Cheikh Lo -Il N’est Jamais Trop Tard +new album ‘Jamm’

June 29th sees the first taste of the long awaited new Cheikh Lo album ‘Jamm’ in the form of the Il N’est Jamais Trop Tard digital EP.
With its highlife lilt and surf guitars, the track is a cover of a Sixties hit by Guinea’s mighty Bembeya Jazz, adapted into a commentary on African emigration. Also available is a dub version of the track ‘Warico’, the original of which will feature on ‘Jamm’.(Listen/Buy HERE)

Cheikh Lô -‘Jamm’

‘Jamm’ is the first new album in five years from one of Africa’s great musical mavericks, Senegalese sufi troubadour Cheikh Lô. This is his most distinctive and personal album since his groundbreaking, Youssou N’Dour-produced debut ‘Ne la Thiass’ in 1996. The dreadlocked singer’s signature blend of semi-acoustic flavours – West and Central African, funk, Cuban, flamenco – has been distilled into his most mature, focused, yet diverse statement to date. And his husky, sensual voice is sounding better than ever.

On Jamm, Lô’s infectiously funky mbalax rhythms are given a subtle pan-African slant, shot through with elements of highlife, Afrobeat and Congolese rumba, with more eclectic touches bubbling beneath – a reggae lilt, an Afro-Cuban swing and some deliciously weird Afro-surf guitar. Crowned by Lô’s inimitably affecting, bitter-sweet vocals, this is a rich brew described by Lô himself as ‘une jarrasse’: a rainbow of sounds and influences that echoes the multi-coloured clothing he wears as a Baye Fall, the uniquely Senegalese Islamic sect to which he dedicates his life and music.
Born in 1955 in Burkina Faso to Senegalese parents, Lô began his musical career as a vocalist and percussionist, playing Afro-Cuban music in local bands before moving to Senegal in 1981, where he learnt to play drums and guitar. A sojourn in Paris as a session drummer with Congolese bands was followed by a return to Dakar where he gigged and released a number of solo cassettes. He was eventually discovered by Youssou N’Dour who produced his breakthrough ‘Ne La Thiass’ album, which saw his unique acoustic take on Senegal’s dominant, hard-driving mbalax sound gain a large and dedicated local following. The album saw similar success on its international release by World Circuit, earning him the accolade of Best Newcomer at the All-Africa Kora Awards.

Lô has continued to plough an individual furrow, honing his personal musical style, playing regularly in clubs in Senegal’s capital Dakar, releasing a further two acclaimed albums on World Circuit and gaining powerful responses to live shows in Europe and the U.S.A.

For all its striking diversity, Jamm is rooted firmly in Lo’s own back yard, built around simple demos recorded with GarageBand software at the house of his friend and bass player Thierno Sarr. The immediacy, passion and intimacy of these recordings was such that it was decided to retain them as the spine of the album. Lô’s lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion, have been augmented with additional electric guitar, drums, bass, sax and Senegalese percussion from members of his regular band. In London further touches were added by his old friends Tony Allen (drums) and Pee Wee Ellis (sax).

Sung in four different languages the subject matter of the songs on ‘Jamm’ is as varied as the album’s panoply of musical styles. ‘Conia’ is a song about jealousy sung in Jula, a Mande dialect from his native Burkina Faso. The Cuban guajira/reggae/funk hybrid of the title track is a call in Wolof for world peace, with some of the best singing of his career. ‘Il N’est Jamais Trop Tard’, with its highlife lilt and surf guitars is a cover of a Sixties hit by Guinea’s mighty Bembeya Jazz, adapted into a commentary on African emigration. ‘Seyni’, sung in Wolof and Spanish, is a tribute to both Laba Sosseh, the great Senegalese Afro-rumba singer, and iconic Cuban vocalist Abelardo Barrosso. It was the first song Lô ever sang in public back in the Sixties. ‘Bourama’ was co-written with Pee Wee Ellis in Afrobeat style, and ‘Dieuf Dieul’ is a slice of Lô’s trademark acoustic mbalax with a Baye Fall lyric in praise of Allah. ‘Warico’ is a cover of a hit by Burkina Faso’s Amadou Balake with a lyric deriding materialism, while ‘Sankara’ with it’s lyrics about democracy and corruption is a heartfelt acoustic tribute to the late Burkina Faso President Thomas Sankara.

“It’s a melting pot!” says Lo of the album. “It’s like a big basket, with some cheese here, some bread there, some chocolate and a cocktail on the side. There’s something for everyone.”

For more information on Cheikh Lô, including sound samples, videos, tour dates and more visit

Promotional stuff arrived via email (extramusicnew(at) ,
send your stuffs via e mail or soundcloud, promote yourself…!!!

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