Friday, March 29, 2013

CD Review: Pierre Akendengue's 'Destinee'

Pierre Akendengue

Gabon-born, Pierre Akendengue, has been involved in music for several decades. Pierre studied in France, but returned to Gabon in the 1970s and 80s to continue music. After the landmark album, Nandipo (1974), Gabon music became known to all of Africa and beyond. On the current release, Destinee, Pierre continues in the traditions of popular Gabon music with an Afro-pop vein. The music contains a variety of bows, strings, guitars, drums, flutes, kalimba, balafon, bass, and horns that add some spicy flavor to the culturally-rich and diverse tracks. Pierre's vocals are accompanied by his daughter and a few other vocalists. The equatorial country is at the heart of the world and its musical influences are far-reaching. There are French, Latin, Brazilian, Cuban, and Afro-Caribbean similarities throughout. There are also heady guitar songs that are more indicative of soukous. At any rate, the giddy rhythms, fun vocals, and party-like songs are richly-textured and brimming with infectious Afro-pop grandeur. ~ Matthew Forss

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