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Jamm by Cheikh Lo
Released: Mar 2011
Label: Nonesuch/World Circuit
Senegal's Cheikh Lo has always assembled his Afro-pop from the crisscrossing cultural circuitry in Western Africa. But after two albums that didn't quite measure up to his acclaimed debut, Jamm finally gets back to Lo's core talent: swirling that heady mix into a cohesive sound that's palatable and, in his own soft-hewn way, polished and passionate. The rolling drums of mbalax intermingle with guest Pee Wee Ellis' warm sax, driving Afrobeat, the occasional dose of dub and soukous, and other Afro-Cuban strains -- "Seyni," the first song Lo ever performed in public, is particularly pleasant.
Rachel Devitt

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