Review: Ben Zabo - Ben Zabo
|Date of Release:||2012/06|
|Label:||Glitterhouse Records / Indigo|
|Cat. No.:||GRCD763 / Indigo CD 964362|
|Country of Release:||GER|
|Genre/s:||World | West Africa|
|Date of Review:||2012/07/09|
Released on Glitterhouse Records in June, Ben Zabo is the artist's self-titled debut. Unlike much of the music that has come out of Mali in recent years, this is a rather up-beat release.
The instruments used by Ben Zabo and his band are mostly modern Western, apart from balafon and some percussion. The songs are all originals, pleasant, well written. The beat is a unique Malian one, coming from the Bwa culture of Zabo. In many ways this music harkens back to the vibrant music of West Africa in the 1970s/80s, while at the same time it looks forward and comes up with its own unique fusion.
Ben Zabo is a delightful album, up-beat, joyful, enjoyable, and decidedly appealing to dancing feet as much as it is an enjoyable listen. This is Afrobeat with a big difference. Unpretentious and fun, it doesn't take itself too seriously.
The seven tracks are thoroughly consistent, and there is a kind of magic that makes Ben Zabo more than compelling. One could easily listen to this album all day long. It is a delight and simply gorgeous.
If you are into things African musically, then one would be tempted to say that Ben Zabo's superb debut album Ben Zabo is practically a must have. It decidedly is a must have here!
Credits:Ben Zabo - lead vocals, guitar
Siméon Diarra - bass
Soboua Dieudonné Koïta - lead guitar
Jean Diarra - drums
Kassim Keita - percussion, balafon
Yodé Nepehi Richard - saxophone
Virginie Dembélé - vocals
Patricia Koïta - vocals
Blaz Celarec - percussion
Chris Eckman - organ
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