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African Playground CD

58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, February 25, 2003
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$11.43
$8.90 $4.09
$11.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

African Playground + World Playground + Latin Playground
Price for all three: $35.78

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Special Offers and Product Promotions


1. Battu - Angelique Kidjo
2. Jambo Bwana - Them Mushrooms
3. Mbube - The Mahotella Queens
4. Hello Hello - Mose Fan Fan
5. Sing Lo-Lo - Vieux Diop
6. Kalimba - Dr. Victor
7. Hendry - Tarika Sammy
8. Munomuno - Samite
9. Hoya Hoya - Seleshe Damassae
10. Sangoma - Bakithi Kumalo
11. Laba Laba - Baba Ken Okulolo
12. Barco di Papel - Tete Alhiuho
13. Lango Mo - Aura Msimang

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Putumayo World Music
  • ASIN: B000087DRR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,286 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By P. Kingsriter on March 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
All ethnic music appreciation education should be this fun! The Putumayo production company has done what had previously seemed impossible: Allow African artists to play THEIR music, not westernize it into unrecognizability (ala Deep Forest), but expertly produce it with a quality and clarity not previously available in that continent. This is one excellent album.

Some high points: 1) The music is a fine cross-section of African musicology. There's representation from literally every continental compass point. The selections demonstrate a fine variety from the South African song that according to the liner notes inspired THE TOKENS hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)", to a West African tune that has shades of a breezy mediterranean luluby.

2) The performances are excellent. (I lived in Kenya for a number of years and THEM MUSHROOMS, the presenters of "Jambo Bwana", were very frequently on the AM dial, though they never sounded this good!) These are authentic African groups (not afro-americans/europeans making music that attempts to SOUND african). That makes all the difference, as AFRICAN PLAYGROUND sounds decidedly non-western (those looking for a Lion King or Rugrats-like soundtrack are likely to be surprised but not for a second disappointed), but still holds all the joy and spontenaety that African music is known for. A number of songs (eg: Battu, and Kalimba) practially dare you not to bob your head in time, regardless of your age.

3) There's educational value here, and not just from the experience of new music. Putumayo provides outstanding liner notes, explaining the origin and meaning of each song, providing some info about its nation, and phoentically spells out a number of the lyrics.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kendall on July 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is the perfect CD for the whole family to enjoy in the car. Our children from ages 1 to 13 love it. One year old Eleanor can hardly speak English, but she can sing along to these colorful, rhythmic songs from all parts of Africa. Listening to this CD is a truly enjoyable experience and it is hard not to sing along. Buy it, you'll adore it forever.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I originally purchased this CD to listen to with the twins I care for (I am trying to expose them to all the music of the world). This CD turned out to be an awesome everyday CD for me. I like to listen to it while I am cleaning because it is upbeat and fun. Buy this CD. You will LOVE it!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Emily Macdonald on February 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After seeing "The Last King of Scotland" (decidedly NOT for the kiddies!!!), I desperately wanted some African music, so I went online and found "African Playground". I listened to the samples, ordered the CD, and upon receiving it, was surprised (and somewhat embarassed) to see that its intended audience was children.

"Oh well," I said to my dog, "what the heck. I'm pretty immature anyway..." So I tried it out, and became completely addicted.

There is such a wide variety of styles, instruments, and languages throughout the disc, one could never become bored listening to it, and there's not a bad song in the bunch. What unites all of them is their unquestionable beauty and contagious happiness. One of the songs (Track 3, by the Mahotella Queens) is so beautiful it actually made me cry the first time I heard it!

While I have no doubt that kids would enjoy it, adults shouldn't be afraid of falling in love with with this gorgeous, cheerful, utterly charming CD.

P.S. My dog likes it too :)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Akuakwart on February 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This disc is great, the whole family, including our two-year old son! He requests "Jambo Bwana" whenever he sees us reach for the CD! Some of these are artists I grew up listening to in Zambia! No Disney commercialism here - I mean should we stop using our ancient phrases like "Akuna Matata" just because it was a buzz word (phrase) a few years ago? I think not. This was my first Putumayo Kids CD and it has encouraged me to look into the rest of the collection (which is why I'm browsing through Amazon right now).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J.S. Simon on November 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This a great cd with catchy tunes from countries all over Africa. It isn't all in English, either, as a previous reviewer claimed. The song "Jambo Bwana", for instance, is in Swahili and is a popular song in Kenya. An interesting side note is that it is often used as a tool to teach non-native Speakers Swahili. "Laba Laba" is sung in Yoruba, one of many languages spoken in Nigeria. If you want to expose your kids to other languages and cultures in a way that they will love, this is a great way to do it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Oppenheimer on December 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
We received this as a gift, the 2nd Putumayo CD we'd received. I LOVE listening to this with my 3 month old. The songs are fun and upbeat and so much more interesting than most baby music!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Debi Kennedy on May 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Who knew children's music could be so enjoyed by the whole family?? I couldn't get enough of this CD when we first recieved it. It is next to impossible to stay in a bad mood while listening to this upbeat music.
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