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04 décembre 2005


While “Live 8 – July 2nd, 2005” collects highlights from concerts around the world, “Live 8 – Africa Calling” is all about the concert that featured African performers. Held at the Eden Project in Cornwall, South West England, “Africa Calling” features internationally renowned artists like Youssou N’Dour et Le Super Etoile [whom I’ve had the privilege of seeing live] and lesser known [but equally talented acts like Kanda Bongo Man, Angelique Kidjo, Emmanuel Jal, and Frititi.

The sounds are varied and for the most part joyful – music for the soul, as well as the body. Peter Gabriel joins Geoffrey Oryema for one song; Dido joins Kidjo on another. If you’re looking for something different, this is an excellent opportunity to discover more than a dozen fine African acts – and to contribute to a greater good. That’s not the kind of deal you want to pass up!

The highlights, for me at least, are three N’Dour songs [“Set,” “7 Seconds,” and “Birima”] and Kidjo’s stunning “Tombo” – but none of the performers is less than excellent, and their music is guaranteed to induce happy dancing in the most unwilling of participants.

As with the above-reviewed set, “Live 8 – Africa Calling” is beautifully produced. Audio and video are first-rate.

The one extra on the set is a half-hour documentary, “Africa Calling At Eden” a behind-the-scenes doc dealing with organizing the one concert that featured an African line-up. A twelve-page booklet provides the playlist, letters from Nelson Mandela, Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman of WOMAD, and Tim Smit of The Eden Project, and brief bios on all the performers.

From the Gleneagles Country club to the stadium in Edinburgh, more people put more effort and heart into the Live 8 worldwide concert than has ever been done before. The best musical fruit of that effort is on “Live 8,” and on this stunning “Live 8 – Africa Calling” DVD set.

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