Palace of Fine Arts today with friends and kids to a matinee performance by Senegal’s inimitable Orchestra Baobab. The SF Jazz Festival this year is hosting a few daytime performances on the side to give families/children a chance to absorb high-frequency good vibrations — a brilliant idea, and Baobab was a perfect fit. Deeply grooving, musically accessible, culturally significant, and totally jamming. Amelia bum-rushed the stage with a hundred other tots and was clapping and dancing. Wonderful afternoon.
Senegal is a country with a rich musical heritage and one of the most vibrant pop music scenes on the african continent. Its music today is dominated by one main sound – the breathtaking rhythms of Mbalax, the music of the Wolof people in the north of the country. But it was not always so. In the 1970s the style that filled Senegal’s airwaves was a fusion of Afro-Cuban elements with various local sounds drawn from Senegal’s diverse cultural traditions. And the undisputed masters of this fusion were the legendary Orchestra Baobab.
Other noteworthy music stuff:
Tom Waits’ most cherished albums of all time. Waits on John Lurie:
Get the first record, The Lounge Lizards. You know, John’s one of those people, if you walk into a field with him, he’ll pick up an old pipe and start to play it, and get a really good sound out of it. He’s very musical, works with the best musicians, but never go fishing with him.
And run, don’t walk, to try and digest Unknown Hinson — the craziest side-burned, snaggletoothed s.o.b. ever to wield a country rock guitar and shoot a pistol at the same time. The videos left me breathless.
“Don’t bite the lips … that kiss you
I don’t want … to say it … again.”
Thanks Mal and Mike