CD Review: Galanu Sabar ci Ngéwël

February 16, 2010

Moustapha Faye CD cover

Moustapha Faye CD cover

Galanu Sabar ci Ngéwël, is Moustapha Faye’s first recording under his name. It was released in November 2009 during his residency as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Suffolk University in Boston, MA and is a true representation of his skills.

Moustapha Faye is truly Géwël. Growing up in his family’s compound he learned directly from his father, Sing Sing Faye and other géwëls of his father’s generation. At the age of 15 he took part in the Tournée de la Chief de Géwël, a month and a half tour of Senegal. During that tour he played with Ma Chiekh Mbaye, Lama Gueye Bouna Bas, Idrissa Ndiaye, Mboula Seck and Massur Mbaye – the major géwëls in Senegal. Studying and performing his whole life has given him a depth of knowledge about the géwël tradition that is unequaled among those of his generation. (excerpt from the liner notes, Robert Sipho Faye Bellinger, May 16, 2009)

His knowledge of the géwël tradition and his abilities as a musician is evident on this CD. All of the pieces are traditional but the arrangements are all Tapha’s. The musicality and distinctiveness of each rhythm is clear yet their connectedness to a larger whole is always in evidence. Beginning with Tagumbar, “the first rhythm to be played,” the eight selections on the CD also serve as a document of the géwël tradition. The significance of each rhythm and arrangement is wonderfully explained by Moustapha in the liner notes.

Moustapha pulled together an amazingly talented group of musicians to play on this CD. Some of the musicians were from his generation, but many of them were his nephews, members of Sing Sing Juniors, who Moustapha trained as they were growing up. The familiarity of the musicians with one another (they are all family) enabled them to play the arrangements flawlessly, with a powerful elegance and musicality. The results, captured on this CD, are amazing.

The CD is presently available at CDBaby.com (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/MoustaphaFaye), in CD or digital form. Also available from the Géwël Tradition Project ($15.00), which can be reached by leaving a message at this blog site or at siphob@singsingjuniors.com.

These are as few photos from the recording session in Dakar.

Moustapha Faye plays nder.

Moustapha Faye plays nder.

Abdoulaye Bâll and Pa Ousmane Faye

Abdoulaye Bâll and Pa Ousmane Faye

Malick Ngom

Malick Ngom

El Hadj Faye and Abdou Salam Faye

El Hadj Faye and Abdou Salam Faye

Magor Mbaye

Magor Mbaye

Mbaye Gueye Mbaye

Mbaye Gueye Mbaye

Amdy Diom

Amdy Diom

Mamadou Faye

Mamadou Faye

Ndow Adama Faye

Ndow Adama Faye

Moustapha Faye leads musicians.

Moustapha Faye leads musicians.

In addition to the talented musicians who appear on the CD there were some other amazingly talented folks who helped make this project possible. First of all there is Moussa Diagne, the engineer who recorded and mixed the tracks at Studio Mobil.Sound in Dakar, Senegal. His knowledge of the studio and his calm demeanor created a wonderful atmosphere for the music.  On the US side Dan Cantor of Notable Sound in Watertown, MA mastered the tracks to bring out the full sound and beauty of the drums. The visual beauty of the CD is the result of the talents of Steve Hoey who has been the webmaster and design person for the Géwël Tradition Project from the beginning.

Moussa Diagne at Studio Mobil.Sound in Dakar, Senegal.

Moussa Diagne at Studio Mobil.Sound in Dakar, Senegal.

Steve Hoey, Moustapha Faye and Sipho Belliger.

Steve Hoey, Moustapha Faye and Sipho Bellinger. (Photo by Ken Martin)

Advertisements

One Response to “CD Review: Galanu Sabar ci Ngéwël”

  1. Meghan Says:

    Sipho, thank you SO MUCH for this nowhere else found form of knowledge. I loved your analysis of the Sing Sing Family’s compound as iconography. It really expressed the profound importance of this family in Dakarese and Senegalese culture. Many travelers looking for important historical sites may not have come upon the Sing Sing compound, yet it is clearly a crucial piece of life in Dakar and one that I hope more will become deeply aware of as your work with the Sing Sings continue. Bon Courage!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: