Gnonnas Pedro has been a staple in the music of Benin since the 1960s. He is a jack of all trades blending Cuban music, soukous, highlife, and ballads that appeal to a wide audience. He is one of the renowned African vocalists. His music is steeped in African and Cuban traditions that infiltrated Benin via the Congo. The mambo and cha cha that comprise much of Vol. 1 have a Cuban stamp on them, along with a primordial African coloration. The compositions are rife with percussive underpinnings that keep the energy and drive concentrated on the dancer's feet and hips. Gnonnas Pedro, a master, instinctively knows the path to a dancer's inspiration and makes ample use of it. His compositions do not overpower, but rather subtly instill a rhythmic force that lifts and floats the dancer above the plane of everyday existence. "La Musica en Verite," covered by Africando on Gombo Salsa, tells it all, with organ and percussion that carries one through all barriers to musical bliss. In music there is truth. In this album there is a good amount of that compelling truth packaged in a manner that will appeal to African and Cuban music aficionados alike. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Romano