Reggae has been a major force in African music ever since Bob Marley visited the continent, but it has often been difficult for African performers to produce a distinctively African reggae fusion. Youssou N'Dour's Dakar-Kingston, partly recorded at the Tuff Gong studio in Jamaica, is the latest disappointing example. Congratulations, then, to Tiken Jah Fakoly for an album that's refreshingly different. He has always been an outsider, an exile from the Ivory Coast who settled in Mali, where he has become a local star. He, too, travelled to Tuff Gong, where he recorded with veteran Jamaican reggae celebrities including bass-player Glen Browne and guitarist Mickey Chung. But he also recorded in London, Paris and Bamako, where he added west African traditional instruments (kora, n'goni, balafon) to the mix. The result is an original and varied set that is helped by his soulful vocals and angry lyrics, including thoughtful songs in English and French.Click to read the full article
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Robin Denselow reviews Tiken Jah Fakoly's African Revolution.