Deemed "Africa's premier diva" by Time, Angelique Kidjo follows up her Grammy-winning Djin Djin with Oyo. On the album, Kidjo collaborates with Bono - one of the continent's most ardent supporters - joined with John Legend on a version of Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up." The focus on Oyo is the music that shaped Kidjo's artistic formation, including "Lakutshn Llanga," a lullaby made famous by Kidjo's hero, Miriam Makeba; Yoruban interpretations of Otis Redding's "I've Got Dreams to Remember" and Santana's "Samba Pa Ti;" a collaboration with Diane Reeves on "Monfe Ran E," an homage to the Aretha Franklin hit, "Baby I Love You;" and a take on James Brown's "Cold Sweat."
Recorded and mixed by Russell Elevado (D'Angelo, The Roots, Erykah Badu) and produced by Kidjo and longtime collaborator Jean Hebrail, Oyo features a band of highly accomplished musicians, including guitarist Lionel Loueke, Christian McBride on upright bass, Kendrick Scott on drums and Thiokho Diagne on percussion. Trumpeter Roy Hargove makes a memorable appearance on "Samba Pa Ti."
Angelique Kidjo - "Kelele" [mp3]
Stream the full album, I Learned the Hard Way by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, at NPR right now. The album will be released April 6th. Make a point to catch Sharon with the best backing-band around on late night TV; she's scheduled for David Letterman on April 23rd, The Colbert Report on the 26th, Jimmy Fallon on the 28th and more.
This is how it's done. Take note.
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When their record label comes through to shoot a professional video about them, Paper Tongues find a way to get around them: by making their own EPK. These guys are fun but don't be fooled by their goofy play, they're intensely driven and the music is passionate and strong. Anyone who's seen them live will attest to that. They'll be at Bonnaroo, Bamboozle, 98Rockfest along with all their other shows: check their tour dates here.