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Editorial Reviews

Bembeya Jazz vocalist Sekouba Bambino continues his ongoing quest to follow the musical model of Salif Keita's epochal Soro. And guess what? He nailed it this time. Sinikan is a rootsier version of Kassa and the freshest disc in this modern, griot-rooted West African pop vein in recent memory. Yes, it looks back to Soro by recruiting François Bréant for the arrangements (he did half of the landmark Keita disc) and bringing in Keita's regular guitarist Ousmane Kouyate to anchor the band. But most crucially, Sinikan strikes the right balance between African roots and Europop polish, allowing Bambino's individuality to shine through, his voice front and center in a lush, full bed of sound on this collection of five-minute songs. Sinikan is a great disc, pure and simple, one that deserves to become as much of a latter-day reference point for current West African pop as Soro was in it its day. from Don Snowden All Music

Sinikan