Friday, January 1, 2016

Pride of Guinea: Bembeya Jazz National and "Sabou"

Happy New Year! Today's random tune to start your year off right is by Guinean group Bembeya Jazz National, which began as a government-sponsored regional band in southern Guinea. The group gained fame in the 1960s for their afro-pop and are considered an important group in Guinean music. Basing their music in Guinean folk, particularly Manding music, they infused the traditional with jazz and afro-pop styles. After launching the careers of many musicians, including Sekou Diabaté and Sekouba Bambino Diabaté, they disbanded in 1991. However, they reformed in 2002 and recorded their first album in fourteen years. Their importance in Guinean music history was also the subject of a documentary. This song, Sabou, can be found on their 2011 album Bembeya and on Disc 1 of the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music (2002).