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Pirates Choice

Pirates Choice cover art

Track Listing

Click tracks with speaker icon to listen
1.01Utrus Horas8:39
1.03Ledi Ndieme M'Bodi8:54
1.04Werente Sergine6:44
1.05Ray M'Bele6:57
2.03Foire Internationale7:41
2.04La Rebellion7:54
2.05Ndiaga Niaw7:42
2.06Balla Daffe7:18

News & Reviews

  • NY Times Takes Musical Tour Through Dakar with Youssou N'Dour, Orchestra Baobab, Cheikh Lô

    Music from I Bring What I Love, the film that documents the reception of Youssou N'Dour's 2004 album Egypt at home in Senegal, is out now. The New York Times Travel section took an extensive musical tour through Senegal's capital city of Dakar, enjoying live sets by Youssou, for whom "an ecstatic roar explodes" from the audience; "local legend" Orchestra Baobab; and "longtime local favorite" Cheikh Lô.

  • The Times (UK) Names Nonesuch Albums Among the Decade's Best in Classical, Jazz, World, and Pop

    The Times (UK) has had its say on the best albums of the decade, covering the best in classical, jazz, world music, and pop, and Nonesuch artists are represented in every one: John Adams at No. 1 on the classical list with Doctor Atomic Symphony; Brad Mehldau and Bill Frisell in jazz; Youssou N'Dour, Orchestra Baobab, "Cachaíto" Lopez, and Amadou & Mariam in world; the Malian duo in pop as well, along with Brian Wilson and Wilco.

About this Album

World Circuit/Nonesuch Records is pleased to announce the first official domestic release of the groundbreaking Senegalese group Orchestra Baobab’s 1982 landmark album, Pirates Choice. The album is completely remastered and formatted to include a second disc of previously unavailable material. The group has also reunited for the first time in 15 years to record a new album produced by Youssou N’Dour and set for release next year on World Circuit/Nonesuch.

Formed in Dakar in 1970 by saxophonist Baro N’Diaye and bassist Sidathe Ly, Orchestra Baobab quickly became one of the world’s most innovative and important musical ensembles, captivating a global audience with its unprecedented fusion of African and Cuban styles. N’Diaye and Ly assembled an all-star cast of players from diverse musical backgrounds to perform weekly at the Baobab Club, an intimate meeting spot created by and for Senegalese government officials. Critics hailed the ensemble as the greatest group in Africa and Orchestra Baobab was soon playing nightly to sold-out crowds.

Pirates Choice is something of a holy grail of African music and an undisputed world music classic. The recent British re-release of the album was met with overwhelming critical acclaim. London’s Sunday Times describes the album as “a magical sliver of history,” The Evening Standard calls it “a masterpiece,” and the Observer calls it “a lost treasure from the golden age of African music.” While Orchestra Baobab’s initial lead vocalist, Laye M’Boup, had been killed in a 1975 car accident, many of the group’s founding members are represented on the album: singer Mapenda Seck, tenor saxophonist Issa Cissoko, and guitarist and arranger Barthelemy Attisso, among others.

The reissue of Pirates Choice is a 2-CD set, with the first disc containing music from the original release in Senegal (1982) and Europe (1987) and the second disc devoted to unreleased material. All twelve tracks have been re-mastered from the original session tapes.


Medoune Diallo, vocals
Ndiouga Dieng, vocals
Rudolphe Gomis, vocals
Mapenda Seck, vocals
Balla Sidibe, vocals, timbales
Barthelemy Attisso, guitar solo
Issa Cissoko, tenor sax
Papa Ba, guitar
Adama Sarr, guitar
Charly N’Diaye, bass
Mountaga Kouyate, percussion, tumba

A World Circuit Presentation
Produced by Moussa Diallo in Senegal
Re-Mastered by John Hadden, Tom Leader, and Adam Skeaping

Design by Intro, London
Cover: Drissa Balo Wedding Party, 1967


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

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