Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Praiseworthy: Youssou N'Dour and "Allah"

Today's song is a beautiful song of praise. Youssou N'Dour is already a giant among African musicians. A singer, songwriter, composer, percussionist, actor and politician, he is one of the most visible personas of Senegal. A man born in a griot family, he didn't take the traditional griot path (but he is considered a modern griot anyway) who was the driving force behind the popular Senegalese music called mbalax. He came to world notice thanks to his collaborations with Western musicians like Peter Gabriel, but his music stands on its own. This song, Allah, is from his 2004 CD Egypt. The album combines West and North African music, as well as instrumentation in its use of the West African kora and the Arab oud. It promotes the tolerance of Senegalese Islam, and the album won a Grammy award. The video to this song is beautiful - but the sound is not as good.