Baaba Maal

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Senegalese vocalist Baaba Maal, who debuted with the acoustic guitar-duo effort Djam Leelli (1983), With blind guitarist Mansour Seck, and the solo cassette Yewende (1984), formed the ensemble Daande Lenol, featuring Mansour Seck and Mbassou Niang, that mixed traditional African instruments with instruments such as drums, electric guitar and keyboards, as documented on Suka Naayo (1987) and Wango (1988). "Discovered" by Peter Gabriel, Maal finally began the major phase of his career with Taara (1990) and especially the acoustic Baayo (1991), which took full advantage of state-of-the-art studio technology while retaining the humble epos of traditional Yela music. Lam Toro (1992) sold the idea to the discos and the reggae crowd (Hamady Boiro, Olel, Toro). Even more baroque arrangements and stylistic crossover (salsa, rap, jazz) characterized Firin' in Fouta (1994), featuring Jah Wobble on bass, David Bothrill on keyboards and Michael Brook on guitar, with African Woman and the danceable Sama Duniya and Gorel, and Nomad Soul (1998), further westernized by synthesizers, Irish choir and top producers (Brian Eno, Jon Hassel, Howie B), with the anthemic Souka Nayo. Maal was approaching a groove-oriented sound reminescent of Eno's experiments with the Talking Heads, but he finally returned to his acoustic roots with Mi Yeewnii (2001) and intense hymns such as Allah Addu Jam.

Television (2009) sacrificed too much charm to the high-tech production.

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