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Laye Sow is a top quality Senegelase musician who despite being known in World music circles, generally doesn't seem to have attracted quite as much interest as some of his fellow Senegalese musicians. I came across this album as it was recommended to me at Christmas time when I purchased a double LP of Buena Vista Social Club.
Laye Sow has played music for many years and comes from a musical background, his cousin is the legendary Baaba Maal and he sung as lead singer for the National Orchestra (a Senegalese band made up of the best artists at the time), it was during this time he got to know and like different types of music. Djamano is a fusion album and whilst the African blues, reggae mixture has been done numerous times before, it's never quite sounded as good as this.
Laye Sow has a deep but soft voice and the guitar playing is always extremely easy to listen to and somewhat comforting, I happen to find this album quite relaxing but it's definitely not easy-listening in the traditional sense, it's not particularly minimalistic and it's not particularly slow.. it's fast and upbeat but still somehow gentle.
This album was released on a rather productive year for Laye Sow as he also released an album with his band the eight piece Mbalax Band, the styles are completely different and both seem incredibly fresh, they are both produced by Steve Marshall but in the case of Djamano, it uses only acoustic instruments played by Marhsall himself (drums and bass) Laye Sow and American guitarist Richard Caswell who seems to seriously know what he's doing it and manages to keep the African flavour whilst perhaps giving it a more concise feel to it. His slide guitar playing is exquisite.
The album was released by Orange World, a Polish label that specialise in World Music.
01 Kairaba 04:23
02 Ya la Lum 04:57
03 Mauritania 03:16
04 Kayba 04:38
05 Jami Lo Laye 04:04
06 Boonoo 04:20
07 Abuna 04:51
08 Samba 04:16
09 Djamano 05:01
10 Babadmba 04:02
11 Afrika 04:43