Friday, May 30, 2014

CD Review: Dexter Johnson & Le Super Star De Dakar's 'Live a l'Etoile'

Dexter Johnson & Le Super Star De Dakar
Live a l'Etoile
Teranga Beat

Nigerian-born with ties to Dakar, Senegal via Bamako, Mali, Dexter Johnson & Le Super Star De Dakar, was a talented performer on saxophone. The Afro-Cuban jazz concoctions are steeped in sax, percussion, and rollicking good riffs, licks, and chords. The giddy guitars are somewhat Congolese-related, but the music is inherently West African with a good dose of North American jazz similarities. There are thirteen tracks that span Dexter's playlist from the early 50's and 60's style of jazz to Afro-Cuban classics and boogaloo compositions. Anyone familiar with Dexter's work should obtain this recording. It was the last recorded performance before their departure to Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1969. There are a few singers, including John Gomis and William & Maissa Ngom, which add a good level of diversity to the tracks. This is primarily an Afro-jazz recording, so if you are seeking traditional West African music, you should look elsewhere. Overall, Dexter hits some high notes here with nothing to complain about. ~ Matthew Forss

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