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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Miriam Makeba

By Tom Orr
Published August 1, 2005

Live At Bern's Salonger, Stockholm, Sweden, 1966
Gallo

South Africa’s Miriam Makeba was a world music star long before world music was a genre. This disc is a sumptuous part of the body of work that made her so. Performing before a presumably high society audience, Makeba begins with the South African chestnut “Mbube” before strutting her dignified stuff through traditional songs, love songs, scat songs, ballads, calypso and undisputed classics. Instrumental backing is provided by the dynamite combo of Brazilian guitarist/accordionist Sivuca, American string bassist William Salter and Caribbean percussionist Leopoldo Fleming, lending elegance and fire as needed.