Review (World Music): “Revival” - Sahel

The term “Sahel” describes the savannah in Africa along the edge of the desert and the rainforest where many people travel and trade and represents the coming together and exchange of culture.  The group Sahel lead by Cape Verdean and Senegalese singer/songwriter Jean Francis-Varre, spreads this ideal through their variety of world music repertoire.  They perform pieces by Youssou N’Dour, Bob Marley, Gilberto Gil and many others to show that music is a common ground where all can stand and share a good time. 

One of my favorite pieces by them is their original “Revival.”  The piece is in ¾ (or 6/8 depending on how you’re counting it) and starts out with a groove-laying guitar lick reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “PYT” blended with soukous guitar.  The rhythm breaks into an inspiring backbeat section for the chorus.  The keyboard player solos over this section later in the tune and plays some nice modern jazz language over top of it.  I wish the solo section was longer but it may be because they were shooting a video.  I can envision this tune going much longer live.

Check out their website and youtube links:



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