Leni Stern's 'AFRICA,' two years in the making, integrates African and Western music forms with such authenticity that it may come to be regarded as an 'Audio Documentary' of African musical life. Recorded in Africa, playing with local musicians at the pace of life in Africa, Stern invites listeners to immerse themselves in African culture as she experienced it, first-hand.
With its robust percussion and asymmetrical song structure, 'Africa' showcases the indigenous sounds of brilliant African instrumentalists and singers, as well as Stern's acclaimed electric guitar chops and vocals.
The 13-song CD 'Africa' grew out of the Stern EP 'Alu Maye (Have You Heard),' which was recorded in Mali, at Salif Keita's Bamako Studios. The EP was the latest step in Stern's evolution as a musician's musician, without boundaries. In a recent, rave review in JAZZIZ Magazine, critic Philip Booth praised: "As an artist, she has become practically unclassifiable. To everyone but the bean counters, that’s a strength...Stern effectively allies her throaty vocals and thoughtful six-string playing with the hypnotic rhythms, percussive textures and singsong choruses of West African music. The kaleidoscopic flickering of multi-stringed instruments makes an entirely natural sonic backdrop for the leader."
Stern pays tribute to the late Michael Brecker on '1000 Stars' and showcases two of his final recordings on 'Saya (Farewell)' and 'Ousman'. Other collaborators on 'Africa' include Ami Sacko and Mah Soumano
'AFRICA' – THE MUSICIANS:
Leni Stern - guitars and vocals
Ami Sacko - vocals
Mah Soumano and Dally Kouyate - backing vocals
Bassekou Kouyate - djeli n'goni (courtesy of outhere records)
Omar Kouyate - n'goni
Moussa Bah - n'goni
Andara Kouyate - n'goni bas
Haruna Samake – camele n’goni
Moussa Sesoko - tama and djembe
Alu Couliba - callebasse
Djelibah Diabate - doun doun superimpose
Prince – calebas
Souleiman Dumbia – percussion
Massamba Diop– talking drum
Cheik Anta n’diay - sabar
Michael Brecker – tenor sax on ‘ousmane’ and ‘saya’
Etienne Stadwijk - keyboards
Hilaire Chabi Hari – keyboards on 'child soldier'
Dave Eggar - cello
Paul Socolow –bass and loops
Will Calhoun – drums
Keith Fluitt- backing vocals
Morley – backing vocals and rap
Brahim Fribgane – oud and percussion
George Brooks – saxophones and horn arrangement
M’barra Cisse- bass on 'child soldier'
Adam Rudolph – percussion on 'child soldier'
Michael stern – rhythm guitar on 'ami'
(M. Stern and M. Brecker courtesy of heads up records)
Broulaye Coulibali - dosu n'goni
Yagar Damba - vocals on 'bamake'
Recorded at Moffou Studio in Bamako Mali by Abu Cisse and Jean Lamoot.
Mastered by Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound NYC.
Additional recordings by Patrick Bishoff-Brown in San Francisco
and Abdou Rahman Caba in Dakar Senegal
Additional recording and mix in New York City, USA by Dick Kondas
Special thanks to Michael Stern and Salif Keita