Jidka: The Line

Jidka: The Line

by Saba Anglana


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Jidka: The Line

The debut from Somali-born, Italian-based actress and singer Saba is a quiet and surprising joy. It handily and easily mixes African music -- not just from Somalia, but also Cameroon and Senegalese kora -- with what's best called R&B lite, courtesy of Fabio Barovero, the founder of Italian world music band Mau Mau. It works very well indeed. The insistent riff on the title cut sounds like strict R&B, but listen again and you can hear Africa in it -- this is a record that changes your perspectives. Saba is at her best in her own language, a kind of Somali dialect, rather than when she occasionally slips into English, which sounds forced and unconvincing -- "Melissa" is a perfect example. Although the production can seem a little slick, there's a playful atmosphere to it all, and it connects the dots between Africa and American pop. It's easy to dismiss this is friendly Afro-pop, but there's more going on here. Whether it's a deliberate effort to merge forms or not, it creates something new and very satisfying. It's at its most rooted on "Furah," which brings in a griot voice and kora, but it's far from traditional, and the same applies to the percussion-fueled "Boqoroda Meskin." Saba herself has more African grit than American polish in her voice, which certainly helps propel the disc. At the same time, the music takes a lot of its cues from R&B -- just listen to the opening of "Je Suis Petite," for example. This is an album not just to move your feet and put a smile on your face, but to make you think, too.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/29/2008
Label: Riverboat
UPC: 0605633004724
catalogNumber: 330047

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Saba Anglana   Primary Artist
Federico Marchesano   Bass
Lorenzo Corti   Electric Guitar
Fabio Barovero   Percussion,Accordion,Keyboards
Lao Kouyate   Vocals,Background Vocals,Voices,Kora
Marco Calliari   Acoustic Guitar
Josh Sanfelici   Bass
Suad Omar   Background Vocals
Rosa Moreira   Percussion
Tate Nsongan   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Felix Moungara   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Alex Majoli   Photo Courtesy
Fabio Barovero   Arranger,Composer,Producer,drum programming,Audio Production
Saba Anglana   Composer,Sleeve Notes
Bienvenu "Tatè" Nsongan   Composer

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