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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music, 13 Oct 2010
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This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
I played this wonderful, wonderful record for the first time this morning. I loved it immediately. It really is beautiful - a much overused word with regards music, but in this instance entirely apt. I shall leave it to others to wax lyrical about the coming together of sounds and cultures; it is enough for me to recommend this release without reservation. It will brighten your day, it really will...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afrocubism in Istanbul, 15 Dec 2010
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
I was lucky enough to watch the group live, in Istanbul, just a few days before I received the cd. Although I thoroughly enjoyed their stage performance, I still would go for the studio version. It is a superb recording and all the instruments and voices come through as if you are listening to the group play in the same room. I understand this project was originally planned for instead of Buena Vista Social Club but did not happen because the Mali part of the group were not able to travel then. It may have been the luckiest misfortune ever. This way we are both blessed with BVSC and Afrocubism probably will also benefit from BVSC's reputation as well. Best of luck to these ambassadors of Cuban/ Mali music...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Collaboration & the original idea for Buena Vista Social Club!, 11 Oct 2010
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
There's a great story behind 'AfroCubism'. When Nick Gold & Ry Cooder went to Cuba back in 1996, they were intending to record Malian mucians with Cuban musicians. But the Malians never showed up (visa issues apparently) so there they were with 3 weeks booked in the studio and no collaboration. They worked on other ideas and ended up recording Buena Vista Social Club - the rest, as they say, is history. Or world music history at least :)

The original idea for the project - AfroCubism - has finally seen the light of day, so is it worth the wait? Well, the band is certainly more of a supergroup than it would have been back in 1996 - Cuban Eliades Ochoa & Malians Bassekou Kouyate & the kora genius Toumani Diabate in particular having high profiles in their own right these days, and the album more than reflects the considerable talent of all those involved. The discipline of the Cuban rhythm section makes sense of collaborations involving the looser more improvisational Malian style. There is even a fresh & enjoyable improvisation re-working of 'Guantanamera'!

This record blends traditions, pushes boundaries & gives you something thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. If you loved Buena Vista Social Club then you will love this too. Joy & exuberance abound!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afrocubism, 12 Jan 2011
By 
Martyn - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
Whichever side you're coming from, ie an interest in Cuban music, an interest in Africn music, a fan of both or even someone new to 'World music', this album has it all - wonderful playing, singing, composition and that wonderful feeling that comes across of everyone just having such a great time creating something which is a genuine fusion of styles, rather than clumsy Damon Albarn-style bolting on of one music to another.

Songs are by turns more Malian than Cuban and visa versa in their basic rythms and composition, but the playing blends in wonderfully, each set of musicians copying and reproducing the opthers' styles to create something genuinely seamless and unique.

Something also very evident here, and which I increasingly appreciate about much 'World music' in general, is that the best-known artists, Eliades Ochoa, Toumani Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate, are all capable of stepping aside and letting others take the lead - this was very evident when i saw the Afrocubism show recently - Fode Lassana Diabaté on the balafon (a truly wonderful Malian instrument resembling a large wooden xylophone) was given as much solo time as any of those I mention above, as were all the other artists.

This should, and I hope will, become just as essential to anyone's music collection as 'Buena Vista Social CLub' itself, and well done to Nick Gold for finally bringing it all together.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling musical communication, 5 Dec 2010
By 
N. H. Rowland "Elfin Print" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
The post dated nature of this mingling of African and Cuban musicians has inevitably tinted the eventual album. The phenomenon of the Buena Vista Social Club has impacted on world music, world circuit and no doubt influences the 2010 product. Presumably the popularity of the Cuban album means that the Cuban influence may be greater than originally intended. This is not necessarily a negative comment, so much as an observation.
Arguably musical cultures and influences take decades, if not centuries to truly blend and to become something with integrity and lustre. The success of the Cuban project showed this, as it was essentially conservative in nature. Of course Cuban music is a hybrid itself, a beautiful outcome from a legacy of colonial and historical violence and upset....a flower on the rust heap of human history.
The idea of pushing cultures together, even in a romantic marriage, is more artificial and has Frankenstein aspects about it.
Here there is a beautiful meeting, and already Western African music has taken an influence from Cuban styles; which means it does not seem forced, like an airport lounge encounter.
Certain tracks emphasise the African musicians, so often there is a contrast, rather than a mixing. The outcome is not quite as radical or free as you may expect. Largely this is considered musicianship, not some kind of improvised jam session between strangers. There is little grandstanding here.
This is a wonderful album, providing threads of musical ideas and melody, that will keep the appreciative listener absolutely entranced. This truly shows how music is a power for harmony, in every sense, for life and for art.
For me as an enthusiast of World Circuit's output, this proves again what a creative and original label it is.
How about some new musical areas too?
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4.0 out of 5 stars well rounded, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
It's a great album. My friend introduced me to it, I introduced my mum and dad to it, we all like it lots. If you like Buena Vista Social Club and appreciate a good beat you'll enjoy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 27 Mar 2012
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
I love the mix of the stringed instruments, the percussive Cuban style with the rolling Mali-an sounds, and the mix of the Cuban Sonero singing style with the solo African calling voice. I found the whole CD impossible to resist - Wonderful, wonderful stuff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid mixture between Mali and Cuba, 19 Feb 2012
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
A very nice mixture between Cuban and Malian music! If you like Buena Vista Social Club you will certainly also like this one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great execution of the original conecpt, 5 Dec 2010
By 
T. H. Matheu "TM" (NYC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: AfroCubism (Audio CD)
Although I do think Buena Vista Social Club was a happy accident that should have happened, it is great to see the follow through of the original idea of W. Africans and Cubans melding together.
Plenty has been written already but I might add: Having seen them live in NYC, the Cubans and W. Africans somehow overcome language and cultural differences to create a new blend of music that is unique and a very rare treat to see.
Kudos to Rye Cooder for being a catalyst for the original BVSC album and film, but in AfroCubism, DJELIMADY TOUNKARA added what Rye Cooder could not. He seemed to "get" the Cuban style and find a way to add to and nuance a form of music that needs no improvement. Well done!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and life affirming, 27 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Afrocubism (MP3 Download)
I was lucky enough to be at the concert at the Barbican last weekend. It was stunning. I felt really priviledged to see and hear such great musicians play. I came away feeling alive in a new way. If you missed the concert, they are performing again at the Royal Albert Hall in June 2011. In the mean time, this CD will keep you going. Wonderful.
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