Orchestra Baobab (4 stars)

Orchestra Baobab

Made in Dakar (World Circuit)


Faced with dwindling audiences in the 80s, the members of Orchestra Baobab slid away from the forefront of their native Senegalese music scene, and went their separate ways. World Circuit Records have always dreamt of reuniting the band, particularly in light of a new-found Western love of Afrobeat. So here they are five years on from their triumphant 2002 reunion, with a sound that’s more explosive and energetic than ever before.

Orchestra Baobab admit to being a hodge-podge of musical traditions and Made in Dakar is a terrific fusion of Congolese rumba, Cuban jazz, ska, calypso and West African griot traditions. Issa Cissoko’s electrifying Cuban sax and the rhapsodic tones of a BB King-style guitar in ‘Ndeleng Ndeleng’, erupt in a tremendous climax – perhaps the most riotous track of the lot.


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