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Manu Dibango, Barbican Centre 2004


Manu DibangoManu Dibango was on at the Barbican Centre in London as part of a festival to commemorate the late fellow African saxophonist, and generally multitalented geezer Fela Kuti.

I knew I was going to be in for a real treat when I realised what the line up for this gig was going to be. But the reality surpassed all my expectations. What a great night.

Cameroon born, international superstar, jazz saxophonist, marimba player, "Soul Makossa" man with the winning smile, and demi god, Manu Dibango on his own would have been good enough. The presence of his guests Courtney Pine, Baaba Maal and others provided some serious icing on the cake.

The sight and sound of Manu and Courtney Pine playing sax together was complete joy. They were having a good time and the respect they had for each other was obvious.

Then on came Baaba Maal the Senegalese songster, with his cute self and beautiful melodic voice intertwining with Manu's sax -- wonderful.

With the main man not far off his 71st birthday, clearly advancing age is no barrier to great musicianship. Together, Manu Dibango, his band and assorted guests provided a massive sound. By the end of the evening no-one was sitting down, even though the Barbican's seating arrangements aren't exactly conducive to a good ole bop.

Me, I had such a good time I had to continue the party when I got home ...

Anyway, in case you're interested ... there's some more pics of the night.


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