, issa cissokho' sax, lots of percussion and a grand piano in beautiful dakar tuning. €12,50
  • ngoma, the early years, 1848-1960 the legendary ngoma label was founded in 1948 in then léopoldville (now kinshasa) by greek businessman nico jéronimidis. here are some of the artists that recorded for ngoma: wendo, léon bukasa, paul kamba, feruzi, manuel oliveira, manu dibango just to name the famous. €12,50
  • ngoma, souvenir ya l'indépendance this second volume presents music released around the years of independence for what became zaire (now congo kinshasa) and congo brazzaville. since 1948 recording facilities in the ngoma studios had been greatly improved. electric guitar and bass became a standard. but the charm of the early arrangements persists. pamap 102 features music by bukasa, isaac musekiwa (with a real twist number), manu dibango, mavula baudouin, paul mwanga, polydor, assassin and henrique tinapa & rico jazz and others. €12,50
  • donald kachamba donald kachamba, born in blantyre, malawi, on october 18th, 1953, is considered one of the outstanding musician- composers of the middle generation in southeastern africa. over the years he has developed compositional techniques and a very personal music with his group, the donald kachamba’s kwela jazz band, liberating himself from the constraints and dictates of current african pop music styles. his music is deeply rooted in his childhood experience of kwela, sinjonjo, saba-saba, hauyani, simanje-manje and other southern african urban dance music genres of the 1950’s and 1960’s. this album, amply documented by prof. gerhard kubick, features his solo work where he overdubs himself on his nagra tape recorder. donald kachamba is no longer with us, he died in 2001. €12,50
  • music in ghana | various artists a selection out of the archives of african music at the institute of african studies, university of ghana, legon.since 1952 j.h. kwabena nketia and other researchers recorded and collected african music at the university of ghana - ghanain music being the main subject. to document such an archive on one cd is impossible - so this album should be seen as an appetizer that makes scholars and music lovers hungry for more: there are 5 tracks from ghana's northern region, 14 from the akan- speaking region, 2 tracks of ga- music and 2 tracks of ewe music. additional spices are 3 highlife songs by the late e.k.nyame and a brass band tune, since the archive not only collected traditional music. some of the instruments featured are: one string fiddle, mouth bow, ivory and aseseben horns, benta, a hawaian guitar and all kinds of drums. €12,50
  • from lake malawi to the zambezi aspects of music and oral literature in south-east africa in the 1990s, compiled by moya aliya malamusi from the more than 2500 recordings that he collected in the "oral literature research programme" that he and his sister, the late lidiya malamusi, founded in 1989. there is just one – quite musical – story, the other 23 tracks give a taste of the very rich and independent musical forms in this small landlocked country malawi. donald kachamba was the recording technician for many of the tracks and his experience assures a good sound quality. €12,50
  • music from são nicolau, cabo verde this full length cd presents a wide range of musical styles and moves steadily from very smooth “western” sounds to the very rootsy music of joão pchei. in between you can hear the singing of a laundress at work, the drums of colá and the amazing morna of a young boy “r’bera prata”, where he sings: r’bera prata (his village), let me free! what a difference to all the songs by people from our hemisphere who want to go home. although he did not compose the song the youngster renders it in a way that makes you believe that he means every word of it. €12,50
  • mané pchei this outstanding group from the cabo verde island of são nicolao features violin, 10 string guitar, 6 string guitar, cavaquinho (a kind of ukulele) and chocalho (maracas). bandleader mané pchei plays his violin in a style far away from european harmonies. these recordings from 1980, the year of his death, show him full of creativity: just try to predict the final notes of each song! €12,50
  • igd el djilad a vocal group from sudan; eight singers are accompanied by two keyboards, percussion and bass. the band presents a variety of styles from the various regions of africa's largest country - including love songs in arabic tradition and songs from the nuba mountains that show strong black african influence. singing almost acappella igd el djilad is rejuvenating old sudanese choral traditions. €12,50

fatau keita & the naawuni bie band - "selina"

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the ghana bigshots - "tu na me nsa"

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kanté manfila, balla kalla with family and friends

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sékouba bambino diabaté

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cheikh m. smith

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mama diabaté

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super cayor de dakar

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kanté manfila

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ouza

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nicolas menheim & le super sabador

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super cayor de dakar

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néma mint choueikh

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a.b. crentsil & sweet talks

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balla & ses balladins

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orchestre baobab

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ernesto djédjé

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orchestre poly-rythmo de cotonou

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number 1 de dakar

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amadou balaké

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waby spider

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djessou mory kanté

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king onyina

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grand papa diabaté

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sona diabaté

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kanté manfila

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mlimani park orchestra

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sona diabaté | garé-garé

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chris mcgregor & the south african exile's thunderbolt

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mama, sayon and sona diabaté

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los afrosalseros de senegal

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ngoma, the early years, 1848-1960

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ngoma, souvenir ya l'indépendance

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donald kachamba

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music in ghana | various artists

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from lake malawi to the zambezi

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music from são nicolau, cabo verde

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mané pchei

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igd el djilad

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