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AfroCubism

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  • about this album

    Nonesuch Store orders of AfroCubism include downloads of the complete album as high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s, including the exclusive bonus track "Keme Bourama."

    ---

    The great world music album that-never-was has finally been realized. The project that became the Buena Vista Social Club has borne its own extraordinary fruit.

    In 1996, a group of Mali's finest musicians were due to fly into Havana for a speculative collaboration with some of Cuba's most brilliant singers and instrumentalists. For reasons that have never been made clear, the Malians never arrived. A very different album was recorded: Buena Vista Social Club. The rest, as they say, is multi-million selling history.

    But what about that original album? What riches might have been revealed in the interaction of virtuosi from one of Africa's most musically rich territories, and from Cuba whose music has origins in Africa, and has been hugely influential on the mother continent?

    AfroCubism offers the opportunity to find out. World Circuit Records' Nick Gold, the man behind the 1996 venture, finally brought the original invitees together with a stellar line-up of additional talent at a series of inspirational sessions and the great lost Afro-Cuban album will be released 14 years after originally planned.

    Fronting the Cuban team is the cowboy-hatted singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa, singer of the great Buena Vista theme "Chan Chan." The two original Malian invitees are multi-award-winning ngoni lute master Bassekou Kouyate and the extraordinary Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, both universally agreed to be among the world's great instrumentalists. 

    Joining them are Eliades' Grupo Patria, amongst Cuba's longest running and most revered bands, the mercurial kora genius Toumani Diabaté, legendary Malian griot singer Kasse Mady Diabaté and the innovatory balafon player Lassana Diabaté.

    "It was as though the musicians had been holding back their ideas and energy for that moment," says Gold, who produced the album, with the great Buena Vista engineer Jerry Boys at his side. "After we'd waited so long, it all came together remarkably easily and spontaneously. The group had never played together before but the music just poured out and it continued to flow over the next few days." Seventeen songs were recorded in five days, with all the musicians playing together "live" in one large room. A second session was convened some months later and produced a further nine songs.

    This is an album that throws the elements of Cuban and African music in the air and lets them fall in entrancing new patterns.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Eliades Ochoa, vocals, acoustic lead and rhythm guitar
    Kasse Mady Diabaté, vocals
    Lassana Diabaté, balafon
    Toumani Diabaté, kora
    Bassekou Kouyate, ngoni
    Djelimady Tounkara, electric guitar
    José Ángel Martínez, double bass
    Jorge Maturell, congas, bongos, cowbell
    Baba Sissoko, talking drum
    David Patman, guiro, clave, cowbell
    Fatoumata Diawara, backing vocals    
    Luis Bargaza, Jesus Jesús Bello Díaz, chorus vocals
    Osnel Odit, chorus vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
    Eglis Ochoa, chorus vocals, maracas, guiro
    Virgilio Valdes, chorus vocals, maracas
    Alain A. Dragoni, Lennis Lara, trumpet

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    A World Circuit Production
    Produced by Nick Gold
    Recorded & mixed by Jerry Boys
    Assistant recording engineers: Saul Quiñones and Daniel Altarriba
    Assistant mix engineers: Sonny & Dan Ingall
    Mastered by Tom Leader
    Recorded at Sonoland Studios, Madrid
    Mixed and mastered at Livingston Studios, London, and FB Music & Media, Fareham

    Artwork by House at Intro
    Photographs by Christina Jaspars & Paco Manzano

    Format availability

    This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

on August 18, 2010 - 12:19pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

525993

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
AfroCubism
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597978094BUN
Price: 
16.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597977721
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
Description: 

Nonesuch Store orders of AfroCubism include downloads of the complete album as high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s, including the exclusive bonus track "Keme Bourama."

---

The great world music album that-never-was has finally been realized. The project that became the Buena Vista Social Club has borne its own extraordinary fruit.

In 1996, a group of Mali's finest musicians were due to fly into Havana for a speculative collaboration with some of Cuba's most brilliant singers and instrumentalists. For reasons that have never been made clear, the Malians never arrived. A very different album was recorded: Buena Vista Social Club. The rest, as they say, is multi-million selling history.

But what about that original album? What riches might have been revealed in the interaction of virtuosi from one of Africa's most musically rich territories, and from Cuba whose music has origins in Africa, and has been hugely influential on the mother continent?

AfroCubism offers the opportunity to find out. World Circuit Records' Nick Gold, the man behind the 1996 venture, finally brought the original invitees together with a stellar line-up of additional talent at a series of inspirational sessions and the great lost Afro-Cuban album will be released 14 years after originally planned.

Fronting the Cuban team is the cowboy-hatted singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa, singer of the great Buena Vista theme "Chan Chan." The two original Malian invitees are multi-award-winning ngoni lute master Bassekou Kouyate and the extraordinary Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, both universally agreed to be among the world's great instrumentalists. 

Joining them are Eliades' Grupo Patria, amongst Cuba's longest running and most revered bands, the mercurial kora genius Toumani Diabaté, legendary Malian griot singer Kasse Mady Diabaté and the innovatory balafon player Lassana Diabaté.

"It was as though the musicians had been holding back their ideas and energy for that moment," says Gold, who produced the album, with the great Buena Vista engineer Jerry Boys at his side. "After we'd waited so long, it all came together remarkably easily and spontaneously. The group had never played together before but the music just poured out and it continued to flow over the next few days." Seventeen songs were recorded in five days, with all the musicians playing together "live" in one large room. A second session was convened some months later and produced a further nine songs.

This is an album that throws the elements of Cuban and African music in the air and lets them fall in entrancing new patterns.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

AfroCubism is the long-awaited collaboration between Cuban and Malian musicians meant to take place when the Buena Vista Social Club was born, a "collaboration well worth the wait," says The New Yorker. The New York Times describes it as "a rich yet subtle fusion of African and Cuban sounds." The Guardian calls it "an elegant, gently exquisite album"; the Observer says it's "a delight." Includes the exclusive Nonesuch Store bonus track "Keme Bourama."

FormatRestrictions: 

This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Eliades Ochoa, vocals, acoustic lead and rhythm guitar
Kasse Mady Diabaté, vocals
Lassana Diabaté, balafon
Toumani Diabaté, kora
Bassekou Kouyate, ngoni
Djelimady Tounkara, electric guitar
José Ángel Martínez, double bass
Jorge Maturell, congas, bongos, cowbell
Baba Sissoko, talking drum
David Patman, guiro, clave, cowbell
Fatoumata Diawara, backing vocals    
Luis Bargaza, Jesus Jesús Bello Díaz, chorus vocals
Osnel Odit, chorus vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
Eglis Ochoa, chorus vocals, maracas, guiro
Virgilio Valdes, chorus vocals, maracas
Alain A. Dragoni, Lennis Lara, trumpet

PRODUCTION CREDITS
A World Circuit Production
Produced by Nick Gold
Recorded & mixed by Jerry Boys
Assistant recording engineers: Saul Quiñones and Daniel Altarriba
Assistant mix engineers: Sonny & Dan Ingall
Mastered by Tom Leader
Recorded at Sonoland Studios, Madrid
Mixed and mastered at Livingston Studios, London, and FB Music & Media, Fareham

Artwork by House at Intro
Photographs by Christina Jaspars & Paco Manzano