of Faateleku: Music from the Gambia
Ismaila Oussou Njie Señor
|From the opening tracks
Muslim greeting in the Wolof language, backed by infectious soca breaks,
the listener realizes that there is something special about the new
CD from Ismaila Oussou Njie. Formerly a member of the Gambian group
Super Eagles, which toured West Africa and the UK to sold-out audiences
in the late 60s and early 70s, Njie has recorded two new albums, of
which a selection have been assembled on this CD for release in the
The first acknowledgements on the CD
is the artists thanks to Allah "for giving me the chance
to make people happy." Gratitude and optimism infuse this album
from the first song, "Noou-Yoou Oussou Njie (Salaam Alekum),"
and its Africanized Muslim greeting to the track "Bada Touré,"
thanking this "supporter, patron, and fan par excellence to
Gambian music and musicians." Underlying this message of gratitude
is a great variety of music including the increasingly popular
blending of African percussion with salsa and Cuban influences.
The result is an eminently danceable
album with positive messages throughout (if you speak the languages
or read the translations). But one need not understand the lyrics
to appreciate the spirit and energy of the music. Some listeners
may find the production a little slick, but most fans of salsa and/or
West African music will be dancing and wondering if they can find
those old Super Eagles albums.