John Coltrane —
Dakar ... LP Prestige/OJC, 1963. New Copy (reissue)...
Darkly brooding work from John Coltrane's early years as a leader on Prestige – a very unique little record that features twin baritone sax support from Pepper Adams and Cecil Payne! Both players are wonderfully hip here – more than enough to match Trane's unique musical vision for the group's format – and the sound of the session is much edgier than some of his other Prestige work – which may be why the label chose not to issue it until 1963, even though it was recorded back in '57. There's a nice roughness here – the same inspirational early sound you'll get on Coltrane's early sides for Savoy or Imperial – and other players include Mal Waldron on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, and Art Taylor on drums. Titles include "Cat Walk", "Dakar", "Route 4", "Velvet Scene", and "Witches Pit". LP, Vinyl record album
A killer bit of early funk from the great Hamilton Bohannon – and quite possibly his greatest album ever – a really unique approach to funky rhythms, with a sound that's unlike anything else we can think of! The album's got a slower funk sound than Bohannon's later disco groove a few years later – and the wonderful rhythms mix together scattershot drums with funky wah wah guitar, organ, and hard-plugging basslines – all in a blend that's pretty mindblowing not just for its instrumental dexterity, but also for the way it brings complex patterns together in a really hypnotic way! All cuts are instrumentals, save for a few chorus vocals – and players on the album include Wah Wah Watson, Ray Parker, Travis Biggs, and Mose Davis. Bohannon's on drums and percussion – and titles include "The Pimp Walk", "Stop & Go", "Getting to the Other Side", "It's Time For Peace", "Save Their Souls", and "Singing a Song for My Mother". LP, Vinyl record album
Possible matches: 5
Manu Dibango —
Afrovision ... LP Diggers Factory, 1978. New Copy (reissue)...
On August 20, 2021
A funky gem from reedman Manu Dibango – a set recorded hot on the heels of his huge Soul Makossa hit, and done with a similar blend of African roots and 70s funk! The main focus here is on the instrumentation – not just Manu's saxophone lines, but also some great keyboards too – and some especially nice guitar that both riffs along with the rhythms, then takes off on solo moments that often have some cool processing that makes the sound nice and flangey! The production is a bit tighter than before, but that only seems to sharpen up all the elements even more – making for a massive groove that rolls all the way through cuts that include "Big Blow", "Baobab Sun 7", "Afrovision", "Aloko Party", and "Dakar Streets". LP, Vinyl record album
A classic album from the best years of Orchestra Baobab – a time when the group were maybe the greatest thing coming out of Dakar, and really helping to move a whole generation of West African sounds forward into new directions! The instrumentation is still relatively old school – no drum programs or beats, just this fantastic blend of quick guitar lines, tenor sax, and plenty of percussion – all topped by back/forth vocals from members of the group, but with an energy that's maybe thinking more globally than locally, with a really wonderful spirit throughout. Titles include "Yen Saay", "Gnawoe", "Doomou Baaye", "Boulmamine", "Mouhamadou Bamba", and "Ndiawolou". LP, Vinyl record album
An amazing classic from Orchestra Baobab – one of those records that reminds us why the group were always so different than anyone else! Some of the rhythms are familiar, but the execution is very unique – chopped up at times, so that the grooves are a perfect mix for the angular tenor and alto lines form Issa Cissokho, whose saxophone presence here may well be worth the price of admission alone! But all other aspects are great, too – from the sharp-but-snakey guitar solos of Barthelemy Attiso, to the sonorous vocals of the group – sometimes inflected in more of an east African style, but which maybe also belie the group's roots in the crossroads city of Dakar. Titles include "Autorail", "Sibou Odia", "Sotante Xalat", "Bon Bon I", and "Ndiambaane". LP, Vinyl record album
Dreamy sounds from Paradise Cinema – a new project from Jack Wyllie, of Portico Quartet – recorded in Dakar with help from percussionists Khadim Mbaye and Tons Sambe – all in a mode of acoustic roots and electric elements that's somewhere in the territory of some of the 4th World projects of Jon Hassell! The instrumentation is maybe a bit more varied than Hassell, but the record's got a similar sense of shape and texture – maybe imagining an area outside of the studio in Dakar, spread out spaciously with the cinematic implications of the name. Titles include "Liberte", "Digital Palm", "It Will Be Summer Soon", "Casamance", "Eternal Spring", and "Possible Futures". LP, Vinyl record album
A beautiful little record – one that features cascading tones from the strings of the kora, mixed with occasional vocal moments too! The album was recorded in Dakar and Brikama in the mid 70s – and is maybe the start of a great run of later sessions that found a way of taking this amazing instrument to a wider audience – opening up the ringing, many-stringed tones of the kora with fidelity that really lives up to the tonal complexities of well-played performances like these. Some of the songs are quite long, and have a very hypnotic vibe – and titles include "Tutu Jara", "Sutukung Kumbu Sora & Solo", "Darisalami Amad Fal", and "Yeyengo High Life Tune". LP, Vinyl record album
(Very nicely-done reissue – with all the heft of an orginal Folkways pressing!)