WORLD

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

WORLD mu­sic con­tin­ues to throw up sto­ries of Lazarus- like res­ur­rec­tion, none more stun­ning than Orches­tra Baobab. In 2002, this Sene­galese coun­ter­part of Cuba’s Buena Vista So­cial Club emerged from a 16- year hia­tus. Five years on from the Gram­mynom­i­nated Spe­cial­ist in All Styles , they’re back with a con­tender for world mu­sic album of the year. Weav­ing well- ar­ranged new songs with up­dated gems from their back cat­a­logue, Orches­tra Baobab sound more like a new mil­len­nium band than sur­vivors from the 1970s. Their sound, based on a mix­ture of Latin, Caribbean and West African in­flu­ences, has a new res­o­nance, their play­ing a fresh edge. Yous­sou N’Dour’s guest ap­pear­ance on Ni­jaay seems some­what su­per­flu­ous given that the band boasts six su­perb res­i­dent singers. Such is the bril­liance of Barthelemy At­tisso’s lead gui­tar play­ing that it would have been sac­ri­lege to add a hired ax­e­man. His solo­ing soars to sub­lime peaks on the Cuban- in­spired Ami Kita Bay . De­spite the pres­ence of a big brass sec­tion and a bat­tery of per­cus­sion­ists, ever as­tute pro­ducer Nick Gold has wisely al­lowed the mu­sic to breathe. Made in Dakar Orches­tra Baobab World Cir­cuit/ MRA

Tony Hil­lier

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