October 28, 2010

 Navigation

   Home Page

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

   Bandmates

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover


Afrocubism, Afrocubism
Nonesuch Records, Nov. 2

It’s been 14 years since the accidental birth of the world-music Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club, a Cuban folk/salsa project originally intended as a meeting of musical minds between the BVSC Cubans and a group of elites from the African country of Mali but which fell apart when the Malians’ travel plans unraveled. This coalition army of musicians, then, has had well over a decade to think about what they’d do as a unit, but in the main it’s what you might expect, African polyrhythms and instrumentation tightly woven into salsa and other Cuban sounds. Although the singing voices representing both cultures sound closely related, the inclusion of balafon (a xylophone-like West African instrument) is one thing that makes the stuff very different from BVSC. In one departure, “Karamo” comes off as new-age Mariachi, but everything here is undeniably unique, from the somber, mournful, sitar-like kora passages in “Al vaiven de mi carreta” to the balafon-swamped fractal guitar of “Djelimady Rumba,” all culminating in the relaxed and celebratory “Para los Pinaresse va Montoro.” The group performs Nov. 7 at Berklee Performance Center in Boston. A

—EWS