Cheikh Lô - Bambay Gueej (CD)
The second World Circuit album from this Senegalese singer-songwriter, described by Time as "one of Africa's rising stars", is a funk-laden followup to his acclaimed NE LA THIASS of 1997. Recorded in Youssou N Dour's studio, BAMBAY GUEEJ ("bomb bay gay") features Lô's own Dakar-based drum unit, talking drum, percussion, guitars, bass, and saxophone, augmented by a soulful horn section led and arranged by Pee Wee Ellis (ex James Brown and Van Morrison), with contributions by Mali's Oumou Sangaré and the lengendary Cuban master flautist Richard Egues. A deeply spiritual musician, Lô's dreads and patchwork clothing are the livery of the follower of the "Baye Fall" Islamic sect, founded in Senegal by Cheikh Amadou Bamba, to whom the title track is dedicated. The traditional vocal chant that closes the album is a fitting return to his deepest roots after an album that journeys through a vividly coloured, yet deeply personal, musical landscape.