MUSIC FOR YOU
The 10 Best African AlbumsVingtième Anniversaire Franco (1989)
Franco was nicknamed the “Congo Colossus” because he’s one of the greatest musicians to come out of Africa. A phenomenal singer and guitarist with a classic 1970s Congolese rumba style, his music is gorgeous, sexy and danceable.
Moffou Salif Keita (Universal 2002)
Salif Keita collaborates with Cesaria Evora (known as “the Barefoot Diva From Cape Verde”), on the opener, “Yamore” which has a melody to die for. This striking album is his first to be entirely acoustic.
Paraiso Di Gumbe Manecas Costa (Late Junction 2003)
Manecas Costa is a fantastic singer and this album, the first ever to be recorded in the small war-torn country of Guinea-Bissau contains classic, timeless music.
New Ancient Strings Toumani Diabate / Ballake Sissoko (Hannibal 1989)
This album contains string instrumental duets on the “kora”, a traditional West African harp. Sublime, ethereal, timeless music recorded on location by 2 great virtuosi. It could be 100 years old, but it is also strikingly contemporary.
Bamba Orchestra Baobab (Stern’s Africa 2002)
Recently reformed, this group is one of the ‘70s Afro-Cuban/local Senegalese flavouring musicians. This is fabulous dance music.
Nothing’s In Vain Youssou N’Dour (Nonesuch 2002)
Youssou N’Dour is one of the greatest voices in the world. His albums don’t often do justice to his voice and music, but this one comes close.
Famous Valiha Rakotozafy (Globestyle 1963)
Madagascan music is unlike any other - completely intriguing and wonderful. Rakotozafy, the most influential musician of his time was called “The Robert Johnson of Madagascar”. He died penniless and these recordings from the 1960s are the musical tributes to his genius.
Oumou Oumou Sangare (World Circuit 2003)
Malian Oumou is a gutsy woman with a penetrating voice and a dynamic rhythm who sings about women’s rights in Africa.
Kassi Kasse Kasse Mady Diabate (Mande 2003)
Kasse is a very traditional singer with a stunning voice. Had he been born in Italy, he would have been like Pavarotti. This is a heartbreakingly melodious album recorded in West Mali.
Zimbabwe - The Soul of Mbira: Traditions of the Shona People Recorded by Paul Berliner (Nonesuch Explorer 1973)
Classic recordings of music played on “mbira”, an African thumb piano - an intrinsically African instrument. The music is used to invite spirits of ancestors to bring health and well-being to the world. Listen to this recording and you will know why.