Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Music And Arts Scene

African Records Review

By Kwabena Asamoah

DAOUDA: (STERNS 1008) 'Le Sentimental' 'Mon Coeur Balance' 'Bouquet De Fleurs' 'Maimouna'/'Je Suis Fatigue' 'Yafa Nema' 'Le Sentimental'.

Apart from the music on this album the other guarantee comes from the line-up of musicians: Daouda (vocals), Souzy Kasseya (guitars), Toure Aladji (bass), Jimmy (sax), Fredo (trumpet) and Cherif (piano).

The late Eresto Djedje tried to put ziglibithy on the African music map while Sery Simplice is persuading the world with his gbegbe music. But though from the Ivory Coast like Djedje and Sery, Daouda leaps into other African rhythms. In this album. just released on Sterns label (though an old thing in Abidjan and in Paris) 'le sentimental' Daouda makes several experiments with sounds from soukous as in 'Mon Coeur Balance' and 'Maimouna' to bikushi in 'Je Suis Fatigue' and 'Le Sentimental'.

As a musician Daouda's forte lies in his songwriting ability, vocal style and potency and poetic wit. Taking almost three songs ('Mon Coeur Balance', 'Bouquet de Fleurs' and 'Le Sentimental') to express various aspects of his 'sentimental' self Daouda achieves a certain level of uniqueness on the African music scene. As 'Le Sentimental' lays bare the reasons why Daouda is often referred to as 'le sentimental' so do 'Mon Coeur Balance' and 'Bouquet De Fleurs' touch on Daouda's poetic wit and accuracy.

Musically, this record has achieved more international acclaim than any other Ivorian product. The interchange of Souzy Kasseya's guitar with the horns coupled with Aladji Toure's bass succeed in confirming the position of this record which London has been waiting almost six months for. Good voice is a rarity and Daouda is certainly blessed with it. He does not let you down in any of the tracks - from the Caribbean feel in 'Yafa Nema' to the phenomenal 'Mon Coeur Balance'. Party fans are again fortunate to have this album which has many pleasant moments.

ANDRE-MARIE TALA: 'Binam' (AND 33833) 'Binam' 'Ma' 'La'djo'/'Soul Tchamassi' 'Gofo' 'Solam'.

Cameroon is forging ahead with many superb hits from Sam Fan Thomas's 'Africa Typic Collection' to Moni Bile's 'O Si Tapa Lambo Lam'. It does not stop there. Though this is not Andre-Marie Tala's first great work, 'Binam' has come in at the right moment to reinforce his position as one of the best from Cameroon.

Apart from 'Soul Tchamassi' which sounds slightly 'foreign', the rest of the songs on the LP divide beautifully into makassi ('Binam', 'La'djo' and 'Solam') and slowies ('Ma' and 'Gofo'). The remarkable aspect of it all is the production at which the Cameroonians are slowly becoming masters.

'Binam' which opens the A-side passes all tests on the dance floor. Nothing stops this song from going to the top but the other two makassi rhythms can also stir a lot of interest. The guitars work frantically while the horns preach harmony and urgency. Of course, with top session stars such as Jimmy and Fredo (horns), Jules Kamga (guitar) and Jean-Claude Naimro (keyboards) nothing should be missing. The other ingredients are Tala's sweet voice, musical arrangements and guitar.

With the full complement of per- cussion instruments 'Ma' and 'Gofo become worthy slowies to cater for 'lovers' dance and 'peace' music for listening

To think of 'Soul Tchamassi' as an odd addition is to underestimate the contribution of the track which will also attract a certain following in spite of its novelty. At least, the Fan Club in Douala will hail it as coming from one of their heroes.

To seal the album Andre-Marie Tala adds another warm-up track ('Solam") to the selection. Dancers will be pleased and party time will become an all-night affair.

On the whole, this LP deserves attention and play but don't push your neighbour away when dancing.


1. MPAEBO Pat Thomas (NAKASI) Ghana
2. ELECTRIC AFRICA Manu Dibangu (CELLULOID) Cameroon
3. OBI DOBA African Brothers (A.B.) Ghana
4. NA WA FOR YOU Hi-Life International (STERNS) Ghana
5. SOMO SOMO Somo Somo (STERNS) Zaire/UK
6. ARMY ARRANGEMENT Fela Anikulapo Kuti (CELLULOID) Nigeria
7. KENYA Mbilia Bel (GENIDIA) Zaire
9. NEPA Tony Allen (EARTHWORKS) Nigeria
10. WAITING FOR THE RAIN Hugh Masekela (JIVE AFRICA) South Africa
11. BEHYE ME MA New Life Gospel (PMA) Ghana
12. TOUNKAN Ambassadeurs (CELLULOID) Mali
13. BINAM Andre-Marie Tala (ANDY'S) Cameroon
14. BRE BRE NA EYE Atakora Manu (PMA) Ghana

Chart courtesy of AFROBOOM RECORDS,
135 Clarence Road, London E5 8EE (Mail Order only).

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