September 2nd, 2015


Title: 1973-1980

Artist: Amara Touré

Label: Analog Africa

Format: CD, MP3, Vinyl

Release date: June 23, 2015


In the late 1950s, producer Ibra Kassé started a movement “blending the Cuban styles of son montuno and patchanga with local folk traditions” in Dakar, Senegal. West African and Caribbean music were brought together and musicians from all over came to Kassé’s club to listen and dance to this unique, vibrant combination of sounds. One of these musicians was the Guinean percussionist and singer Amara Touré, who joined the Le Star Band de Dakar in 1958. After ten years with the band, he went to Cameroon and formed the Black and White ensemble, with whom he performed in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. For the first time, the singles recorded during this period are available on CD (and reissued on vinyl) through Analog Africa on the compilation Amara Touré 1973-1980. They display his raw, soaring voice and impeccable drumming skills on tracks such as “N’Nijo” and “Lamento Cubano” that fuse Mandingue roots, traditional Senegalese music, and Cuban sounds.

The last four tracks on Amara Touré 1973-1980 come from Touré’s time with the Orchestre Massako in Gabon in 1980. After this, Touré “virtually disappeared” and was not heard from again. All the tracks have been remastered from the original session tapes and vinyl records, and this album marks the first time Amara Touré’s entire discography has been released. Amara Touré 1973-1980 memorializes one of the most influential Afro-Cuban artists of the 1970s and will be enjoyed by any lover of world music.

Listen on Spotify here.

Reviewed by Anna Polovick

Review Genre(s): World Music


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