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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

OR­CHES­TRA BAOBAB Trib­ute to Ndiouga Dieng ★★★★★ World Cir­cuit

Or­ches­tra Baobab’s easy-paced Afro-Cuban style is one of the sig­na­ture sounds of west African mu­sic. They were formed as the house band for the Baobab Club in Dakar around 1970 and didn’t split un­til 1987, when the higher en­ergy mbalax mu­sic took over. In 2001, spurred by the leg­endary sta­tus ac­corded to their 1982 record­ing Pi­rate’s Choice, they re­formed and re­leased two more al­bums. Now, af­ter an­other 10-year gap, we re­ceive the next in­stal­ment, a trib­ute to their re­cently de­ceased former vo­cal­ist. The en­sem­ble sound is glo­ri­ously in­tact, swing­ing and sway­ing in time-hon­oured fash­ion, vo­cals sweet and soul­ful. Kora and trom­bone are new el­e­ments, plus a young gui­tarist, all slot­ting seam­lessly into sub­lime in­stru­men­tal pas­sages over an ef­fort­less rhythm sec­tion of Or­ches­tra vet­er­ans. Baobab are back in busi­ness. world­cir­cuit.co.uk NIGEL WOOD

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