This is the third in Stern's series of 2-CD boxed sets of music from Guinea, The Syliphone Years, following the various artists' compilation, Authenticité, and the Bembeya Jazz set.Syliphone was the national record company established in 1959 by the government of newly independent Guinea. Syliphone's premier ensemble was the Syli Orchestre National, which included many of the country's best modern instrumentalists - among them trumpeter Balla Onivogui. In the mid 60s Balla and eight other musicians branched off from Syli Orchestre National to accept a long-term engagement at the classiest nightclub in Conakry, la Jardin de Guinée. This band, which included trombonist Pivi Moriba, guitarist Sékou 'Le Docteur' Diabaté and singers Manfila Soba Kanté and Émile 'Benny' Soumah, became known as Orchestre de la Jardin de Guinée but eventually took the name Balla et Ses Balladins.This album covers 1968 to 1980, when Balla et Ses Balladins were one of the three most popular bands in Guinea (the others being Bembeya Jazz and Keletigui et Ses Tambourinis). Like the previous releases in the series, this album is a box enclosing two CDs and a 44-page full-color booklet. The CDs contain 28 tracks selected by Guinean music experts Paul Hayward and Graeme Counsel (many of them never released on CD until now), and the booklet is replete with period photos and record cover reproductions along with Counsel's authoritative notes in English and French.