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Lamp Fall

Lamp Fall cover art

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News & Reviews

  • Dr. John, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Cheikh Lô Make "Joyous, Colorful" Music at New Orleans Jazz Fest (Times-Picayune)

    The 2012 New Orleans Jazz Fest got under way last weekend. Carolina Chocolate Drops gave "a joyous, emotionally committed show," reports the Times-Picayune, which calls Cheikh Lô's set "as colorful and unique as his signature patchwork tunic," and notes that Dr. John sounded "newly invigorated" as on his new album, Locked Down. He also joined Bruce Springsteen on stage to help close the first weekend in style. This coming weekend sees Dr. John's return and a set from another favorite son of New Orleans, Allen Toussaint.

  • New Orleans Jazz Fest Kicks Off, Includes Sets from Dr. John, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Cheikh Lô, Allen Toussaint

    The 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, better known as Jazz Fest, gets under way today and runs through this weekend and the next at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. Among the performers set to take the various stage at the festival this year are four artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal: two New Orleans legends and hometown heroes, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, plus two artists whose unique musical styles will make them feel right at home at Jazz Fest, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Cheikh Lô.

About this Album

Upon the UK release of Cheikh Lô’s Lamp Fall on World Circuit Records The Times described it as “a triumph,” while The Independent on Sunday noted the record “takes in Cuban and Brazilian sounds to brew up in a wonderfully heady mix." Both gave the record four stars.

Lamp Fall displays the breadth of influences and musical styles that distinguish Cheikh Lô, one of Africa’s most beloved artists. It was recorded in Dakar, London, and Brazil with local musicians and also includes sounds from Cuba, Jamaica, and Spain. The songs feature diverse instruments such as Indian sitar alongside Pee Wee Ellis’s horns and Brazilian carnival percussion ensemble Ilé Aiyé. Lô sings and accompanies himself on acoustic flamenco guitar.

Lamp Fall traverses the themes most important to Lô: love and war, life and death, education and spirituality. As a devout member of Baye Fall, a Senegalese form of Islam and part of the larger brotherhood of Mouridism, he dedicates his music and his life to Bamba Fall, founder of the movement. The record takes its title from an important disciple of Baye Fall: Cheikh Ibra Fall (also known as Lamp Fall). As Lô explains, “The theme of the album is Africa—my Africa.”

Growing up with Senegalese parents in Burkina Faso near the border of Mali during the 1950s, Cheikh Lô played the musical styles of the time, including Cuban and Congolese styles. He gave his first performances as a young man in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina’s creative capital and hotbed of musical activity, and later moved to Dakar, Senegal. But it wasn’t until he made his way to Paris in 1985 that he began to build the relationships that would make up his unique musical community.

Since his first internationally distributed record, the Youssou N’Dour–produced Ne La Thiass (1996), Cheikh Lô has received increasing praise worldwide. His last album, Bambay Gueej, was especially acclaimed. On National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, African music expert Banning Eyre described the album saying, “there isn’t a weak moment on Bambay Gueej.” He called it “a record that just blares integrity.” With Lamp Fall, Lô comes full-circle, wedding the sounds of his youth with the international styles he has incorporated since.


Cheikh Lô, vocals, rhythm guitar, drums, percussion

Samba N’Dokh, tama (1-13), sabar (3, 4, 9, 13)
Davi Moraes, guitar (1, 3-6); drums, Cavaquinho guitar, sitar (3)
Luis Caldas, bandolim (1), 12-string guitar (9)
Betão Aguiar, bass (1)
Cissinho de Assis, Sanfona accordion (1, 4)
Lamine Faye, guitar (2, 3, 6-8, 10-12)
Malick Sy, bass (2, 10)
Arona Barry, keyboards (2, 11)
Aliou Seck, percussion (2, 6, 11, 12)
Pee Wee Ellis, tenor saxophone (2, 3, 7, 10-12)
Adson Santana, Clara guitar (3), guitar (4, 5), acoustic guitar (9), sitar (9)
Erick Firminho, bass (3-5, 9)
Alê Siqueira, electric balafon, electric tambura (3)
Etienne M’bappé, bass (3, 8, 10-12)
Matt Holland, trumpet (3, 11)
Fayyaz Virji, trombone (3, 11)
Boghan Costa, congas, pandeiro, berimbau, djembe (4)
Leo Bit Bit, pandeiro, berimbau (4)
Felipe de Souza, violins (4)
Pepe Cisneros, synthesized strings (4)
Sandro Santos, zadumba (4); cajón, wood blocks (9)
Grupo Ilê Aiyê, surdos, caixas, repiques, timbaus (5)
Tita Alves, Angela Lopo, Juciara Carvalho, backing vocals (5)
Bocato, trombone (5)
Gustavo Lenza, delay effects (5)
Hilaire Penda, bass (6)
Becaye Diop, bass (7)
Sanou Diouf, flute, saxophone (7)
David Okumu, guitar (7), electric guitar (8, 10)
Tim Smart, trombone (7, 8, 10-12)
Byron Wallen, trumpet (8, 10-12)
Macajon Group (9): Sandro Santos, cajón, castanets; Crispim Cerquiera, Edinho, Bolachinha, cajón, wood blocks; Joathan Nascimento, flugelhorn, horn & woodwind arrangements
Paulinho Andrade, flute, soprano saxophone (9)
JP, bass clarinet (9)
Bigga Morrison, Hammond organ (10)
Candeal Girls, backing vocals (13)

A World Circuit Production
Produced by Nick Gold and Cheikh Lô
Track 1, 9 produced by Alê Siqueira
Track 3 (part 1), 4, 5, 13 original production by Alê Siqueira, remixed by Jerry Boys, edited by Tom Leader
Track 2, 6-8, 10-12 recorded by Rene Mittieri at Studio 2000 in Dakar, Senegal, and by Jerry Boys and Livingston Studios, London, UK
Assistant Engineers: Cristiano Lisboa, Márcio de Holanda
Track 3 recorded in Dakar, Bahia, and London

Mixed at Livingston Studios by Jerry Boys
Assistant Mix Engineers: Jon Oliffe, Graham Dominy
Mastered by Tom Leader and Jerry Boys
Production Supervision: Sara Daoud with thanks to Kyra Carbonell
Production Administration, Dakar & Brazil: Kyra Carbonell
Studio Administration in Bahia: Andréa Conceição

All songs written by Mamadou Moustapha Lô, except track 1 by Sou, track 2 by Xale, track 8 by N’Galula Marthe

Design by
Photography by Youri Lenquette in Dakar, Alfonso Sitjä in Brazil

Executive Producer: Nick Gold


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

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