Touré Kunda

Sounke

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This is a live concert recording, performed in Paris presumably around 1991 as Hamidou Touré (not to be confused with Amadou Touré, a group member who died in 1983), who joined the group briefly early in the '90s, is present. There's an eight-piece band backing the four brothers and, consequently, most of the music is on the lush (arguably, overdone) side of things rather than the sparer presentation on albums like Casamance au Clair de Lune. Still, the music is as infectious and joyous as listeners have come to expect from this fine Senegalese group, especially the stirring call-and-response vocals. If one can ignore the occasionally cheesy synth textures and perfunctory rhythm section, there's a wealth of beautiful harmonies and intricate percussive patterns percolating along at all times. Plus, there are pure voice/percussion pieces like "Yakka" and "Seourouba" to clear the palate. But the vocals carry the day, and even without the benefit of understanding the words, the urgency and commitment expressed in songs like "Coumpole" is clearly apparent. Several of their "hits," like "Em'ma" and "Salya," are performed here, and the recording quality is generally fine, making Sounke a desirable purchase for the Touré Kunda fan.

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