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Bembeya Jazz, Bembeya (World Village)
Very probably the best band working in African pop today, Bembeya Jazz has been rocking Guinea and beyond since the early 1960s. This, their first album in 14 years, is filled with wonderful Afrobeat textures, glorious harmonies, and the precise lovely haunting guitar work of Sekou Bembeya Diabaté. Attention, guitar canon guardians: Let this man in. NOW. -- his jangling textures on "Sanfaran" rival his intricate spiderwebbing on "A Koukou We". The only problem, if you call it that, is that these songs have been part of their repertoire for decades, and sound a bit dated. How about some new stuff, yo?