Monday, May 21, 2007

Considerable Sounds: The Djin Djin Tolls For Thee…

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by Ben New, DC Music Editor

Today's Focus - Angelique Kidjo

I have a particular fondness for African Music. With it’s upbeat emphasis on poly-rhythms and rich sonorities it never fails to enrich and enliven even the most casual listener. The musical traditions of the many vibrant, enthralling, yet divergent cultures across this great continent appear to me to weave themselves into a resplendent tapestry of exuberance for life in the moment, thirst for a brighter future, and respect for the heritage of the past.

The princess comes…..
And in her train there is a gentle lady;
When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
And they call her: Angelique Kidjo, ask for her;

( Respectfully lifted and twisted from Shakespeare - Love’s Labour Lost)

Angelique Kidjo's New CD -Djin Djin
Click for purchase info
The traditions and culture of Benin in West Africa will come to life as you listen to this gorgeous music created by Angelique Kidjo. The music itself is quite enough incentive to own this recording but there are a few more reasons as well. Some record producers are visionary artists in their own right. Tony Visconti, who produced this recording, is most assuredly one of these. David Bowie, The Moody Blues, T Rex, Thin Lizzy, Annie Haslam ( Do any of our readers remember Annie? The pure operatic voice of the British band “Renaissance”?), Gentle Giant, The Alarm, Adam Ant, and Kristeen Young are among his clients.

I know you must be interested, but there are still more reasons you should have this recording. Branford Marsalis, Josh Groban, Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone and Ziggy Marley all contribute their formidable talents as well. The global scope of this CD is simply unprecedented. Walk (don’t run unless you happen to have your running shoes nearby) to your nearest music retailer and buy this CD now.

You won’t be disappointed. In case your wondering, the title of the album refers to the sound of the bell that greets the beginning of a new day for Africa. This album, I believe, is the beginning of a new day for Angelique and all of us who take the time to listen as well. The tracks are really quite stylistically diverse yet the deep flowing river of African consciousness flows through it all.

Up for something unusual? How about an up tempo Haitian treatment of the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” or a new rendition of French composer Ravel's "Bolero."?

I don’t attach a great deal of significance to Grammy awards because frankly these types of honors are more about commerce than art. I will predict however, that this will not only be nominated but actually win one of those coveted statues this year. The CD is available simultaneously here and at Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada as well as traditional retail. Angelique will appear on NBC's The Tonight Show on Tuesday, May 22nd with Ziggy Marley and will appear on The CBS Saturday Early Show on Saturday, July 14th.

I also have her touring schedule here:
Benin Artifact-Click for full size

10 New Haven, CT International Festival Of Arts & Ideals
16 Hollywood, CA Playboy Jazz Festival
22 Salt Lake City, UT Utah Arts Festival/Library Square
23 Aspen, CO Jazz Aspen
24 Taos, NM KTAO Solar Center
26 Sante Fe, NM Sante Fe Brewing Company
28 Montreal, QC Le Spectrum

17 Greenville, SC Bi-Lo Center*
18 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Bobcats Arena*
20 Norfolk, VA Scope Arena*
21 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall*
24 East Rutherford, NJ Continental Airlines Arena*
25 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum*
27 Manchester, NH Verizon Wireless*
28 Albany, NY Pepsi Arena*
30 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun*
31 Wilkes-Barre, PA Wachovia Arena*

3 Hershey, PA Giant Center
4 Pittsburgh, PA Mellon Arena*
5 Westhampton Beach, NY Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
6 Albany, NY Washington Park Concert Series
7 Milwaukee, WI US Cellular Arena*
8 Green Bay, WI Resch Arena*
10 St. Paul, MN Xcel Center*
12 New York, NY Central Park Summerstage
14 Edmonton, AB Rexcall Center*
15 Calgary, AB Pengrowth Saddledome*
17 Vancouver, BC GM Place*
18 Seattle, WA Key Arena*
21 Napa, ID The Idaho Center*
22 Portland, OR Rose Garden Arena*
24 Stockton, CA Stockton Arena*
25 Anaheim, CA The Honda Center*
28 Salt Lake City, UT Delta Center*
29 Denver, CO Pepsi Center*
31 Omaha, NE Qwest Center*
*supporting Josh Groban

Ar essaghat!

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Duly Consider and Considerable Sounds are TM of this publication and are subject to liabilities thereof

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This artist is unpercedented in her music!

She is a powerhouse of energy, talent and passion.

Her message of and for Africa unmistakeable!

I recommend everyone take the effort to acquaint themselves with her.

I saw her in concert with Josh Groban during his Phoenix show this past March 2007. If the opportunity presents itself, I highly recommend people go to a show. Together they are absolutely amazing. As separate entities - genius!

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