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Sample Track 1:
"Ma Pao" from Na Afriki (Cumbancha)
Sample Track 2:
"Yekiyi" from Na Afriki (Cumbancha)
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Na Afriki (Cumbancha)
Layer 2
CD Review

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Dobet Gnahore
Na Afriki

-by Dennis Rozanski

"Ignorance is bliss," they say. Yet, to the untrained American ear, all the pretty-sounding songs that the 24-year-old African songbird Dobet Gnahore sings can onlybe half appreciated.  That's because her full art encompasses both a melodic and lyric content, cultivated from growing up in the village Ki-Yi M'Bock, an artistic oasis snugged into the Ivory Coast's bustling capital city of Abidjan.  so unless you're linguistically wise to Senegalese Wolof, Congolese LIngala, her native Ivorian Malinke, or any of the other indigenous languages she drifts between, poignant words never get to register their detailed impact.  Protests over women's rights, exploitation of children, and other of Africa's socio-political issues unknowingly float by on lush melodic streams.  yet it's on those melodic streams- free-flowing and captivatingly seductive_that Na Afriki (To Africa) can spill over commnication barriers.  Listeners unable to interepret the message, nonetheless, can still enjoy the contemporary musical packaging in which it's wrapped.  Fingerstyle guitars, percussion of assorted shape and size, and an occasional backing choir of angels layer around the world-stage diva with a casual precision.  In other words, Gnahore and her band stylistically tour the mother coninent with a gentility and grace that's universally comprehended.  So you don't need a translator to feel the gravity of the situation brewing behind "Khabone-n'Daw," the breeziness from gentle winds blown under the gossamer wings of "Issa," or the pureness of voice resonating "Loubou"'s a cappella cry.  And "Djiguene," an homage to women around the world, grooves through loud and clear. 08/01/07
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