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Joko (The Link)

Joko (The Link) cover art
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Track Listing

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News & Reviews

  • Youssou N'Dour to Receive 2013 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm Concert Hall Ceremony

    Youssou N'Dour will receive the Polar Music Prize in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall this evening. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the awards to N'Dour and his fellow laureate, composer Kaija Saariaho. The ceremony, televised on Sweden's TV4, is part of a week-long celebration, which includes a photo exhibit, talks with the laureates, and the Polar Music Prize Concert featuring a performance from N'Dour and his band Super Étoile de Dakar on Wednesday.

  • Youssou N'Dour Named Senegal's Minister of Culture and Tourism

    Senegalese singer-songwriter-activist Youssou N'Dour, who released five albums on Nonesuch Records over the span of a decade, has been named Senegal's Minister of Culture and Tourism in the new government formed by Prime Minister Abdul Mbaye. N'Dour is one of 25 ministers that make up the cabinet of the country's new President, Macky Sall. N'Dour helped to celebrate Sall's inauguration with a live performance in Dakar.

About this Album

Joko (The Link) was created over the course of three years and the traversal of three continents. Drawing both on mbalax rhythms—infused with strong Cuban and Caribbean inflections (not to mention American jazz, rock, and soul)—and a more universal urban sensibility, Joko is a confluence of both musical and spiritual influences. In songs that reflect on spirituality (“Yama,” “Red Clay”), social concerns (“Mademba (The Electricity Is Out Again),” “Liggeey”), the important role of women (“She Doesn’t Need to Fall,” “Miss”), and ultimately, love (“My Hope Is in You”), N’Dour expresses the sentiment that while the continent of Africa continues to draw strongly on its traditions, it resolutely faces its future. In doing so he explores its connections to other parts of the world.

“This Dream,” a track that exemplifies N’Dour’s synthesis of African colors and textures with Western musical arrangements, features guest vocalist Peter Gabriel, with whom N’Dour collaborated on Gabriel’s 1985 hit “In Your Eyes” from the album So. N’Dour’s collaborations with Western artists, including the 1994 trilingual hit “7 Seconds” from The Guide, a duet with Neneh Cherry, have helped to bridge the gap between African and American popular music, bringing it to an increasingly diverse, cross-cultural audience.

Credits

MUSICIANS
Youssou N’Dour, vocals (1-11), chorus (10)
Victoria Chidid, chorus (1, 2, 8), vocals (9)
Simon Richmond, programming (1, 4, 5), keyboards (1)
Mbaye Dieye Faye, percussion (1-9, 11)
Habib Faye, bass (1, 3-8, 11), keyboards (3, 7, 9)
Johnny $, acoustic guitar (1)
Assane Thiam, tama [Senegalese talking drum] (2-9, 11)
Mac Fallows, keyboards (2)
Jimi Mbaye, lead guitar (3, 7), guitar (2, 6, 8, 9, 11), acoustic guitar (4)
Pape Oumar Ngom, guitar (2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11), rhythm guitar (3)
Ibrahima Cissé, keyboards (3, 7, 9)
Madou Diabaté, keyboards (3, 7)
Youssoupha Camara, drums (3, 5, 7, 9)

Track 4: Peter Gabriel, vocals; Pape Oumar Ngom, acoustic guitar
Track 5: Vinia Mojica, chorus; Kevin Armstrong, guitar
Tracks 6, 11: Jérôme Lemonnier, keyboards, programming; Manu Katché, drums
Track 7: Pape Oumar Ngom, rhythm guitar; Thierno Koite, soprano saxophone
Track 8: Troupe Casamance, percussion; Félix Sabal-Lecco, programming
Track 9: Andy Shafte, programming
Track 10: Paul Mirkovitch, George Acogny, keyboard; Tracey Amos, chorus; Dominic Miller, acoustic guitar; Pino Palladino, bass; Kamil Rustan, guitars, programming

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Track 1 produced by Youssou N’Dour & Johnny $, recorded and mixed by Philippe Brun at Studio Xippi (Dakar), except the voice of Youssou N’Dour, recorded at Johnny $’s Studio (London)
Track 2 produced by Youssou N’Dour & Mac Fallows, arranged by Jimi Mbaye, recorded at Studio Xippi, mixed by Brian Tench at Soul II Soul Studio (London)
Track 3 produced by Youssou N’Dour & Habib Faye, arranged by Habib Faye, recorded and mixed by N’Diaga N’Dour at Studio Xippi
Track 4 produced by Youssou N’Dour & Johnny $, recorded and mixed at Studio Xippi, Laylow Productions (London), Real World Studios (Box, Wiltshire), and Johnny $’s Studio
Track 5 produced by Youssou N’Dour & Johnny $, recorded at Studio Xippi and Laylow Productions , mixed at Laylow Productions, engineered by Philippe Brun and Rod Beale
Track 6 produced by Pierre Bianchi, arranged by Jérôme Lemonnier, recorded at Studio Xippi and Studio Guillaume Tell (Paris), mixed at Studio Guillaume Tell by Pierre Bianchi, assistant by Jérôme Devoise
Track 7 produced by Youssou N’Dour & Habib Faye, recorded and mixed by N’Diaga N’Dour at Studio Xippi, arranged by Habib Faye
Track 8 produced by Youssou N’Dour and Félix Sabal-Lecco, arranged by Jimi Mbaye, recorded and mixed at Studio Xippi and Laylow Productions, engineered by Philippe Brun and Rod Beale
Track 9 produced by Youssou N’Dour, arranged by Habib Faye, recorded by N’Diaga N’Dour, mixed by Philippe Brun at Studio Xippi
Track 10 produced by Adrian Gurvitz, recorded at The Greene Room (Los Angeles) and KR Studios (Los Angeles), engineered by Marc Greene and Kamil Rustan, mixed by Brian Tench at Soul II Soul Studio
Track 11 produced by Pierre Bianchi, arranged by Jérôme Lemonnier, recorded at Studio Xippi and Studio Guillaume Tell, mixed at Studio Guillaume Tell by Pierre Bianchi
Peter Gabriel appears courtesy of Geffen Records (US) / Virgin Records (rest of the world
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City

All songs by Youssou N’Dour, with Henry Guiyabert (1); Ndèye Mbaye Djinema-Djinema / Jimi Mbaye (2); Habib Faye (3); Jonathan Sharp (4); Jonathan Sharp / Simon Richmond / Steve Hopwood (5); Prince Charles Alexander / Boubacar N’Dour (6, 11); Kabou Guèye (7, 9); Jimi Mbaye (8); Adrian Gurvitz / Maribeth Derry (10)

Paintings and original design by Lili Fleury
Design adapted by David Stanke
Photographs by Jonathan Mannion

Executive Producers of the Nonesuch Release: Youssou N’Dour, Thomas Rome & David Bither
Album Executive Producer: Michelle Lahana

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