Touré Kunda

Toure Kunda

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This was the Senegalese trio's second record for Celluloid and the last to feature Amadou Toure, who collapsed on-stage and died in 1983. Oddly, the music is much more commercial-oriented than subsequent albums on this label would be, relying heavily on reggae and Latin rhythms and harmonies, more so than the West African roots that would form the basis of recordings like Casamance au Clair de Lune. It makes for a somewhat unsatisfying record, especially for listeners who have previously heard them scale ecstatic heights with releases like Amadou-Tilo and Live Paris: Ziguinchor. There are still some reminders of how this group could be so special, such as the lovely theme to "Samba," but overall the session has the feel of a rote world music pop album -- not unattractive but nothing out of the ordinary. Its chief value is of a historical nature; almost any of the other Celluloid releases are better places to start.

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