Musa Mboob & Xam Xam - The Gambia Sessions
Musa Mboob is a native of Gambia who now lives in the U.K. The singer and percussionist went back to his home country a couple of years ago with a gaggle of English musicians and they immersed themselves in the music of eight Gambian tribes, resulting in the band Xam Xam and the music released here. Fans of the late great Fela Kuti will find a familiar sound in "Tumaranke," a jazzy dance groove enhanced with sax work by Andy Pickett and filled with bright female background vocals. "Chossan" is African reggae while the pop rhythms of "Butum Belle" will remind many of the South African music that Paul Simon embraced on his Graceland album. Translated to English (everything here is sung in dialect) "Yarabi" means "peace" and indeed the song, which clocks in at a luxurious eight minutes, is a slow and dreamy cut guaranteed to induce serenity. Other highlights include the soulful "Silanfandor" where Musa sings in Mandinka and bonus cut "Journey" where Musa really shines on percussion. The Gambia Sessions is a fine representation of the musical styles of a part of West Africa not often heard from.
Gambia is very welcoming to tourists and visitors can hear the nation's music there while also enjoying attractions like the Katchikally Crocodile Pool, Monkey Park, Kartong Reptile Farm, Tanji Village Museum, Serre Kunda Market and many other interesting experiences. To plan your trip to "The Smiling Coast of Africa" go here.
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