Thursday, August 23, 2012

CD Review: Mandingo Ambassadors' 'Tougna'

Mandingo Ambassadors
Engine Studios

The Guinean-born group, Mandingo Ambassadors, is led by guitarist and director, Mamady Kouyate. Bebe Camara is the vocalist. The guitar is also played by Mamady Kourouma. Jazzy sax and flute renditions are provided by Sylvain Leroux, but sax and clarinet accompaniment can be attributed to Oran Etkin. The energetic drums are played by Andy Algire, while bass guitar by Nick Cudahy is very smooth. Foluso Mimy provides an uptempo mix of percussion instruments to go along with the melodies. The lively, dance-laden rhythms are iconic of Africa's Western coasts. The instrumental musical segments are very danceable and nothing short of brilliant. The eight long tracks are worthwhile for anyone interested in Guinean popular music. ~ Matthew Forss

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