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2006 - week 38, from 23 Sept - Africa, West to East

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:21 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Salif Keita & Cesaria Evora - Yamore - Moffou - Mali/Cape Verde - Universal - 8527

2 - Issa Bagayogo - Ciew Mawale - West Africa Unwired - Mali - World Music Network - RGNET1169CD

3 - Gabriela Mendes - Tradiçăo - Acoustic Africa - Cape Verde - Putumayo - PUT 254-2

4 - Samite - Nawe Okiwulira - Embalasasa - Uganda/USA - Ryko/Trikola - TRICD82071

5 - Mlimani Park Orchestra - Rehema - Rough Guide to the Music of Tanzania - Tanzania - Word Music Network - RGNET1158CD


Two compilation albums arrived in the same day's mail, West Africa Unwired and Acoustic Africa. On the first, Issa Bagayogo’s ‘Ciew Nawale’ confirms what an original sound he has, the interplay of his voice, his kamel-ngoni and the female backing vocals. On the second is yet another alluring female singer from Cape Verde, a new name to me, Gabriela Mendes.

Having picked out these tracks to play, I couldn’t resist setting them up with the masterful duet between two of the greatest singers from Mali & Cape Verde, ‘Yamore’ by Salif Keita and Cesaria Evora, track one on Salif’s album Moffou. Four years after its release, that album grows steadily stronger, and now sits in my all-time top ten. ‘Yamore’ is the opening track and fascinates me because at times I can’t tell which of them is singing – usually so open-throated and almost operatic, Salif holds back and sings as softly as Cesaria always does. The rhythm is closer to Cape Verde than Mali, but they both ride comfortably in its gentle, lapping sway.

Having championed West African music on the radio for nearly twenty five years, I’m trying to redress the balance by paying more attention to music from countries on the opposite side of the continent. The recently-released Rough Guide to the Music of Tanzania is a big help, almost every track good enough to play. The Mlimani Park Orchestra was the leading band of Tanzania through the 1980s, and while best-known for its rousing horn section, its singers were great too, as demonstrated on ‘Rehama’.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:35 am
by gordonfmoore
The Issa Bagayoga track was superb.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:00 am
by Con Murphy
gordonfmoore wrote:The Issa Bagayoga track was superb.

I agree. I like his 'cutting edge' stuff, but this moffoued* track was really good. I also agree with Charlie about Salif's album - it still manages to sound better every time I return to it. It’s probably my favourite album of the noughties so far.

* latest addition to the World Music lexicon?:-

moffou [moh-fu]

–verb; to improve one’s recordings beyond measure by stripping out most (though not necessarily all) electronic embellishment to achieve a more natural sound.

email from Texas

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:09 am
by Charlie
email from Jack Fennig, Dallas, Texas:

Sooo...last night I heard the most beautiful African music.

Too bad I was just waking from a deep sleep while listening to the BBC and wrote down several words:

Charlie Gillet and Al?? Wi??

By morning..I could not decipher either.

Help me find the name of the albums played on the 23 of Sept. about 3:00 AM in Dallas, Texas time?


I took my "scribblings" that I had made while half asleep and showed them to my family...and it was My granddaughter, "Madelyn" who solved the mystery:

Instead of the Album being, "Alica Wierdel," it was, "Africa Wired."

Leave it to the children 11 years old

I shall now look for this album.



PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:51 pm
by Charlie
emails from

1. elizabeth walker

Trying to trace track played 3.45am Monday 25th Sept - Gabriella ? from Cape Verde - album Africa ?

and immediately before Charlie Gay of Uganda.

Any details much appreciated.

2. Sam Macharia, Nakuru, Kenya

I really enjoyed listening to Salif Keita & Cesaria Evora`s Yamore.

Would you mind re-playing it in the next programme.

I have to listen to each one of your programmes for inspiration and deep insights in the world cultures

3. Arif

Could you please send me the song text of yamore interpreted through Salif Keita. It is not conmmercial, I'd like to understand the whole song. Thank you


4. Robin Richmond, London, UK

This is becoming a staple of my imsomniac Sunday/monday nights and makes me want to get up and dance and go paint in my studio which is not the best idea at the time of morning but it is oh so wonderful, Charlie.


5. : Linda Roth, York, UK

Dear Mr Gillett

As a chronic insomniac, frequently awake in the wee small hours, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy listening to your programme ...thank you!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:23 pm
by howard male
Gordon wrote, and Con reiterated -

The Issa Bagayogo track was superb.

Why is this man consistently ignored by the Radio 3 World Music Awards?

He's made three excellent albums in the past six years, with only the middle one being slightly lacking, yet you'd hardly know he existed if it hadn't been for Charlie playing him. I'd even go as far as to suggest I can hear his influence on some of the tracks on Ali Farka Toure's last album in the rhythm of the talked lyrics on tracks such as Erdi. Having noticed this I checked the credits and there was Issa's collaborator and producer, Yves Wernert on bass on this track. And although Nick Gold is the producer, the album was 'recorded by' Yves Wernert and Jerry Boy.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:17 pm
by jayne
Gordon, Con and Howard,

Yes, I'll back you to the hilt about Issa's recordings, but sadly, I find his stage presence to be lamentably inert. Perhaps this is why he has not attracted a buzzy following.