Colombiafrica (4 stars)


Voodoo Love Inna Champeta Land (Riverboat Records)


The title and artwork evoke early Dr John, but this exuberant album was brewed in a much bigger melting-pot than New Orleans. Like the original bluesmen travelling to London to record with their admirers in the 60s, this long-term project brought some of the top instrumentalists from Cameroon, the Congo, Guinea and Angola to play with the singing stars of Champeta (the African-influenced street music of Colombia’s Caribbean coast). The result mixes calypso and Sowetan rhythms, soukous and highlife with Haitian compass and cumbia, and defies cynicism with riotous energy, terrific playing and the integrity that comes from the best sort of mutual respect.

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