Specialist in All Styles
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Orchestra Baobab: Rudy Gomis (vocals, maracas, claves); Barthelemy Attisso (vocals, guitar); Balla Sidibe (vocals, timbales); Ndiouga Dieng, Assane Mboup, Medoune Diallo (vocals); Latfi Ben Geloune (guitar); Thierno Koite (soprano, alto, & tenor saxophones); Issa Cissikho (tenor saxophone); Charlie Ndiaye (bass); Mountaga Koite (drums, congas). Recorded in Livingston, London. SPECIALIST IN ALL STYLES was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. Personnel: Rudolphe Gomis (vocals, claves, maracas); Bala Sidibe (vocals, timbales); Ndiouga Dieng, Ibrahim Ferrer, Barthelemy Attisso, Medoune Diallo, Youssou N'Dour (vocals); Thierno Koite (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Issa Cissocko (tenor saxophone); Mountaga Kouyate (drums, congas); Thio M'Baye (drums). Recording information: Dakar, Egypt; Livingston Studios, London, England; Studio Davout, Paris, France; Xippi Studios. Arrangers: Bala Sidibe; Barthelemy Attisso. Senegalese Orchestra Baobab was among the foremost practitioners of the Afro-Cuban style that became popular in it's part of the world in the 1970s. Years later, when more electric, rock/pop-influenced music took over Africa, the group disbanded after an unsuccessful attempt at updating their sound. It would oversimplify things to say that the success of their 2001 reunion made these comeback kings seem like Senegal's answer to the Buena Vista Social Club, but it's also hard to deny. Sounding fully invigorated on their reunion album, SPECIALIST IN ALL STYLES, Orchestra Baobab proudly displays the old-school musical values that made them so popular 30 years earlier. The African guitar patterns and vocal lines intersect perfectly with the Cuba-inspired percussion and song structures for a sound that's alternately mellow and busily percolating. Ironically, the album was co-produced by Youssou N'Dour, whose mbalax sound unintentionally helped unseat the Orchestra to begin with, but N'Dour is a longtime admirer, and his passion for the group's music is obvious in the loving care given to reproducing their unique sound on SPECIALIST IN ALL STYLES.
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I first heard them on NPR and a few years later I remembered them and bought 'Pirates Choice' which lead me to 'Specialist In All Styles'. Well done lads.
These guys have basicly encapsulated the true soul of Africa in an album. Be prepared to feel your heart dance around and soar with the vocals whilst the Guitar licks tell the hairs on the back of your neck to stand ERECT!! This music is a seamless fusion of Afro-Cuban Jazz and A West African music form called High-Life. The honesty of the music is distinct. This is a timeless album you will enjoy for life. I got mine! get yours!!!