Idrissa Diop's LP Femme Noire (Volume LK 0188, 1987) is complimentary, and a companion of sorts, to Seydina Insa Wade's Yoff (Disques Esperance ESP 8415, 1985), featured in my last post.
Superficially, of course, Diop's electronic explorations couldn't sound more different from Yoff's mellow groove. But Diop was the featured percussionist on Yoff, and both discs share a willingness to push the boundaries of the mainstream Senegal sound. According to the profile on Diop's MySpace page, Diop and Wade pursued parallel careers, both playing in the Rio Sextet and Calypso Jazz in Dakar besides collaborating in the folk group Tabala. Since parting way with Wade in the '80s Diop has pursued an adventurous career in Paris, founding the jazz group Sixun and performing with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter and other musical luminaries.
The musicians on Femme Noire are unfortunately uncredited, although Diop gives thanks on the album sleeve to Xalam and French musician Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
Idrissa Diop - Yaracodo
Idrissa Diop - M'bidane (La Bonne)
Idrissa Diop - Gueule Tapée
Idrissa Diop - Worunana
Idrissa Diop - Kawele Ciosane (Ouverture)
Idrissa Diop - Djiguene Diou Nioule (Femme Noire)
Idrissa Diop - Sahel
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I ordered Seydina Insa Wade's LP Yoff (Disques Esperance ESP 8415, 1985) from Sterns many years ago not knowing anything about the album or the artist, and it was a revelation. The LP achieves a magical blend of acoustic and electric sounds that stands out even among the many great Senegalese recordings of the '80s.
I had always thought that Yoff was a one-off effort by an otherwise obscure musician, but in researching this post I discovered that Seydina Insa Wade is anything but a flash in the pan. He is a highly accomplished auteur and composer whose work is greatly respected by all the giants of Senegalese music.
Wade was born in Dakar in 1948 and began his musical career in the Rio Sextet, later moving on to Calypso Jazz, with whom he performed in the first Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres (FESTAC I) in 1966. A sympathizer of the political Left in Senegal, Wade's compositions took on many of the social issues of the day. In the late '60s he briefly joined the first incarnation of Xalam, moving on to the Negro Stars, La Plantation and the Sahel Band.
It was in the early 1980s that Wade achieved what many consider the apotheosis of modern Senegalese folk music with the formation of the acoustic group Tabala, featuring percussionist Idrissa Diop and multi-instrumentalist Oumar Sow. These were the musicians with whom Wade recorded Yoff, which brought him a measure of renown and a tour of several European countries. The musicians subsequently went their separate ways, Sow returning to Senegal to join Youssou N'dour's Super Etoile, Diop forming the jazz-fusion group Sixun, and Wade rejoining the reconstituted Xalam.
In 2003 Seydina Insa Wade returned to Senegal to reunite with Oumar Sow and record the CD Xalima, the subject of a documentary by filmmaker Ousmane William Mbaye, "Xalima-La Plume."
Click on the pictures to read the liner notes (in French).
Seydina Insa Wade - Ciat
Seydina Insa Wade - Fama Re
Seydina Insa Wade - Yoff
Seydina Insa Wade - So Bugge
Seydina Insa Wade - Beure Bouki Ak M'Bam
Seydina Insa Wade - Seni Dom
Seydina Insa Wade - Taaruna
Seydina Insa Wade - Len Dem
Download Yoff as a zipped file here.