Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Nurudafina Pili Abena|
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
Spirit in the Music
Christopher Fung | honolulu | 02/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album remains among the best introductory albums to West African (Manding) and Afro-cuban drum musics. While Nuru herself refuses the title of "master drummer", her status as one of the elders in the US drumming community is clear from this album.First up, I need to be clear about my own connection to this work. Nuru was my first teacher of Afro-Cuban and West African percussion and I would not have entered the world of African and African American percussion had it not been for her special brand of teaching, encouragement, fervor and clarity about the need to come to the music correct.Nuru was one of Baba Olatunji's original students in Boston, and she has carried on his legacy and transmitted it through to many many of us in the following generation. This album is noteworthy on its own merits as a musical creation but it is also a tribute to Nuru's struggles and her ability to rise above prejudice as a woman, as an African American and as a performer and teacher of traditional West African and African diasporan drum music.The album is evenly split between traditional Mande drum music and Afro-Cuban sacred rhythms and songs. The Mande tracks are straight-up old-school arrangements of some of the classics of djembe and dun dun drum music as taught by the first and second waves of teachers who re-introduced African drumming to the United States. Nuru's arrangements and performance here are clear, accurate and compelling. Her solos are beautifully constructed and well worth repeated listening.It's become fashionable among some people to belittle the early pioneers of Manding music in the US. To my way of thinking, such criticisms are mean-spirited and foolish. To begin with, for those in the African American community, drum and dance were about reconnection to Africa within the US context. If the arrangement you learned was not exactly the same as the ones played in some specific place or village, that was not so important. Secondly, if not for the elders, we would not have the music today. The new generations of hotshots from Mali, Guinea and Senegal would have no students if the old heads had not been here to till the ground and plant the seeds.The second half of the album consists of wonderful renditions of orisa songs and rhythms. Nuru's study with some of the greats of Afro-Cuban music such as los Munequitos de Matanzas and the renowned akpwon Lazaro Ros are clearly evident from these tracks, and her own personal commitment and sincerity come through most brightly here in the album.I would recommend this album to anyone who is interested in rhythm and spirit, whether traditionally-oriented or otherwise. Like its creator, this album has a wealth of talent and inspiriation, and has a great deal to teach the willing listener."
Christopher Fung | 04/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I just received my copy today. I knew about this CD years ago. Well, I commend the Sista for her work. I just wanted more from her vocal skills or to hear different voices to enhance her monotone style. The songs and lyrics are clear.Drumming is cool.I just wanted more! More Sekere, agogo, sum sum hot! I hope she is working on higher quality presentations. You can practise the Orisa songs for worship. The last three pieces should be a separate CD for dancers. I have been looking for a CD that gives the basic rhythms for dancers like lamban, mandjini,koko. Can any one recommend any? Looking forward to other contributions by this artist."