Een van de beste AFRICANDO opnames is "Mandali" uit 2000, in Frankrijk uitgebracht als "Betece".
Since the middle of the 1990s, trans-Atlantic salsa sensation Africando has been putting the Afro" back in Afro-Cuban music. A combination of Cuban instrumentalists and African vocalists, Africando draws from the wealth of rhumba, salsa and other polyrhythmic Latin styles while adding its own distinctly African touch. "Betece" is the group`s 2000 and possibly best recording.
What makes "Betece" stand out from the band`s previous efforts is the broad cross-section of African vocal talent that appears on the recording. Gnonnas Pedro of Benin, Thione Seck of Senegal, Eugene Shoubou of Haiti, and Ronnie Baro of Cuba all appear on this album as they have on earlier ones. The golden-voiced Guinean Sekouba "Bambino" Diabate, whose passion for salsa has led him to several earlier collaborations with Africando, again graces two tracks here.
Of special note, however, are contributions by "newcomers"--though they are actually veterans. Malian singer Salif Keita and Congolese singer Koffi Olomide, arguably the two biggest names in African pop music today, each contribute a song, as does Congolese star Lokua Kanza. Finally Ahmadou Balake of Burkina Faso and Hector Casanova of Puerto Rico round out the cast of guest vocalists.
"Betece" artfully blends Africando`s crisp horns, piano and percussion with soaring, passionate vocals, often sung in African languages (Seck sings in Wolof, Keita and Diabate in Malinke, and Olomide in Lingala) as well as Spanish. The result is an irresistable fusion that`s almost impossible not to dance to. No wonder Africando`s music is popular from Dakar to Dar es Salaam.
In some countries this CD "Africando All Stars - Betece" is named "Mandali" by Africando, and it`s still being played in almost every Salsa club. All 13 tracks are VERY danceable, representing the African branch of Salsa music at its best.
01. Mandali (Medoune Diallo) 5:04
02. Miye Na We (Lokua Kanza) 4:37
03. Betece (Amadou Balake) 5:01
04. Hwomevonon (Gnonnas Pedro) 5:10
05. Ntoman (Salif Keita) 5:00
06. Carpintero (Ronnie Baro) 4:46
07. Scandalo (Shoubou) 5:03
08. Sonfo (Sekouba Bambino) 4:52
09. Sey (Thione Seck) 5:16
10. Mopao (Koffi Olomide) 4:31
11. Pepita (Boncana Maiga, Hector Casanova) 5:02
12. Naliye Gnimo (Bailly Spinto) 4:47
13. Doni Doni (Africando Bembeya Jazz) 8:17
Mandali (Stern`s Africa STCD1092, 2000) Credited to Africando All Stars. Released in France as Betece
Mandali is Africando`s fifth album and features no less than eleven of the world`s greatest singers. It is nonstop dance music and salsa of the highest caliber. The only things missing are the slower cha-chas and son montunos featured on the earlier albums. The horns are fat and fiery as ever and Boncana Maiga`s arrangements are tight and sparkling. The various vocalists` timbres and tones provide a textural variety that would not be present if the album featured only one vocalist. Here we get nasal West African vocals from Mali, Senegal, and Guinea, Congolese intonations, Beninois inflections, Haitian twists, Cuban sonero sounds, Puerto Rican salsero touches, and Burkina Faso tinges. This is truly an African-Caribbean band and music; as stated in the liner notes, it is a veritable vocal summit.
"Mandali" is an older song originally done by the famous Gambian group, Super Eagles. Here Medoune Diallo of Senegal turns on the steam with his silky vocal. The percussion and piano provide the propulsion. "Miye Na We" is a hot mélange of Antillean melody and Latin percussive power. "Pepita," a Boncana Maiga composition, is given robust treatment by Hector Casanova of El Gran Combo, Puerto Rico`s legendary group. "Betece" checks in at number eight on the play list with fat hot horns, tres guitar, rippling charanga flute, and a fine bass rhythm. The vocal on this track is by Amadou Balake, one Burkino Faso`s national treasures. "Scanadalo" ("Scandal in the Family"), by Trinidad`s Sir Lancelot, is given a Haitian Creole-Latin tinge by Shoubou of Tabou Combo.
It`s African salsa, Cuban son, Puerto Rican salsa. It`s Africa and the Caribbean at their best coming together in New York City, the capital of the world. Here are some of the world`s most gifted musicians giving and taking from each other in continual musical interchange and interplay. This is what the members of Africando do best. They have done it again and they are on fire. Highly recommended