Tama

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AllMusic Review by

This ensemble captures the true essence of worldbeat music in that its members come from three different countries to impart influences which help define the new face of bubbly Afropop. Mali's Diakité Toumany plays the kora, Guinea-Bissau's Djanuna Dabo is responsible for the frisky percussion and raspy vocals, and English guitarist Sam Mills (of 23 Skidoo fame) adds a subtle Western influence. Not surprisingly, the three first came together in the very cosmopolitan musical city of Paris. As the album title implies, this collection expands upon the sound of their debut, Nostalgie, even adding the haunting feminine vocal wiles of Malian diva Mamani Keita. The trio's magic is textured by outside instruments like cello and sax. The 12 tracks all have one-word titles, which may by themselves be meaningless to the English-speaking listener. But the tribal grooves and sensuous energies are remarkable. "Oka" is the classic African roll-along tune, with pitter-patter percussion challenging Mills' guitar to keep up. "Yala" is a sexy conversation between Dabo and Keita, driven over an hypnotic jungle beat. The title track is gentle and folkloric, with a unique chant fronting mystical sounds and a simple, rhythmic acoustic guitar line. The quintessential modern African funk experience.

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