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by World Music Network January 25, 2013


New Rough Guides: Senegal & Samba

Monday 28 January sees the release of two new World Music Network albums; The Rough Guide to Senegal and The Rough Guide to Samba.

Both albums can be purchased as physical or digital download and are also available with a subscription to World Music Network.

The Rough Guide To Senegal (RGNET1284)

SenegalAmong the fabled sounds of West Africa, Senegal is a land of musical giants. This Rough Guide includes a roll call of the legends: Baaba Maal, Cheikh Lo, Orchestra Baobab, Ismael Lô and a young Youssou N’Dour all feature alongside contemporary sounds from the rootsy kora of griot Diabel Cissokho to the cutting edge Sister Fa.

Listen/Buy The Album

'A whistlestop tour of some of the major names – from Baaba Maal via the funkiest of all big bands Orchestra Baobab to contemporary hip hop star Sister Fa', FRoots(Sarah Coxon).

Senegal has long been an epicentre of West African musical creativity. With its rich griot tradtion and expansive urban centres, Senegalese music can be everything from far-reaching ancient roots to sci-fi modern grooves.

This Rough Guide includes the work of some of Senegal’s most astronomical superstars. A young Youssou N’Dour is heard playing with his group Etoile De Dakar on the track ‘Thiely’. N’Dour put Senegal on the world’s musical map three decades ago with his groundbreaking mbalax sound heard here in resplendent vintage style.  Baaba Maal’s music has roots in traditional Fulani music, and he has asceneded to international fame via his mix of rootsy music with modern social concerns – hear his soaring voice on classic track ‘Baydikacce’. Cheikh Lo’s relaxed Baye Fall grooves are heard on ‘Jamm’. His music sparkles with Afro-Cuban and reggae flavours. Nuru Kane hails from Dakar and infuses his music with Moroccan gnawa grooves.

Alongside tracks from big names, this Rough Guide showcases some of the country’s hottest new talents. Check out Sister Fa’s socio-conscious rap on hip-hop track ‘Amy Jotna’. Amadou Diange is a griot whose songwriting is delivered with a distinctive voice, accompanied by his bluesy acoustic guitar, traditional drumming and the occasional glittering kora. ‘Diamano’ reflects Amadou’s interest in African jazz and includes a bright-toned solo saxophone.

The bonus disc features a stunning album by Daby Balde, a Fula musican whose music features fiddle, accordion and flute alongside kora, acoustic guitar and percussion.

The Rough Guide to Samba (RGNET1289)


Samba is the dancing spirit and rhythm of life in Brazil. This Rough Guide features the best of old and new from the Afro-Brazilian inspired Mart’nalia and underground artist Loop B to legendary sambista Alcione and superstar vocalist Marisa Monte.

 Listen/Buy the Album 

This Rough Guide charts the dazzlingly diverse sounds of samba. The contribution of female sambaista’s to the form is referenced by the inclusion of Alcione, the foremost of the older generation, with a regal stage presence and a thunderous voice. Also heard is Marisa Monte, the most successful Música Popular Brasileira (MPB) vocalist of the last decade or more. Her repertoire considers many styles but never neglects her first love, samba. Mart’nália brings a distinctive African feel to her music, and leading young sambista Teresa Cristina nails traditional favela sambas perfectly.

The traditional-revivalist thread of samba is represented by two groups and two solo artists: Samba Urbano clip along at double-time with an elegiac, flute-led piece; Partideiros Do Cacique bring Rio Carnival to the studio; Moyseis Marques’ minor-key samba expresses a whole spectrum of emotion and Luísa Maita’s ‘Lero-Lero’ is pure samba.

For the club and dancefloor there’s newcomer Odilara, the welcome return of prodigal son Rogê and soul sensation Márcio Local, all bearing the irrepressible hallmark of classic samba-suingue with killer horn arrangements. And finally, for good measure, we have Samba Um, with their tale of the malandro from Porto Da Pedra, a famous favela in São Gonçalo District, Rio.

The bonus disc is a full album from accomplished sambista Ruivão, an artist with a mid-range voice that flows from silky tunes to fast tongue-twisting tempos with ease.