Search - Various Artists :: Africa

Various Artists
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #3

This ambitious three-CD collection is quite simply the best introduction to the diverse popular music of Africa that there is. While it stands by itself as the perfect instant African music collection, it also serves as a ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Africa
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ellipsis Arts
Release Date: 2/4/1994
Album Type: Box set
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 052296330026

This ambitious three-CD collection is quite simply the best introduction to the diverse popular music of Africa that there is. While it stands by itself as the perfect instant African music collection, it also serves as a fine jumping off point for exploring Africa's myriad musical cultures. The producers have done an excellent job selecting outstanding tracks by a broad variety of Africa's premier groups and recording stars from all over the continent. This compilation offers maximum diversity and impeccable sound quality throughout. The lushly illustrated and annotated 48-page booklet that comes with this set is rich with information about this crucial musical continent. --Jeff Grubb

CD Reviews

Best of the Best...
Rob Dunton | San Diego, CA | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have maybe 25 CDs of music from the continent, and this is still far and away my favorite. The one-disc "sampler" is like a "Best of..." -- very good, but as many listeners will know from first hand experience, some of the finer, and more subtle pieces are in the original complete recordings. True here in spades. If you only own one set of discs to represent Africa and all its nations and sounds, this is it."
Good Music and Good Reviews
Michele Wallace | New Jersey USA | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not only is this one of the most fabulous and indispensable compendiums of music I have ever bought, I see the previous customer reviews are also wonderful to read. Some things just bring out the best in people. I take this music with me wherever I go."
A Very Thorough Guide to Afro-Pop
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 08/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Africa is a vast continent, the second largest in fact, and home to an infinite variety of languages, cultures and ethnic groups; each with their own style of music. With the growing popularity of Afro-Pop the newcomer is likely to be overwhelmed with the sheer variety of music available even from mainstream stores and websites in the west. Where to begin? What artists and styles sound best? Unfortunately, few CDs can give a good overview of African music, but if your willing to drop the money for this one, your off to a very good start.

On three CDs, we are given an astonishing array of tracks by 39 artists from over 29 different countries. This does a great job of shwoing the incredible diversity of African music. We get Arabic-tinged taarab from Zuhura Swaleh of Kenya, Zulu isicathamiyalmbube from Ladysmith Black Mambazo of South Africa, Nigerian Fuji music by Chief Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Moorish dancing music from Mauritania's Dimi Mint Abba, Mbalax from Baaba Maal of Senegal, Malagasy music from Tarika Sammy of Madagascar, Algerian Rai from Bellemou & Gana el Maghnaoui, Ethio-pop from Seleshe Demassae and so much more. The focus is on pop, but you get a good helping of traditional and folk styles like the Mande music of Mali, polyrhythmic drumming from Ghana, Sufi music from the Gnawa musicians of Morocco and traditional dances from Uganda's national performing troupe.

Many of the continent's legendary artists on included on this CD, though obviously not all of them (as doing so would likely be impossible). Oumou Sangare, Salif Keita and the late Ali Farka Toure of Mali; Oliver Mtukudzi, Stella Chiweshe and Thomas Mapfumo of Zimbabwe; Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Soul Brothers from South Africa; Papa Wemba from the Congo; Abdel Gadir Salim of the Sudan; Yossou N'dour and Baaba Maal of Sengal and many more. Alongside them are many equally great performers, perhaps less known in the US but many times equally famous in their home countries. Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister of Nigeria is regarded as one of the greatest Fuji performers, while Remmy Ongala is probably Tanzania's most famous pop singer.

Don't feel bad if some of your favorite artists got left off of this vast and staggering compilation. It's only a broad survey of Africa's musical styles. If your a newbie to Afro-pop, or even a life-long fan, this CD is an essential buy. Its one of the few compilations that covers EVERYTHING, from the Arabic tinged music of the Sahara to the the neo-traditional songs of South Africa, from traditional drumming in West Africa to modern pop styles from the Congo and Swahili coast. If you've got the money and are willing to spend it, this is a great buy. If your on a budget, theres a smaller sampler available that's equally exciting, though nowhere near the size of this monster. I strongly recommend checking this CD it. Odds are it will expand your musical horizons."