Patrice Larose / Julia Fenere Sarr

Set Luna

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It starts off so hopefully, this collaboration between Senegambian singer Julia Sarr and French flamenco guitarist Patrice Larose. "Namana" is a beautiful, spare piece that effortlessly connects West Africa and Spain. Unfortunately, from there it takes more of a turn to the mundane, with too many light touches of R&B to be really distinguished. There are exceptions -- "Set Luna Djamondji," a duet with superstar Youssou N'Dour, is enlivened by his soaring voice (although his singing isn't especially intense), and the closer, "Flor Para M," possesses a certain charm -- but for the most part the tracks march by in a pleasant but hardly outstanding manner. Sarr has a good voice, with plenty of character, smooth but with a little girt, but you feel she's not being tested here, which is odd, since she wrote virtually all the material. There may be a future for this kind of musical union; indeed there almost certainly is. But this isn't it.

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