¡Viva Africando! (Sterns STCD1120, 2013)
If you enjoyed Africando’s previous albums, you are in for treat. The great African and African diaspora vocalists return for another stellar collaboration with New York’s top salsa musicians on their 8th album titled ¡Viva Africando! This time, Africando’s producers Ibrahima Sylla and Malian arranger Boncana Maïga, flew the Latin musicians, led by pianist Oscar Hernandez, to Paris. This wasn’t the original plan, but visa issues prevented
In the French capital the salsa musicians reunited with Africando’s vocal stars, Senegalese singer Medoune Diallo, Guinean vocalist Sékouba Bambino, Burkina Faso’s Amadou Ballaké and Haitian singer Shoubou, together with additional guest singers from various countries, singing in 10 different languages.
The guest vocalists include Jos Spinto from Benin, Pascal Dieng of Super Cayor de Dakar, Bassirou Sarr of the Senegalese group Dieuf-Dieul, Rene Cabral from Cape Verde, Lokombe Nkalulu who performed in one of the top Congolese bands of the 1970s, les Grands Maquisards; James Gadiaga of Senegal’s Royal Band de Thiès, and the late Raymond Fernandes, born in Dakar to Cape Verdean parents. He recorded his song during the Africando sessions for Mandali, but when he passed away before Mandali’s release, his track was removed and now appears in ¡Viva Africando!
The last song on ¡Viva Africando!, titled ‘Africa Es “Tribute to Africando”’ includes the legendary Spanish Harlem Orchestra, under the direction of Oscar Hernandez, featuring lead singer Ray de la Paz.
¡Viva Africando! is salsa at its best; salsa dura (hard salsa), with top-notch vocalists and instrumentalists who are passionate about one of the most vibrant forms of Afro-Latin music.
Buy ¡Viva Africando!
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.