1/  Turu                                       (Toure Kunda)                 1.40
  2/  Salaly Muhamed                             (Toure Kunda)                 5.30
  3/  Waar                                       (Toure Kunda)                 4.52
  4/  Manior                                     (S.Toure,O.Toure)             0.55
  5/  Casamance                                  (O.Toure)                     3.24
  6/  Ninki Nanka                                (S.Toure,O.Toure)             4.46
  7/  Kambe                                      (I.Toure,S.Toure)             4.44
  8/  Africa Lelly                               (I.Toure,S.Toure)             4.41
  9/  Soye                                       (I.Toure,S.Toure)             4.20
  10/ Em'ma                                      (I.Toure,S.Toure)             4.01
  11/ Amadou-Tilo                                (I.Toure,S.Toure)             2.45
  12/ Casa Di Mansa                              (I.Toure,S.Toure)             4.20
  13/ Salya                                      (I.Toure,S.Toure)             4.54
  14/ Toure Kunda                                (I.Toure)                     4.57
  15/ Natalia                                    (S.Toure)                     4.56
  16/ Babacady                                   (O.Toure)                     4.05
  17/ Mamadiyo                                   (Toure Kunda)                 3.08
  18/ Sidi Yella (Live Version)                  (I.Toure,S.Toure)             5.49

          Tracks 1,2 and 3 recorded at Nouveau Studios, Vincennes, France
          Tracks 4,5,6,11,12 and 13 recorded at Studio Du Manoir, France
          Tracks 7,8,9 and 10 recorded at Studio CBE, Paris, France
          Tracks 14,15 and 16 recorded atStudio Plus 30, Paris, France
          Track 18 recorded live in Africa, December 1983
          Produced by Toure Kunda
          Tracks 1,2 and 3 co-produced by A. Vauge
          Tracks 4,5,6,11,12 and 13 produced by Olivier Hollard
          Tracks 7,8,9 and 10 produced by Georges Crespin
          Tracks 14,15 and 16 produced by Bill Laswell
          Track 17 produced by Michael Abihssira, JC Bonaventure and Roger Chico Dru
(14,15,16) Ismalia, Sixu Tidiane & Ousmane Toure: vocals, percussion; Bernie Worrell: Prophet 5, synthesizer, fairlight CMI; Foday Musa Suso: kora, talking drum; Aiyb Dieng: chatan, jimbe, cowbell, percussion; Nicky Skopelitis & Jean- Claude Bonaventure: guitar; Roger Chico Dru: bass; Michel Abissihra: drums; Ben Benlinga & Michel Billez: saxophone; Nabou Diop: vocals; Alain “Loy” Ehrlich: piano; Lionel Jouot: trombone; Christian Martinez: trumpet; Frederic Rousseau & Olivier Bloch-Laine: fairlight CMI programming.

          1994 - Celluloid Records (USA), CELD 6213 (CD)
Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.


The digital Brothers Touré, and worth the trouble for one cut, "Ninki Nanka," one of the more powerful vocal pieces ever put to tape. This and 2 other pieces on this collection are from their 1984 masterpiece album, Casamance Au Clair De Lune, and they are absolutely mesmerizing in this far improved digital mastering. The 18 cuts on Dance Of The Leaves offers a fair view of Toure Kunda, the three brothers from Casamance, Senegal who revolutionized Paris Afro-pop in the late seventies and eighties, moving between rootsy balafons to funk inspired rock and African R&B, giving you both the brilliant highlights and a few of their lesser hit-seekers. I could pick nits about what's missing, but you can't complain about the searing rhythm and sax of "Salya," the spirited vocals of "Babacady," the intense percussion/vocal interplay of "Mamadiyo," or their stunning dedication to late brother Amadou, "Amadou-Tilo." Add the live version of "Sidi Yella" and you see their beauty unfold. For the uninitiated, this is an honest assessment, for the fan, a chance to hear anew some of their best tracks.

Cliff Furnald (courtesy of the Rootsworld website)


This career retrospective from the founding of Touré Kunda to 1987 is heavy on material from the group's early work -- which is a good thing, because those albums are hard to find. It's slightly puzzling that nothing from the 1984 live album was included, because that is generally regarded as one of Touré Kunda's best early efforts. The first five studio releases are about equally represented on Dance of the Leaves, which gives a good sense of a band that started out as a group of traditional hotshots and added foreign and modern influences as its career progressed. There is one cut each from the later albums Live Paris Ziguinchor and Karadindi, both of which hark back to the early acoustic and traditional work. The casual fan of African music who is interested in learning about an excellent group of performers will find this an excellent introduction, and the ardent Touré Kunda fan who can't find the early albums will find it essential.

Richard Foss (courtesy of All Music Guide website)