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Friday 3 September 2010

Malagasy Lassie

Like many of you, I imagine, I have an extensive collection of music from Madagascar. So it took me some time to decide which of the two CDs to feature today. In the end I settled on "Velono" by Jaojoby, released in 1994.

Eusebe Jaojoby, to give him his full name, is the King of Salegy, a Malagasy rhythm that can apparently be traced back as far as the fifteenth century. According to the sleeve notes, Jaojoby himself defines a good salegy as follows: "the voice of a herdsman, the guitar sound of a master vaiiha player [I've no idea what that is], the keyboard feel of traditional accordion, bass guitar playing the four bass drums, and the drummer reproducing all the sounds of a Malagasy village festival with people clapping, shaking kayembes [Malagasy maracas] and stomping their feet". It seems to me these two tracks pass that test, but let me know what you think.

"Amia Rano" - Jaojoby

"Tanora Aza Manambady" - Jaojoby

The Malagasy are known for the length of their names, some of which are almost as long as the description of a good salegy. "Velono" features the likes of Laurent Randrianambinha on the "pitipiti guitar" and Joseph Andriantsiferana and Raviromahafehy Andriamaro on keyboards. The bit of the concerts where Jaojoby introduces the band must go on a bit.

This post is dedicated to Mr Massey and his extended family in Boyle in County Roscommon. And here, with a tribute to that fair town, is the mighty Brendan Shine.

P.S. Yes, I realise that the title of this post makes no sense as Jaojoby is very much a laddie, but consider a clue to what you are getting next.

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