Bembeya Jazz National are fantastic.  It’s a grave disservice to label them as “World Music”, not only for the inherent patronizing tone and Western/Anglo-centric connotations of the term, but for the variety of sound the group manages to pour into its compositions.

There is a vast amount of different instruments all doing different things in each of their songs, but not one ever feels overstuffed or exhibitionist.  I’ve heard snatches of psychedelic rock, tropicalia, funk, electronic, doo-wop, R&B, Tuareg folk and yes, even Jazz (!) in the tracks i’ve heard.  It wouldn’t be too far off-base to compare them to S. America’s near-mythic Os Mutantes.

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