This rich album celebrates the diversity of
the music of the African Diaspora in the Americas. Each song is a sample of American
musical history written by Africans. For example, Cuban Toque music is played on shaped
bata drums and sung in the Yoruba language. The Puerto Rican bolero, Calypsos from
Trinidad, Dominican meringues, Jamaican reggae, and Brazilian Jazz and berimbau all
display their African roots.
Of the nine and one-half million slaves, taken from Africa during the
Colonial period, roughly 90% of the slaves ended up in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin
America. They brought their wide range of ethnic traditions from Africa, part of which can
be clearly seen is each of these well produced songs. An informative booklet describes the
musical roots of each tradition. I enjoyed the spirit and talent displayed in this album
and learned, once again, how indebted we all are to Mother Africa.
Copyright©WWUH: May/June Program Guide, 1999