Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Amara Touré

  • 1973-1980 [Analog Africa, 2015] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

1973-1980 [Analog Africa, 2015]
This Touré--there are, of course, many Tourés--was a Guinéean-born percussionist-vocalist who hooked up with the super-seminal Star Band de Dakar in the late 50s, possibly before the game-changing guitarist-attorney Barthelemy Attisso and certainly before the world-beating vocalist-genius Youssou N'Dour. These ten tracks, lasting just over an hour and recorded with a band he led in Cameroon and a bigger one he joined in Gabon, constitute his recorded legacy. They epitomize the languorously "Latin" West African clave Attisso's Orchestra Baobab nurtured to fruition before N'Dour's Étoile de Dakar accelerated it into the future. I don't understand a word Touré is saying, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't respond like this to his Cuban or Puerto Rican counterpart. But something about African clave just warms me. B+