Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop
Former OK Jazz star Mangwana presents a cool, Latin tinged acoustic album with Galo Negro. He is joined by Papa Noel (guitar), Malagasy musicians Regis Gizavo (accordion) and Justin Vali (valiha), and a host of African art... more »
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Former OK Jazz star Mangwana presents a cool, Latin tinged acoustic album with Galo Negro. He is joined by Papa Noel (guitar), Malagasy musicians Regis Gizavo (accordion) and Justin Vali (valiha), and a host of African artists to round out the sound. Instead of his trademark soukous, Mangwana explores Cuban sounds and the more Portuguese grooves of merengue (Angola), marabenta (Mozambique) and morna (Cape Verde). Simple punchy bass lines, strummed guitars and sharp congas provide the rhythm section's solidity, with accents of Malagasy harp and the fluid, creative squeezebox of Gizavo adding color. Mangwana's voice is an interesting contrast to all this lightness, and the acoustic context gives his fans a new perspective on his abilities. --Louis Gibson
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Terrific, appealing music
John Hess | Berkeley, CA | 09/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Sam Mangwana at Yoshi's in Oakland (Bay Area music fans, check that place out) and enjoyed his show so much that I bought Galo Negro the next day. I do not know much about Central African music, and the "Rumba Highlife" style is new to me, but this is an extremely appealing album even for the uninitiated. Mangwana's attraction is his ability to craft pleasant, relaxing songs that are not insipid; on the contrary, his songs are complex and skillfully performed, and subtly exciting if you pay attention. His use of the accordion and "backup" singers on Galo Negro (he gives them a prominent, complementary role supporting his own terrific multilingual vocals) is especially remarkable; the music reminds one of Cuba, Paris, and Kinshasha all at once. If you are looking for a cool, unusual disk to spin in the stereo after a long day, but easy-listening pop world music makes you nauseous, then Mangwana is for you. (PS--if you like this one, check out Mangwana's "No Me Digas No"--it may be even better.)"
Idiosyncrat | California | 02/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album manages to sound familiar yet fresh at the same time. Mangwana has an amazing voice. His backup singers compliment him really well. And the arrangements sound eclectic. This may sound a bit too much like the label's own notes on the album, but they are absolutely true. The other reviewer's comment that his album is relaxing yet complex is also very true. An outstanding album."