2 February 2024

Every week, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. On the program this Friday: posthumous pieces by Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, the “resurrection” of Bissau-Guinean singer Antonio “Malan” Mané and the great return of Nigerian guitarist Omara “Bombino” Moctar.

“No Beginning” by Tony Allen & Adrian Younge

It’s been three years since Tony Allen left this world (in Paris, at the age of 79), but recordings of the former accomplice of Fela Kuti, co-inventor of afrobeat, continue to be regularly brought to light. After posthumous album There Is No End, released in 2021, it’s the Jazz is Dead label’s turn to unveil eight tracks composed and recorded in 2018 in Los Angeles by genius Nigerian drummer and American multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge (guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion). Soberly titled Jazz is Dead 018, the opus will be released on July 7 but two titles at the crossroads of jazz and afrobeat are already available, including the much too brief No Beginning.

“Recado”, by Malan

Immortalized by the novel The Great (2014), by Sylvain Prudhomme, the Super Mama Djombo is an emblematic group from Guinea-Bissau which recorded all of its repertoire in January 1979 in Lisbon. More than forty years later, a historic member of the orchestra, Antonio “Malan” Mané, returned to the same studio to produce his first solo album, Fiju di Lion, published at the end of April and whose name, which means “son of the lion”, refers to Amilcar Cabral, hero of the struggle for independence. Born in 1956, the singer had disappeared from the musical landscape after going into exile in France in 1990. His return, all in melancholy and majesty, sounds like a resurrection.

“Tazidert”, by Bombino

At only 43 years old, the Tuareg guitarist Omara “Bombino” Moctar is already a legend in Niger and beyond since his “desert blues” were spotted by the American director Ron Wyman, who devoted a documentary film to him, Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion, in 2010, and produced his first solo album in 2011. Since then, the one the international media compares to Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré has released three other records, including the latest, Deran (2018), was nominated for the Grammy Awards – a first for a Nigerian artist. The next, titled sahel, will be released in September and includes the single Tazidert, already available.

Read also: Three festivals in June: the musical selection of “Monde Afrique” #153

Find all the editorial staff’s musical favorites in the YouTube playlist of the World Africa.

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