Afrocubism cover

Afrocubism

Released

One of the lesser known facts about Buena Vista Social Club is that they were originally going to be a Malian and Cuban ensemble. Travel issues got in the way, but 14 years after it was supposed to happen the collaboration finally took place, with stunning results. For this album Cuban guitarist and singer Eliades Ochoa was joined by seven giants of Malian music, including kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté, singer Kasse-Mady Diabaté, and ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate. Cuban classic “Guantanamera” is given new life through an elegant improvisation, while guitarist Djelimady Tounkara is able to show off his dexterous playing on “Djelimady Rumba” and “La Culebra”; elsewhere Kouyate’s ngoni weaves expansive West African atmospheres, which are seamlessly interlaced with Ochoa’s Spanish vocals.

Megan Iacobini de Fazio

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