Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • AfroCubism [Nonesuch, 2010] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

AfroCubism [Nonesuch, 2010]
Here be Nick Gold's second attempt to come home with the literally Afro-Cuban record he intended when travel screw-ups kept the Afro contingent out of Havana and he concocted the Buena Vista Social Club instead. It was recorded in Madrid, and I hope all involved had a ball. But for those who never found the BVSC's creaky music as remarkable as its rocketing sales, and who know in addition that many of its key principals have passed, it's no surprise that the Africans save this enjoyable but less than historic project. Lassana Diabaté's balafon makes as much difference as Djelimady Tounkara's guitar, and though neither vocalist is prime, ngoni master Bassekou Kouyate packs more energy and gravity than second-stringer Eliades Ochoa even if his own solo album underwhelmed. Still, if you really want to hear an old man knock 'em dead, compare the Nico Saquito original of "Al Vaivén de Mi Carreta." B+