Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour follows his 2000 set, "Joko," with the first worldwide release through his current Nonesuch/EastWest deal. "Nothing's in Vain (Coono Du Réér)" is due

Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour follows his 2000 set, "Joko," with the first worldwide release through his current Nonesuch/EastWest deal. "Nothing's in Vain (Coono Du Réér)" is due Oct. 21 in Europe, and a day later in the U.S.

The album was co-produced by N'Dour and Habib Faye in the artist's Xippi studio in Dakar, Senegal. Many of the tracks -- such as "Li Ma Weesu" (As in a Mirror), which is laced with an engaging melody on the kora and female choral backing -- have a more mellow expression than his recent albums. And even when the customary West African percussion in the style known as mbalax is present -- as on "Il N'y A Pas D'Amour Heureux" (There Is No Happy Love) -- it is over a slower tempo.

"One of the things I set out to do was surround my singing with very traditional instrumentation but play in nontraditional arrangements," says N'Dour, who will tour Europe in late 2002 and North America in 2003. "It was a challenge, but I think we were rewarded with a lovely outcome. It was great to pull the traditional players into the studio with Habib Faye and my usual unit."

Along with his "usual unit," Super Etoile, others who worked with N'Dour on the set are legendary blind keyboardist Jean-Phillippe Rykiel, Madagascar-based accordionist Regis Gizavo, and French pop star/songwriter Pascal Obispo.

"'Nothing's in Vain' is, for me, a reflective album," N'Dour adds, "but in as many parts as hopeful -- and even cheerful -- as it is somber. Like love itself."

Here are Youssou N'Dour's confirmed tour dates:

Nov. 22: Amsterdam (Heineken Music Hall)
Nov. 24: Brussels (Ancienne Belgique)
March 26: Calgary (Epcor Centre For The Performing Arts)
March 27: Edmonton, Alberta (Francis Winspear Centre For Music)
March 28: Vancouver (Commodore Ballroom)
March 29: Seattle (Showbox)
March 30: Bend, Ore. (Mazama Auditorium)
April 2: Iowa City, Iowa (Hancher Auditorium)
April 3: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
April 5: Glen Ellyn, Ill. (College Of DuPage)
April 11: Somerville, Mass. (Somerville Theatre)
April 13: Philadelphia (Verizon Hall @ Kimmel Center)
April 15: University Park, Pa. (Eisenhower Auditorium)
April 16: Storrs, Conn. (Jorgensen Auditorium)
April 17: Northampton, Mass. (Pearl Street)
April 18: Princeton, N.J. (McCarter Theatre)
April 19: Albany, N.Y. (Kitty C. Hart Theatre @The Egg)
April 22: Medford, Ore. (Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater)
April 23: Davis, Calif. (Mondavi Performing Arts Center)
April 24: Berkeley, Calif. (Zellerbach Hall)
April 29: Santa Barbara, Calif. (Campbell Hall)
May 1: Los Angeles, Calif. (Royce Hall UCLA)
May 2: El Cajon, Calif. (E County Performing Arts Center)
May 3: Scottsdale, Ariz. (Scottsdale Center For Arts)