Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Orchestra Makassy

  • Agwaya [Virgin, 1982] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Agwaya [Virgin, 1982]
Four sweet male vocalists dominate this clear, buoyant fifteen-man group from Tanzania, who like all Tanzanian musicians have to travel to Kenya to record their pioneering East African variation on ur-Cuban Congolese styles. Salsa-shaped (a mere three drums) and calypso-inflected, their song forms will relieve or perplex listeners whose contact with Afropop begins and ends with Sunny Adé--they're much simpler. Those who find Adé too damn pleasant will be relieved to learn that Makassy occasionally cut the lovely flow with soulful grit in a lead vocal or sax solo. Me, I love them because they're lovely. A-