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Album Review

Kane, Nuru – “Sigil ” – [World Music Network]

Jawbone   6/5/2007   CD, International

Hailing from the western most point of Africa, Dakar (the capital of Senegal), but based in Paris for many years with his band Bayefall Gnawa, Nuru Kane draws his influences from many places. Inspired by a trip to Morocco, he took up the guimbri (a 3-stringed guitar-like bass) favored by the trance music of the Gnawa people. Also influenced by Griot (west African wandering poets) and African blues (ala Ali Farka Toure), he chose to record this album in Scotland, of all places. The Scot producer, Martin Swan, adds occasional fiddle and accordian, with wonderful results. But make no mistake, backed by other African musicians, including some members of his band Bayefall Gnawa, this is authentic African folk, not generic world fusion. Some tracks are electric beat based and some are acoustic slow blues. I prefer the latter. They are soaked in the deep heartfelt soul of Kane’s voice and his expressive acoustic guitar playing. Most songs are sung in the Senegalese national language (French), but other African languages surface from time to time.

I especially like tracks 1, 4, 6, 9, 11 & 13.

–Jawbone

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