A simply astounding blend of Cuban and African flavors. Not many people are aware of it, but this album was supposed to be made in 1996. The Africans didn't show up for the session in Havana, but the Cubans recorded anyway and the result was the Buena Vista Social Club! So now, 14 years later, producer Nick Gold revives the original idea with Afrocubism, this new stunning project made up of esteemed Cuban and African musicians.
Very Highly Recommended.
From the Press Release:
The BBC World Service, called it "a gorgeous mix of African and Caribbean traditions"; host Mark Coles calls the track "Jarabi" "one of the most beautiful things I've heard in a long time."
The great world music album that-never-was has finally been realized. The project that became the Buena Vista Social Club has borne its own extraordinary fruit.
In 1996, a group of Mali's finest musicians were due to fly into Havana for a speculative collaboration with some of Cuba's most brilliant singers and instrumentalists. For reasons that have never been made clear, the Malians never arrived. A very different album was recorded: Buena Vista Social Club. The rest, as they say, is multi-million selling history.
But what about that original album? What riches might have been revealed in the interaction of virtuosi from one of Africa's most musically rich territories, and from Cuba whose music has origins in Africa, and has been hugely influential on the mother continent?
AfroCubism offers the opportunity to find out. World Circuit Records' Nick Gold, the man behind the 1996 venture, finally brought the original invitees together with a stellar line-up of additional talent at a series of inspirational sessions and the great lost Afro-Cuban album will be released 14 years after originally planned.
Fronting the Cuban team is the cowboy-hatted singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa, singer of the great Buena Vista theme "Chan Chan." The two original Malian invitees are multi-award-winning ngoni lute master Bassekou Kouyate and the extraordinary Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, both universally agreed to be among the world's great instrumentalists.
Joining them are Eliades' Grupo Patria, amongst Cuba's longest running and most revered bands, the mercurial kora genius Toumani Diabaté, legendary Malian griot singer Kasse Mady Diabaté and the innovatory balafon player Lassana Diabaté.
"It was as though the musicians had been holding back their ideas and energy for that moment," says Gold, who produced the album, with the great Buena Vista engineer Jerry Boys at his side. "After we'd waited so long, it all came together remarkably easily and spontaneously. The group had never played together before but the music just poured out and it continued to flow over the next few days." Seventeen songs were recorded in five days, with all the musicians playing together "live" in one large room. A second session was convened some months later and produced a further nine songs.
This is an album that throws the elements of Cuban and African music in the air and lets them fall in entrancing new patterns. [Nonesuch] (BP, 2010-10-27)
Song titles include:
Mali Cuba (Toumani Diabaté)
Al vaivén de mi carreta (Ńico Saquito)
Karamo (Bassekou Kouyate)
Djelimady Rumba (Djelimady Tounkara)
La Culebra (Benny Moré)
Jarabi (Toumani Diabaté)
Eliades Tumbao 27 (Eliades Ochoa)
Dakan (Baba Cissoko)
Nima Diyala (Djelimady Tounkara)
A la luna yo me voy (Eliades Ochoa)
Mariama (Eliades Ochoa / Bassekou Kouyate)
Eliades Ochoa, vocals, acoustic lead and rhythm guitar
Kasse Mady Diabaté, vocals
Lassana Diabaté, balafon
Toumani Diabaté, kora
Bassekou Kouyate, ngoni
Djelimady Tounkara, electric guitar
José Ángel Martínez, double bass
Jorge Maturell, congas, bongos, cowbell
Baba Sissoko, talking drum
David Patman, guiro, clave, cowbell
Fatoumata Diawara, backing vocals
Luis Bargaza, Jesus Jesús Bello Díaz, chorus vocals
Osnel Odit, chorus vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
Eglis Ochoa, chorus vocals, maracas, guiro
Virgilio Valdes, chorus vocals, maracas
Alain A. Dragoni, Lennis Lara, trumpet
Category: Latin Jazz
=> Afro-Cuban Jazz
Shipping Value: 1
ORDER TL-24112.10 CD $18.98