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Bambay Gueej
     

Bambay Gueej

by Cheikh Lô
 

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Fans of this Senegalese star's debut, NE LA THIASS, handily the best African album of the '90s, can rest easy. With BAMBAY GUEEJ, Cheikh Lo begins the 21st century in fine form -- this is the album to beat. Lo's slinky grooves, a supple mix of mbalax, Afro-Cuban rhythm, and reggae chuk, levitate a few feet above the earth, with his

Overview

Fans of this Senegalese star's debut, NE LA THIASS, handily the best African album of the '90s, can rest easy. With BAMBAY GUEEJ, Cheikh Lo begins the 21st century in fine form -- this is the album to beat. Lo's slinky grooves, a supple mix of mbalax, Afro-Cuban rhythm, and reggae chuk, levitate a few feet above the earth, with his expressive voice -- like a more nasal Sammy Davis Jr. -- carrying them higher and higher. Because he knows the lay of the land in these Buena Vista days, Lo kicks off BAMBAY GUEEJ with "M'Beddemi," a version of the Cuban classic "El Carretero," joined by Orchesta Aragon's flute maestro Richard Egües. It's no cash-in, though, as rumba is one of the roots of Senegalese pop, and Lo's heaven-directed vocals waft like mysterious perfume above the arresting percussion. Nor is Egües the only guest of note: JB's sax man Pee Wee Ellis contributes some stoned funk to the title track, and Malian diva Oumou Sangare duets with Lo on the showstopping "Bobo-Dioulasso." That track, in the pentatonic style of southern Mali is an Afro-jazz revelation, simmering with snare brushwork and Hammond organ as Oumou's Aretha Franklin-worthy pipes kick the heat up a notch or two. While as sinewy and tough as his debut, BAMBAY GUEEJ benefits from a less monochromatic production -- full horns, organ, trap drums, guitar, and gurgling talking drum color the varied rhythms with a technicolor flair to equal Lo's patchwork duds. Once again coproduced by Lo's mentor Youssou N'Dour in his Xippi studio, BAMBAY GUEEJ is some kind of testament to N'Dour -- every note Cheikh Lo records is a gambit for Afro-pop supremacy. Here's hoping the friendly rivalry continues, long and fruitful.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/15/2010
Label:
World Circuit
UPC:
0769233005724
catalogNumber:
57
Rank:
300013

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cheikh Lô   Primary Artist

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