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African Soul Revolutionary: The Early Years [Double CD]

Baaba Maal Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 7.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Release: 1st June 2009

‘I think the musician’s role is to give advice, to warn people, and to make them aware of what they might not have thought of themselves. We use melodies and harmonies to make songs enter your mind.’

So declares the celebrated Senegalese master-musician Baaba Maal of the songs on Television, his new multi-lingual ... Read more in Amazon's Baaba Maal Store

Visit Amazon's Baaba Maal Store
for 24 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

African Soul Revolutionary: The Early Years + The Radio Tisdas Sessions [VINYL] + Tassili
Price For All Three: 39.69

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 July 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Nascente
  • ASIN: B003DW6506
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,105 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

This set compacts three of the Senegalese singer's 1980s albums onto a pair of discs, ditching three tracks in the process. This is not a drastic action, though, as Baaba Maal's Wango and Taara records have those same songs in common. So, the overlap has now disappeared, and disc one presents his Jambaajo original in its 10-song entirety. There is also room for a bonus cut, with the acoustic Tabakaly featuring Maal's longtime guitarist sideman (and mentor) Mansour Seck. All in all, this is another crammed collection of tunes from the budget-orientated Nascente label.

These were the days before Maal entered his high-profile Mango/Island Records contract of the 1990s, when his music became technologically aware and began to lure the inhabitants of a different dancefloor. This is not to say that the process hadn't started by the second half of the 1980s. The move from mesmeric acoustic rootsiness to Afropop bounce was already in motion. At this time, Maal was just being discovered outside of Senegal, and these albums existed as holy grail cassettes from the local marketplace.

Jambaajo is the best of the three included here, which is good enough reason for it to inhabit disc one. Most of its songs hold a steady sway at their core, with Maal's galvanising voice vaulting high above the stately string constructions. These loping, cyclic patterns provide the melodic snagging for much of the time. Gradually, track by track, the mix gets denser, the guitars multiply and horns, synths and synth-horns pile up incrementally. The title-track makes an organically warm glide, with Maal's youthful voice sounding strikingly high. Nowadays, he's a touch deeper and more rounded. On these numbers, Maal targets the shivery spine with great precision.

Non-African reviewers might always say this, but a pervasive problem arises each time there's a squeebly synthesiser solo. These were unfortunate enough at the time, but now they're just a decade too late to enjoy any kitsch cachet. At times, the production also sounds a touch tinny. The salvation arrives via Maal's exceptional vocal performances, and the detailed relationships between the string instruments.

On disc two, Wango arti leads off with an infectiously melodic lattice of guitar parts, then Sehil revolves around a punchy horn riff, a momentum that's also powered by a tonally-aware under-arm tama drum. Even as the keyboards continue their parping, and the kick drum becomes increasingly brutal, the actual tunes rise far above such specific details.

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (2010): 29 Jan 2011
By Leicester Bangs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Baaba Maal - African Soul Revolutionary (Nascente)
Think of Senegalese music, and one of the first names you'll come up with is Baaba Maal. This timely release from Nascente highlights the early releases of Maal's career, combining on two discs, the Wango, Taara and Jombaajo albums, which were recorded in Paris with acclaimed producer Ibrahima Sylla, and were the first `hi-tech' recordings of his career.

In essence, they're an amalgamation of Maal's influences: the traditional Senegalese rhythms of his Mbalax and his Tukulor heritage collide head on with reggae and funk. Most of it's great. In truth, Wango is one of the finest albums of his career and more than justifies the purchase. Unfortunately, disc one is mostly the disappointing Jombaajo album (originally made up from outtakes from Wango and Taara). It's not a particularly memorable set, and the mix isn't too clever, but that's a small quibble, especially at the price they're asking (see Amazon).

If you've yet to discover Baaba Maal's early career, then African Soul Revolutionary is a great place to start. 8/10.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baaba Maal 18 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Music of the early years is great Baaba Maal's music is something you have to hear it to appreciate him
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound quality 13 Mar 2011
By annon
Format:Audio CD
I've enjoyed many of the tracks but the sound quality is so poor that I don't think it's worth buying. "Television" was much better quality, and good music.
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