Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Angelique Kidjo - Now Touring Australia

Angelique Kidjo - With a voice even more impressive than her full name, which according to Wikipedia is Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo This singer from Benin has been at the forefront of African Music for a long time.

The first CD I picked up of hers was a greatest hits collection titled "Keep On Moving" Some of the track names looked familiar and once I listened to them the tracks were definitely ones I had heard before but I couldn't tell you where. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is more familiar by Jimi Hendricks. "Agolo", "Batonga" and "Wombo Lombo" turned out to be tracks I was also familiar with. The standout however was "Sumertime" the Gershwin penned song from 1935's Porgy and Bess. This version is certainly the best I have ever heard. Backed only by what sounds like a sparse bass line and a A Capella choir Angelique stuns with her vocals.  The A Capella treatment features on most of the tracks on the album to great effect with the African rhythms

A search of the web will turn up many collaborations with famous western musicians and it is no surprise that she is held in great regard by Musicians everywhere.

Currently touring Australia I unfortunately missed out on tickets to see her at the Sydney Opera House which would be a fitting setting.