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Had this post almost completed before my 'summerbreak', so with almost 2 months delay I have for you a 2008 concert by Orchestra Baobab. Top band on Pure Jazz 2008: the legendary Orchestra Baobab from Senegal, Cuban swing and traditional West African music in a group catchy sound. Especially the cheerful and colorful tenor saxophonist Issa Cissoko made a party and sought all the time eye contact with the audience. (sources: - ) Apart from above pictures didn't find much about the Pure Jazz Festival (seems 2008 was the last edition), so here short something about (Orchestra) Baobab: In the early 1970s Barthelemy Attiso, born in Togo, was living as a law student in Dakar, in his free time he had learned himself to play guitar. Together with Balla Sidibe, Medoune Diallo and Issa Cissoko he started a band called Orchestre Saf Mounadem.
Soon they could get a residency at the recently opened Baobab Club in Dakar, so they recruited some more members, mostly former musicians rom the Star Band and changed their name to Orchestra Baobab. They played Afro-Cuban music and as a multi-ethnic and multi-national band they fused this with their own traditions, like harmonies and drumming from Casamance (in southern Senegal), melodies from Togo and Morocco and Wolof tradition from northern Senegal. Till 1985 they recorded some 20 albums and when in 1979 the Club Baobab closed its doors the band succesfully sought new venues to play.
In the meantime a new style of music, called Mbalax, had developed and steadily gained popularity, so that in the mid 1980s Orchestra Baobab with their Afo-Cuban based music were considered 'old fasioned'. This resulted in a break-up of the band, some members forming or joining other groups, and Barthelemy Attisso even returning to Togo to practice law. After their break-up some of their albums were released in Europe, these got much critical acclaim and sold reasonably well outside Senegal.
In 2001 at instigation of their English record label and successful Mbalax musician Youssou N'Dour they came together again and started preparing for an international come-back tour. This tour was so succesful that they decided to continue with the band and since then they have made regular tours around the world and even some new recordings.
During one of those tours they played at the Pure Jazz Festival in The Hague, Holland. I'm not sure that one would actually call that rhythmic pattern a clave - clave is, very specifically, the Afro-Cuban pattern played on claves. This also is probably not quite the same as on the Oumou Sangare song.
She's Wassoulou, and her group normally sticks to rhythms that are found in the region. (Unlike, say, Habib Koite, who not only uses rhythms from all of the different groups of people in Mali, but Cuban, etc. As well.) I think you.might.
be hearing segments of different parts of a single rhythm, one that is meant to be played on multiple instruments. But without hearing a specific example, I can't say for sure. It is, however, my guess, due to the sources Baobab has always drawn on for their music. A.lot. or rhythms from these parts of West Africa have multiple parts, especially if musicians are using arrangements made for the stage, as opposed to dances in villages (i.e., not urban areas).
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It really depends on who is doing the arranging, how the rhythm is put across by whoever is playing, etc. Keep in mind that there is a very strong melodic component to West African rhythms; it is about more than 'time.'
(I know, this is probably a bit weird, but I have been studying Malinke percussion for 9 years, and know a few dance rhythms from different parts of Mali as well - am a big fan of most every Malian style I've ever heard, in fact!) The thing is, very often we Westerners hear something and think 'Oh, this is the same thing as that' when in fact it's not. Happens all the time with jazz drummers who know a bit about Afro-Cuban music (enough to easily identify some variations of a clave pattern) when they hear bossa nova-style drumming. They assume that ornamentation, and little touches that drummers throw in for fun = clave. It's not true - there is no clave in Brazilian music (unless a group is playing a piece in an Afro-Cuban style:) ). P.S.: I know very little about Senegalese rhythms, and have never studied with anyone who could teach the instruments and rhythms commonly used in mbalax.
But I am going to be that the calabash thing you heard Oumou's group play is a rhythm (or part of one) played by women who come from her ethnic group and geographical area. Nobody from the West has done much regarding women's music from any part of W. Africa - they all seem to focus on music (including drum ensembles) played by men. At any rate, the next time I listen to some of Oumou's music, I will be listening for what you are talking about. Might be able to find a video, too. Best, spinning. This blog is made out of love for the music here presented in softcopy, if you like something, best support the music and artists by trying to buy a hardcopy yourself and visiting their concerts.
On this blog will be presented: original K7s with music from all over the world, radio broadcasts of live concerts (from K7 recordings and/or radio streams), all sorts of other musical items. Note: selections based on personal manguetic taste.
MY WISH LIST: music I know exist, never have heard, but love to have listened to at least once.Doura Barry - Laureat de Guinea (K7).Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - early K7s.1980s live recs Super Biton.1980s/90s live recs Bembeya Jazz.1990s live recs Oumou Sangare.1980-85 live recs King Sunny Ade.1979-86 live recs Amazones de Guinee.recs Andy Kershaw BBC Sessions.recs BBC World Music Awards.Tinariwen - early K7s (1992/93) (will be continuous updated).
My favorite of the recent releases is “,” which includes ten previously rare 1970s tracks (click link to listen to samples or purchase). Also refreshing is “Classic Tracks,” which features alternate versions of OB gems such as “On Verra Ca,” “Sibam” and “Tante Marie.” “,” available for download from Calabash, highlights the intensely funky tune “Kelen ati Leen,”-showing that the band can get down with the best of them when it comes to Afrobeat.
Barthelemy Attisso, Issa Cissoko and the guys can do anything! There are also an increasing number of strong performance videos of the band on You Tube and other video sources—no doubt a reflection of OB’s series of world tours over the last couple of years, which built on the success of their Nonesuch hit CD “,” and the re-release of the classic “” recordings. For example, check out this recorded during a recent world tour: You can read other posts about Orchestra Baobab on the AfroFunk Forum and.