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World Music CD Reviews Africa

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Various Artists
Rough Guide's African Music For Children
World Music Network

By Meredith Deliso

Published June 27, 2006

This volume in Rough Guide's long-running series of compilations may have been made by children, for children, but it’s still easy for someone who finds him- or herself outside of the five-to-11 age bracket to enjoy this mix of popular African music. African Music For Children offers a diversity of styles, from benga to Masai rap, representing nations from Congo to Zimbabwe. The tracks were chosen by more than a thousand British schoolchildren through World Music Network, with the help of the charity Music for Change. Labeled as dynamic dances for kids, the CD features the modern Afro-beat of Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, the Manding and Wassoulou fusion of Mali’s Issa Bagayoga, and Ricaro Lemvo’s blend of Congolese soukous with modern salsa. The variety, history and strength of African music is further demonstrated through tracks from Guinean griot Mory Kante. an entertainer and tribal historian of West African Mandinka culture, and the joyous, rhythmically celebratory Mabulu, a marrabenta band from Mozambique. And what's an African compilation without “Mbube (The Lion),” one of South Africa's most popular and oft-covered songs? This classic is performed here by Mahotella Queens.

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