Quick International Expert Witness Comment for the Week

Certainly agree about the Youssou and Rokia — very inessential release from him, and her dullest tracks, with a distressing rise in blah, well-mannered orderliness.

The Konono collaboration, though — yowsah wowzers. I especially agree that breaking through the surface of repetition in their figures is as breathtaking as it gets. Was as exciting to me as finally hearing gnawa music correctly. [EDIT: Xgau means hearing all their albums as repetitions. I mean hearing the cycles of their musical phrasing and rhythms as merely repetitious. Both important points.]

Finally a little tip for fans of Leyla McCalla (and after her upcoming A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, you sure as hell should be). I discovered that one of her inspirations was Manno Charlemagne, a Haitian protest singer (forced into exile for a good period) who was a friend of her family. And the one item I’ve heard, a comeback recording, is Manno Charlemagne and the Tap Tap Band, Manno at TAP TAP (Crowing Rooster, 2004). Highly, highly recommended.


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