A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
The Orchestre Baobab is comprised of Barthelemy Atisso (guitar), Baroune N'Diaye (sax), Sedat Li (bass), Laye Nboub (vocals), Rodolphe Gomis (vocals), and founder Balla Sidibe (vocals), with Issa Cissoko (horn), Peter Oudu (clarinet), Thione Seck (vocals), and Ndiouga Dieng (vocals), who were added soon after formation. Formed in 1970, they became the resident band at the Baobab Club for seven years, which was their glory period. After the club changed ownership, the band played at a couple of other clubs, but the unsatisfactory arrangements led to their departure for Paris in 1978. Things did not go well there either, as there was virtually no publicity. They moved to Marseilles, where there was a larger Senegalese community, but when their situation failed to improve, they returned to Senegal to find popular tastes moving away from dance bands and towards the mbalax of Youssou N'Dour. They were reluctant to abandon their Cuban-influenced sound, but wanted to bring in new influences, and personnel shifts began, with only Balla Sidibe left from the original lineup. In 1985, trying to recapture a sense of direction, Sidibe called his musicians together and made something of a comeback, incorporating more percussion and better lyrics. They were somewhat successful for the rest of the '80s, but nothing approaching the earlier days. Steve Huey