Showing posts with label Youssou Ndour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Youssou Ndour. Show all posts

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Live Youssou

As promised, here is another "live" recording by Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar, the cassette Live Olympia (Productions SAPROM), recorded in Paris and released in 1991.

Live Olympia finds Youssou & the band in the more simplified mode they exhibited, at least in the international market, after achieving world fame in the mid '80s. The music is "catchier" and the performances shorter and less complex than in the earlier Jamm La Paix. Still, this is a recording well worth listening to, with a nice rendition of "Immigrés" and interesting alternate versions of some other Super Etoile hits.

Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar - Sabar

Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar - Bamako

Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar - Immigrés

Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar - Xaley Rew Mi

Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar - Medina

Youssou N'Dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar - Jaam

Download Live Olympia as a zipped file here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Live Youssou

Thanks to Aduna for posting Show!!! A Abidjan (1983), a rare live LP by Senegal's Youssou N'Dour. I was inspired to post a couple of live recordings by him myself, starting with the cassette Jamm La Paix (Productions SAPROM).

Toshiya Endo's essential Youssou N'Dour discography lists Jamm La Paix as issued in 1986, and that sounds about right. Recorded live at the Thiossane Night Club in Dakar, it features the jazzy Super Etoile sound that got us hooked back in the '80s, before the depredations of "World Music™" took hold. The band (credited here as "Super Etoile de Dakar I") has never sounded tighter, with inspired performances by all present:

Download Jamm La Paix as a zipped file here. Later I'll be posting Live Olympia, a live recording from 1991.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Welcome Back, Matt!

We're all thrilled that Matt Yanchyshyn is back on the scene and posting once more on his blog, Benn Loxo du Taccu, after a long hiatus. Of course, Matt's had pressing business - getting married, for one thing. Congratulations, Matt!

So now that Matt is rested and relaxed he's once again making available the great music we've come to expect from Benn Loxo. Do yourself a favor and check out this post of some of the latest tracks from Dakar. Matt is far more cognizant than I of what's going on in the music scene in Senegal, and writes about the current sensation:

. . . Without a doubt the biggest thing going in Dakar these days is Titi. Ask any mbalax fan in Dakar between the age of 16-30 and you’ll usually get a “Titi, j’aime titi,” which admittedly makes me laugh every time for every immature reason. Titi is a hot little mbalax number - a classically tall, thin and beautiful Dakaroise woman - who gets about as much radio play these days as Youssou’s latest Live at Bercy. I think her voice sounds a lot like Michael Jackson in his child-star, Jackson 5 days. . .

It happens that Titi features prominently in Mbeuguel Da Fa Khew Vol. 19, a "pirate" compilation by DJ Fallou & Beug Sa Reuw Productions that I picked up in Little Senegal in New York a couple of months ago. Apart from Youssou N'dour and Viviane most of the artists are unknown to me, but I see they're well represented on YouTube, for instance Pape Thiopet here, also Assane Mboup, Abdou Guite Seck and, of course, Titi herself here, here, and here.

Here then is Mbeuguel Da Fa Khew Vol. 19. It's not generally my policy to post "new" recordings in their entirety on Likembe, but since this is a pirate pressing, I think I can make an exception. . .

Titi - Tayou Mako

Assane Mboup - Aye Beugueunte La

Titi - Love You

Yousou N'dour & Viviane N'dour - Amitie

Pape Thiopet & Ass Seck - Takkal

Khadim Diaw - Moytoulma Dokhou Mbende Bi

Aida Ndiaye (Ndiole) - Diama Noir

Assane Ndiaye - Diamale

Abdou Guitte Seck - Beuss Bi

Gorgui Ndiaye - Yaaye

Youssou N'dour - Sama Gamou

Titi - Music

Youssou N'dour - Niit

Titi - Boulma Taanal

Abdou Guitte Seck - Jangaro


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Two Giants of Senegal Music

What is the deal with Moos, over at Global Groove? Can he read my mind? As I noted here, I had wanted to post the LP Somo Somo, but Moos posted it first. I've been wanting to post another great LP, Super Diamono de Dakar's classic People (Feel One DK015, 1987) for some time, and once again Global Groove beats me to the punch! Seriously, Moos' blog, having been online only a short while, is a "must go to" site featuring all kinds of rarieties from Africa and the diaspora. So, check it out.

I have a trump card, though: Euleuk Sibir! (Xippi), the mid-'90s collaboration between Senegal's top two stars of mbalax, Youssou N'Dour and Omar Pene, lead vocalist of Super Diamono de Dakar.

In an earlier post I wrote, ". . .I think most people in the know would agree that the three top male vocalists in Senegal are Youssou N'dour, Thione Seck and Omar Pene. To say one of these is 'the greatest' is to miss the point; that's like comparing apples, oranges and kiwis." On reflection Baaba Maal should probably be added to that pantheon also, not that there isn't a flock of other great Senegalese vocalists as well!

If you're reading this, I assume you have at least a cursory knowledge of Youssou N'dour and his Super Etoile de Dakar (and if you don't, go here). Omar Pène is a lot less well-known outside of Senegal, but he easily approaches N'dour in terms of popularity and sales in that country. He founded Super Diamono in 1975, and has had a number of smash hits with the group in the years since. Pène's lyrics are notable for their concentration on social issues as opposed to the praise singing that characterizes much African music.

Youssou and Omar are friendly competitors who each have rabid followings. The Super Diamono sound could be characterized as "darker" and "bluesier" that that of Super Etoile. To my knowledge, the cassette Eueleuk Sibir! is their only recording together, and it's a certifiable classic. But don't take my word for it - hear for yourself!

Omar Pène & Youssou N'dour - Euleuk Sibir!

Youssou N'dour & Omar Pène - Silmaxa

Omar Pène - Tongo

Youssou N'dour & Omar Pène - Warougar

Omar Pène & Youssou N'dour - Indépendance

Youssou N'dour - Ndanane

Discography of Youssou N'dour & le Super Etoile de Dakar

Discography of Omar Pène & Super Diamono de Dakar

You can download Euleuk Sibir! as a zipped file here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Culinary Adventures, Senegalese Pirates

I've recently returned from something that's become a ritual for many parents of high school juniors: The Spring Break College Tour! My daughter Aku and I visited a number of esteemed institutions out East this past week, and were suitably impressed. It's going to take us a while to process everything and decide on a place where she can best pursue her studies in the years to come.

Enough of that, though.
Some of you may be familiar with Chris Meserve from his frequent auctions of African vinyl on Ebay. Chris gave us some excellent advice on where to stay in New York City (just a couple of blocks from his house in Woodside, Queens), and Aku and I spent an hour or so with him and his delightful two-year-old daughter Koko at Sri Pra Phai, a wonderful Thai restaurant in the neighborhood.

I was first introduced to Thai food 35 years ago when I lived in Los Angeles. The cuisine then was almost completely unknown to the general public and L.A.'s Thai restaurants were patronized pretty much exclusively by immigrants. The food was fresh, uncompromising and usually fiery hot. Over the years as Thai food has become more popular in the US the inevitable bastardization has occurred. Every one-horse town now has its Thai joint dishing out mountains of sickly-sweet Pad Thai and "Volcano Chicken." There are a few standouts, notably Sticky Rice and Spoon Thai in Chicago, but I've generally despaired of finding the Thai food that I came to know and love in California. I'm happy to report that Sri Pra Phai is the real deal, and it's been acclaimed as such by just about every restaurant critic in New York City. So, check it out the next time you're there.

Unfortunately there wasn't time to explore Chris's legendary African music collection. But no matter - Monday, after visiting NYU and Columbia, Aku and I paid a visit to Manhattan's Little Senegal along 116th St., and just steps from the subway discovered Africa Kiné, the most impressive of the neighborhood's many Senegalese restaurants. Here we enjoyed a repast of Thiebou Yapp and Dibi, washed down with homemade ginger beer, and while I don't think Africa Kiné reaches the exalted heights of San Francisco's Bissap Baobab, it's certainly highly recommended.
I regret that we weren't able to visit more of New York City's African restaurants, which cover a wide swath of territory: Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Guinea and Ethiopia, as well as Senegal. Another day, perhaps!

The most serendipitous discovery in Little Senegal, though, was a storefront offering hundreds of pirated Senegalese CDs at $3 a pop.
All of the big names were represented, and lots of the little ones, too. In the back room we could see people busily copying CDs and stuffing them into slim-line cases along with crudely-copied liner notes. My reservations about contributing to this dubious enterprise were offset by the chance to obtain hard-to-find music at hard-to-beat prices. How could I resist? To hear some of the music I copped scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Having heard much of Caffe Adulis, a legendary "Eritrean/Mediterranean" restaurant in New Haven, I was looking forward to a visit. The chef here has aspirations to broaden the parameters of Eritrean cuisine by incorporating influences from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, certainly a noble endeavor. Aku and I both enjoyed the "Adulis Appetizer," described as "seared shrimp sauteed with tomato, scallions, cabbage and garlic, served in a spicy, light cream, parmesan, basmati rice sauce." Perhaps to get a better feel for what Adulis is all about, we should have ordered a couple of the more adventurous entrees, but we wanted to sample the "Traditional Eritrean Dishes," lamb and chicken Tsebhe. What a disappointment! Both featured bland chunks of meat in an insipid, watery sauce, like Eritrean food from a can, if such a thing exists. I certainly can't claim to have tried every Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurant in the US (the two cuisines are almost identical), but judged by its execution of the standards, Adulis doesn't even make the top ten. For what it's worth, my favorite Ethiopian restaurant of all time continues to be Chicago's Ras Dashen.
Here's some of the music I picked up from the aforementioned pirate shack. I also obtained an almost-complete collection of the recordings of Viviane N'dour, who will be the subject of a future Dakar Divas.

I confesss that I tuned Youssou N'dour (Viviane's former brother-in-law) out about twenty years ago, but he continues to make good music, if you're willing to explore beyond the World Music
™ ghetto at the local Best Buy. Here's a track from his live release Bercy 2004 Vol. 2 (Jololi, 2004):

Youssou N'dour & le Super Etoile - 4.4.44

Here's another tune by Youssou taken from a bootleg compilation, Mbalax Supreme 13 by DJ Zacharia:

Youssou N'dour & le Super Etoile - Boolo Leen

I think most people in the know would agree that the three top male vocalists in Senegal are Youssou N'dour, Thione Seck and Omar Pene. To say one of these is "the greatest" is to miss the point; that's like comparing apples, oranges and kiwis. Still, I've always had a soft spot for Thione Seck, veteran of Orchestre Baobab, whose soulful voice thrills me like no other. From another bootleg release, Best of Thione Seck, here are a few representative tunes:

Thione Seck & le Raam Daan - Mane Mi Gnoul

Thione Seck & le Raam Daan - Yaye Boye

Thione Seck & le Raam Daan - Yeen

Didier Awadi was a founder of Senegalese hip-hop group Positive Black Soul and has been a solo artist since 2002. Here's a selection from his second CD, Sunugaal (Studio Sankara,

Awadi - Djow Sa Gaal

If you've been around here long you know I'm just crazy about Kiné Lam. Unfortunately I'm not aware of anything she's put out since 2003's Cey Geer (Jololi) but I'm happy to report that I've obtained a CD rip of that cassette, from which the following two songs are taken:

Kiné Lam - Jullig Geejgi

Kiné Lam - Nafissatou

Finally, here's a tune from one of Senegal's new crop of female vocalists, the lovely and talented Ami Collé. This is from her CD Defar Ba Mou Baax. Click here for a video:

Ami Collé - Dieng Salla