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Putumayo Kids Presents: African Playground
     

Putumayo Kids Presents: African Playground

 
African beats and dancing feet fill this African Playground, a charming introduction to a continent of music that will teach adults a thing or two, as well as their kids. World music superstar Angelique Kidjo, a native of Benin in West Africa, kicks things off with the contemporary dance-flavored "Battu." From Kenya's Them Mushrooms comes a lesson in Swahili

Overview

African beats and dancing feet fill this African Playground, a charming introduction to a continent of music that will teach adults a thing or two, as well as their kids. World music superstar Angelique Kidjo, a native of Benin in West Africa, kicks things off with the contemporary dance-flavored "Battu." From Kenya's Them Mushrooms comes a lesson in Swahili with the reggae-styled "Jambo Bwana," while the rich musical traditions of South Africa are represented by four tracks: The bubbly "Kalimba" conducts a sightseeing tour of the country; Bakithi Kumalo gives a drum-driven lesson on witch doctors in "Sangoma"; the classic "Mbube," performed by the Mahotella Queens, will be instantly familiar as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"; while the popular mbaqanga invites young and old to dance (don't worry, the song provides instructions). Kids will learn about African instruments, from the kora, an 18-stringed African harp at the heart of Senegalese music, to the bamboo harp known as the valiha in Madagascar. And, of course, there's plenty of occasion to dance with Afro-pop songs from Cape Verde, Congo, and Nigeria. Along with the music comes a guide detailing the history, musical heritage, geography, language, culture, and exotic wildlife found in these countries, making African Playground a fun and educational way to enhance cultural awareness and explore the continent's rich diversity.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
If Putumayo wasn't marketing African Playground as a compilation of children's music, some non-African listeners would have no idea that the material is aimed at kids (or is at least kid-friendly). They would know that African Playground is a good to excellent collection of African pop, but they wouldn't associate the songs with kids because it lacks the sophomoric qualities one associates with American children's music; the material sounds playful and lighthearted, but it doesn't sound sophomoric. Much of the children's music that comes from the United States is unlistenable if you're over the age of 12; it tends to talk down to kids and underestimates their intelligence. But that isn't the case on this Afro-pop CD, which could be described as "children's music with a brain." The term African pop can mean a wide variety of things; in the case of African Playground, African pop is pop music from black Africa -- and that includes West Africa and Central Africa as well as Southern Africa. The compilation doesn't get into the Middle Eastern-sounding pop of Egypt, Libya, Algeria, or Morocco, which are all part of Arabic North Africa. Instead, the material comes from countries that range from Senegal (Vieux Diop's "Sing LO-LO") and the Congo (Mose Se 'Fan Fan''s "Hello Hello") to South Africa (the Mahotella Queens' "Mbube" and Bakithi Kumalo's "Sangoma"). Some of the lyrics are in English, although most of them are in various African languages. Again, African Playground is child-friendly without sounding childish, and world music enthusiasts who are 30, 40, or 50 will find it to be a substantial, intelligent collection of modern, western-influenced Afro-pop.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/2003
Label:
Putumayo World Music
UPC:
0790248020723
catalogNumber:
207
Rank:
32618

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