Tag Archives: Senegal

Etoile de Dakar – Absa Gueye

Etoile De Dakar - Volume 1 - Absa Gueye

Etoile De Dakar – Volume 1 – Absa Gueye

I started to write this post last week but got distracted by events – though not world shattering events as I can’t remember what they were just a week later. However, in the interim, I listened to the latest Froots Radio Podcast and, by coincidence, Ian Anderson played an Etoile de Dakar track from a recently released Youssou N’Dour retrospective.

If you like the track I am posting today, I’m certain you’ll enjoy the Froots Radio podcasts. And, for my money, December’s podcast is one of the most enjoyable I’ve listened to. This month there is a lot of cracking African music and some brilliant Greek Rembetiko.

On to my track – Etoile de Dakar’s Absa Gueye. This is the title track from the first of a series of Etoile de Dakar re-issues put out by Sterns. The album is a great place to hear mbalax; Senegalese music that fuses Cuban music with traditional Senegalese drum patterns.

Etoile de Dakar – Absa Gueye

Youssou N’Dour – Bamba the Poet

Youssou N'Dour - Egypt

Youssou N’Dour – Egypt

Youssou N’Dour also featured a song in praise of Amadou Bamba on his 2004 Grammy Award winning album “Egypt”. The album is full of references to venerated caliphs, saints, and sages including Amadou Bamba, the subject of the song “Bamba the Poet”.

“Egypt” is somewhat different from many of Youssou N’Dours albums as it takes the rhythms and melodies of Senegal and overlays them with Egyptian and Arabian orchestral sounds. It is an album that , N’Dour explains, “praises the tolerance of my religion”, a religion that in recent times has come to be both misunderstood and misinterpreted by commentators and adherents alike.

Youssou N’Dour – Bamba the Poet

Orchestra Baobab – Bamba

Orchestra Baobab - Bamba

Orchestra Baobab – Bamba

I’ve promised to post more music from Africa and so today I am posting a track by Orchestra Baobab. This is the title track from their 1993 album “Bamba”. This Stern’s African Classics CD is in fact a re-issue of two vinyl LPs “Mohamadou Bamba” and “Sibou Odia”, originally released in 1980.

The track itself is in honour of Amadou Bamba, a Muslim Sufi religious leader in Senegal who led a pacifist struggle against French colonialism. He was also a renowned and prodigious poet and pamphleteer; writing tracts on meditation, rituals, work, and Qur’anic study.

Orchestra Baobab – Bamba