Ismaël Lo - Jammu Africa (2003)

«Ismael Lo, born in 1960, is the son of a Senegalese civil servant who loved American soul music. Lo grew up listening to stars like James Brown, Wicked Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding. Lo built his first guitar from a cooking oil can, and learned to play harmonica and guitar together by nailing his harmonica to the wall. Lo was a guitarist for Super Diamano, a mbalax blues band, for five years before leaving to start his own solo career. Lo is often called the “Bob Dylan of Senegal” because of his guitar and harmonica combination coupled with his deeply satisfying lyrics. As Lo himself says: “I speak of racism, poverty, famine, and the relationships among people”» (The African Music Encyclopedia)

«This album grows on you. It’s not immediate, so at first listen not all the beauty and appeal are evident. But with every subsequent spin you’ll discover more of its rich variety which includes 3 distinct styles. The first is the catchy uptempo pop songs showing a resemblance to the soukous style of artists like Tabu Ley Rochereau and Ray Lema. The hit Dibi Dibi Rek is a tad slower but has highly addictive hooks whilst the rhythmic texture of Raciste is exceptional. Percussive tracks like Samba et Leuk and Takou Deneu represent a subgroup of the pop style possibly influenced by Nigerian music like that of King Sunny Ade.

The slow, often mournful, melodious ballad is the second type. All of these have beautiful tunes and moving vocals. They include the undulating Tajabone with its distinct country tones, the atmospheric Nabou spiced with synth and soulful female backing vocals, the melancholy Lotto Lo which has an introspective singer/songwriter air about it and Souleymane, the one with a pop-rock arrangement that starts slowly & gently before the tempo increases & the vocals intensify to transform it into a soaring power ballad. This “southern soul” is a staple of West African artists like Baaba Maal and Youssou N'Dour.

Thirdly, there is the torch song with aching vocals over a meandering rhythm, represented by the title track, Khar and Without Blame, the devastating duet with Marianne Faithfull which is in a class of its own. Sometimes the voices are in harmony, then they diverge in a call & response style. […] This tour de force […] is the highlight on an album of soulful songs and beautiful melodies that offers impressive stylistic variety.» (Amazon)

Link in comments


Radu said...


jahcisco said...

Thank you.

drfeelgoed said...

nice one, thanks again & all the best for 2010!

Anonymous said...

DepositFiles working.