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    Johnson, Dexter & Le Super Star De Dakar – “Live a L’Etoile” – [Teranga Beat]

    Dexter_Johnson
    Cool stuff via the excellent Teranga Beat label (and via our
    vital Forced Exposure connection….more please Monsieur Benoit!)
    Nigerian tenor saxmen comes to Senegal in the late 50’s joins the
    Star Band de Dakar, but breaks away to form the Super Star version
    (a little “how’s my stardust taste perhaps?). The music here is
    removed from any such vitrolic or vengeful nascence, instead it’s
    super smooth Afro-Cuban percolated sweetness. Singing in Spanish,
    swinging in the shade of a cocktail umbrella, and doing so before
    the roots of Orchestra Baobab took over. These “live” tracks (which
    don’t come with dubbed in crowd captures) are pretty pristine.
    A nice rough rawness on some tracks like “Para Que Bueno” with
    excellent nasally back-up vox. Similarly the singing on “Mayeya”
    reminded me of a dream with the Sun City Girls. Most songs like
    “Para Que Bueno and the closer “Soy El Rey” are clearly dance/boogaloo
    numbers, as their lyrics attest. Even on the slower cuts, percussion
    blankets the music, giving “Mujer de Oriente” a dreamy sheen. For
    some reason, lots of times I found myself digging the choruses over
    the verses, like on “Caminho de Sao Tome” where it quivers with
    a special power and a special pain. But most of the work here
    lies well within the upbeat Afro-Cubano canon.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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