Touré Kunda

Dance of the Leaves [Restless/Enigma]

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This career retrospective from the founding of Touré Kunda to 1987 is heavy on material from the group's early work -- which is a good thing, because those albums are hard to find. It's slightly puzzling that nothing from the 1984 live album was included, because that is generally regarded as one of Touré Kunda's best early efforts. The first five studio releases are about equally represented on Dance of the Leaves, which gives a good sense of a band that started out as a group of traditional hotshots and added foreign and modern influences as its career progressed. There is one cut each from the later albums Live Paris Ziguinchor and Karadindi, both of which hark back to the early acoustic and traditional work. The casual fan of African music who is interested in learning about an excellent group of performers will find this an excellent introduction, and the ardent Touré Kunda fan who can't find the early albums will find it essential.

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