Papa Amadou Fall and Cheikhou Coulibaly created a sensation in Senegal in 2001 with their song "Yatal Gueew" (Widening the Circle), a plea for tolerance and cooperation among Senegal's many ethnic, so

Papa Amadou Fall and Cheikhou Coulibaly created a sensation in Senegal in 2001 with their song "Yatal Gueew" (Widening the Circle), a plea for tolerance and cooperation among Senegal's many ethnic, social, and religious groups. The tune became a rallying point for the Senegalese during the 2001 presidential election. Pape and Cheikh are folk artists, and their music will instantly be recognized as such by Westerners, despite the language barrier. Pape is a formidable songwriter, and both are powerful acoustic guitarists. Together they're making beautiful, socially resonant music that has garnered major recognition in West Africa and, now, England. The title track tells a tale of sorcery and subsequent tragedy. The arrangement is as delightful as the story is haunting. The following 11 tracks are every bit as memorable. A stellar debut.—PVV

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print