While awaiting fave West African singer/songwriter AngÉlique Kidjo's new album (the label confirms that it's two-thirds complete), fans can feast on this sterling set.
While awaiting fave West African singer/songwriter Angélique Kidjo's new album (the label confirms that it's two-thirds complete), fans can feast on this sterling set. Keep on Moving—The Best of brings together 17 classic Kidjo moments, surveying five of her past albums, as well as a smoldering take on George & Ira Gershwin's "Summertime" (from the 1998 compilation, Jazz a Saint Germain, on Higher Octave). Culled from the artist's most recent studio album—the 3-year-old Oremi (My Friend)—are tracks like the hip-hop-skewed Jimi Hendrix cover "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and the retro soul jam "Open Your Eyes" (featuring sister-in-song Kelly Price). Songs like "Wombo Lombo" and "The Sound of the Drums," both taken from 1996's Fifa, are more in-keeping with African traditions. Conversely, Ayé—recorded in London's Soul II Soul and Minneapolis' Paisley Park studios—intertwines African structures, British dance music, and American pop melodies on such tracks as "Tombo," included here. "Wé Wé" and "Batonga," from Logozo, sound as fine on contemporary dancefloors as they did when they were originally released 10 years ago. The sole recording included from Kidjo's first internationally released album (1990's Parakou)—"Agossi"—is a firm reminder that, throughout the years, Kidjo has effortlessly connected the dots of the globe's diverse musical landscapes. For that, we should all be grateful.—MP