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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It was a tough growth spurt for African musicians in the late-1970s and '80s. Between the influence of cheese-ball French producers, saccharine American pop and the emergence of the synthesizer, those trying to do something they thought was modern ended up sounding (in hindsight) incredibly dated. Malian keyboardist Cheik Tidiane Seck lived through those days, coming up with Salif Keita and Mory Kante, but he's played with a wide range of musicians (Santana to jazzman Hank Jones to Fela), and it's broadened him. This debut delivers on the promise of its title, offering up a postmodern mix of urban grooves, funk, gospel, hip-hop and the music of his traditional Manding upbringing. Here Hammond B3 is featured along side the percussion of ngoni and balafon to make unexpected link between the church and African folk music; the electric rock guitar somehow manages not clash with soft jazz trombone. A timeless look at the past, present and future, this music celebrates the complexities of life for modern day Africans. –-Tad Hendrickson

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