SENEGALESE legends Orchestra Boabab are marking their 50th anniversary this year; and in celebration the band have announced the first-ever vinyl issue of their landmark 2002 reunion set, Specialist In All Styles, which is set for September 25th.
Specialist In All Styles was the first full outing by the band in the three decades since the legendary Pirates Choice, a holy grail for African music fans.
Recorded at London’s Livingston Studios in just ten days and produced by World Circuit’s Nick Gold with Youssou N’Dour, Specialist In All Styles introduced new material and reinvented some old classics, and even featured Buena Vista Social Club luminary Ibrahim Ferrer on one track.
The band has its roots in the Star Band, which lit up the Dakar night with the rhythms flowing into the ports of west Africa from around the world.
In 1970 Club Baobab opened its doors in the city; the club took its name from the baobab tree which the club was built around. Its owners poached Star Band members; soon the band we know and love today was in business, combining pop, soul and traditional music from across Senegal and beyond.
By the end of 1983, Baobab had unofficially disbanded. Eventually, Nick Gold and Youssou N’Dour encouraged them to reform; in 2001, Orchestra Baobab played the now-legendary London Barbican gig, at which they received a standing ovation of incredible length. They were back.
Celebrating 50 years as one of Africa’s greatest bands is an incredible achievement.
To pre-order Specialist In All Styles, visit https://worldcircuit.lnk.to/SpecialistLP
Also in celebration of half a century not out, the orchestra has shared a previously unavailable footage of them performing at the Vienna jazz festival in 2015. You can watch below: