Before I bought this, I already owned "Pirates' Choice" and "Specialist in All Styles", both of which I loved. So I eagerly awaited Amazon's delivery of this CD and I haven't been at all disappointed - it seems that this band have never released a weak song in their entire repertoire.
This CD is a combination of the two albums, "Mouhamadou Bamba" (1980) and "Sibou Odia" (1981), so you get a full 72 minutes of Artisso, Cissokho, Seck et al doing their magical stuff.
For those unfamiliar with the band, they are a joyous blend of the kind of Cuban sound found on Buena Vista Social Club and West African Wolof music and the resultant mix is a delight to the ear.
Barthelemy Artisso has to be one of the finest guitarists in all of Africa - his delicate feathery tones are magical - and Issa Cissokho provides an equally accomplished foil to him on the sax. Thione Seck and Balla Sidibe's warm, melodic vocals fit neatly into a mix held together by a solid, danceable rhythm section.
Two of these songs, "Boulmamine" and "Gnawou", are reworked on "Specialist in All Styles" as "Bul Ma Miin" and "Gnawoe", but their original workings are just as compelling as their (to me) more familiar covers. Apart from these two, "Doomou Baaye" and "Sibou Odia" are perhaps my favourite tracks, but they're all good.
Although perhaps not their finest album (I think I'd give "Pirates' Choice" that honour), this album comes highly recommended.