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Released by earthcds partners.

DRUMMING FOR DAGOMBA CHIEFS
Tamale, Ghana 1985
Released by earthcds partners.
Recorded by David Locke
2 CD Set - 90 minutes

This CD records a performance of traditional appellations in a dance groove for chiefs of the Dagomba kingdom. The musical ensemble consists of a vocalist, two lead talking drums, four supporting talking drums, and two bass drums. An all-star ensemble plays twenty-eight items in one brilliant, uninterrupted and unrehearsed set. The recording has proved a great hit with Alhaji and other local experts. They love being able to hear the words of praise in the singing and drumming. Now available here in re-mastered digital audio, even listeners who don't know the local language can enjoy the session's beautiful music and the drummers' excitement at having the opportunity to perform their heritage at this level of excellence.

Most of these appellations consist of a well-designed, memorable phrase (comparable to the "hook" in a pop song) that is repeated in rhythmic unison by the response drums. Each theme is a musical setting of a proverb that cryptically alludes to an important facet of a chief's life, especially the competition he faced when vying with rivals for the leadership title. Typically, the talk of the leading drum fits into a quiet passage in the response theme. In a few dances, the three instrumental parts--lead lunga, answer lunga, and gung-gong--play together in intense musical interlock.

Alhaji Abubakari Lunna, the artistic director of the session, praises the drumming of Adam Alhassan and Abubakari Alhassan, two well-trained talking drum players from the palace of the paramount chief (Yaa Naa) by saying, "They have rich knowledge. They always play the correct drum talks." Alhaji praises the musical inventiveness and showmanship of the principal gung-gong drummer. "Fuseni introduced a creative modern style that features flamboyant moves in the dance arena. The public loved his passion so much that many young gung-gong players have copied Fuseni's approach." Adam functions as the lead musician, the one who introduces each item on his lunga and cues in the other players. The two lead drummers take turns in a style reminiscent of "trading fours" in jazz. They are not improvising, however. When Alhaji listens to the recording, for example, he recites the vernacular meaning of every phrase.


DRUMMING FOR
DAGOMBA CHIEFS
Tamale, Ghana 1985


$23

 




click to hear streaming samples
DISC ONE
1
Introduction/Nagbiegu
2
Yelmangli danzhia
ka ziri dan lab'ri
3
Naani Goo
4
Danbiegu lan buni
zang dziri londi
5
Zim taai kulga
6
Gbungburi leli
7
Dambobugo din tagi
8
Zambalang dim kurigu
9
Sang marigong ku zhini tinga
10
Nawuni bori duniya malibu
11
Kul noli dinviela
DISC TWO
1
Tamale nim bori
Kpanalana yoli
2
Adaka bun naaya
3
Dagbong zamba ti yeni
4
Yela din bil'sira di
song bang bieguni
5
Damduu, dzenbariga
dee yu biegu
6 Ningsal'nim yi yelgu n-gari
7 Konma taakyi
8 A yi sagim so,
song ni sagim ma
9 Ngun ka ying buni
nye mang'da
10 Zambalantong
11 Jenkuno
12 Ngung dzema ka man dze
13 Gbungbun turi bab'li
14 Damba sochendi
15 Damba mahile
16 Dogu mahile
17 Dogu tuli

Click here to read David Locke's story about this historic recording.

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