Archive for November, 2007

Great show by Youssou N’ Dour

Friday, November 30th, 2007

It’s almost two months since I heard some live music, and this was a great show by Youssou N’ Dour as the final 2007 performance at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. The sound at Masonic Auditorium started with lots of echos, but as the audience got up to dance in the aisles, the sound just got better and better. The band was tight, and N’dour’s voice was great. The first half of the show ended with the ballad Africa, with just the organ as backing. Then the whole band came back and pretty much the whole house was on their feet for the next hour. I was surprised that the show did not sell out, though.

The dancing ranged from spectacular to just plain spectacle. The latter exemplified by a lone fellow doing a version of the ‘chicken dance’ developed by Julia Louis Dreyfus as Elaine Benis on Seinfeld.

During the show, I thought about a conversation about music a few weeks ago with a taxi driver in Toronto. He told me how he was from Congo and recommended music from Central Africa. I told him how my preference was west African: Angelique Kidjo(Benin), Salif Keita(Mali), and Cesaria Evora (Cabo Verde), and of course N’Dour from Senegal. I also tried to convince him that he should check out some ‘twang’ and recommended The Flatlanders. I promised I would check out some Congolese music.On the subject of Africa, Thomas Mapfumo from Zaire is appearing at the Little Fox next Saturday December 8. I have a CD of his, Chimurenga Singles (1976 – 1980), and I’ve always wanted to see this pioneering, political guitarist perfrom. Unfortunately I’ll be back in Toronto trying to start up a power plant.