"The music of Africa...as varied and rich as the continent
itself." This first sentence of the liner notes summarizes
the conflict between the title "Africa" and the limitation
of 13 tracks. Though thin as a representation of Africa as a whole,
this collection does contain some continental highlights, with
tracks from African greats such as Senegal's Youssou N'Dour and
Madagascar's Tarika. The Lágbájá song "Abami"
from the Nigerian bandleader's CD tribute to Fela Kuti, captures
some of his live energy that so captivated the WOMAD crowd last
summer. "Father of Rai" Messaoud Bellemou contributes
"Nediha Gaouria," featuring his innovative lead trumpet
and flowing voice.
Individually, the songs are great, but no common thread connects
them. Still, if you don't know much about African music and want
some quality samples-or want to help support Oxfam's worthy efforts-this
CD may be for you.