Words on World Music

Angelique Kidjo entrances, Alex Cuba takes chances, and the audience dances


Monday, February 25th, 2008

angeliquekidjo.jpgLast night’s Angelique Kidjo concert was a blast, with this high-energy performer delivering a bright evening of entertainment. Opening act Alex Cuba was also on form and so a good time was had by all.
Evening highlight: Seeing Alex Cuba, called back on-stage to take up a guitar for the finale, take instead the bass (and that took some grit, the bassist was Habib Faye – not at all a slouch in that department) and do a little funkadelish riff with the drummer . The crowd went wild, and with good reason.
Evening lowlight: Having two women sitting behind me carry on a conversation all through the show. Choice comment (during Alex’s set) — “He doesn’t look Cuban”. Maybe she was expecting Ricky Ricardo.
Anyway, for those of us lucky to be there – congratulations. And for everyone else, a review Cal did for her latest album (from our archives): Angelique Kidjo – Djin Djin (Razor & Tie)  Angelique Kidjo is a petite performer with a grand musical vision. Her last three albums formed a trilogy that traced African music to the United State, Brazil and the Caribbean. For her eleventh release called ‘Djin Djin’, she follows up all that exploration with a return to the country of her birth, the tiny West African nation of Benin. But, rather than taking a self-indulgent journey back into her past, she’s chosen to reinvent the music of her heritage through a diverse supporting cast of pop’s most famous names. This bewitching new CD features guest appearances and duets with Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Joss Stone, Josh Grobin, Branford Marsalis and Carlos Santana. Once again Ms Kidjo shows us that Africa is one thread that weaves through the music of the entire world.

Key Tracks: Salala with Peter Gabriel, Papa, Senamou featuring Amadou & Mariam.

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